At the E3 Expo, Nintendo introduced a new paradigm for video games and home entertainment: Wii U, a new console that includes a controller with a 6.2-inch screen.
Adding a second screen to the living room creates a multitude of new video game experiences while offering families a variety of options to customize their entertainment.
“The experience enabled by Wii U and the new controller takes players deeper into their games, while reaching out wider than ever before to be inviting to all kinds of gamers.”
Previously, video games played on a home console have been confined to the TV and offered identical viewpoints to each player in a multiplayer environment. Furthermore, watching TV and playing console games have been completely separate experiences. The new controller removes these boundaries, creating a more dynamic and fluid gaming and entertainment experience.
Visitors to the E3 Expo will see firsthand the type of gaming experiences made possible by Wii U and the new controller such as:
- In single-player games:
- The new controller can display information on its screen that does not appear on the TV.
- The information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope.
- In multiplayer games:
- The player using the new controller can have a different experience than those looking at the TV. This will offer a wide variety of competitive and cooperative opportunities.
In addition to the 6.2-inch screen, the new controller also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers. Adding these features to the Classic Controller button scheme – two analog Circle Pads, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons – will enable a breadth of game-play experiences while appealing to both casual and dedicated video game players.
Wii U combines motion-sensing game play with the ability to support full HD graphics. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories.
The Wii console has sold more than 86 million units globally and greatly expanded the overall audience for video games. Wii U aims to expand that audience even further. Developers worldwide are already working on new games and experiences for the console.
“Wii U redefines the structure of home entertainment by fundamentally changing how the TV, the game console and the Internet function and interact together,” said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. “The experience enabled by Wii U and the new controller takes players deeper into their games, while reaching out wider than ever before to be inviting to all kinds of gamers.”
Nintendo 3DS, which lets users see 3D images without the need for special glasses, launched in the United States on March 27 and continues to evolve. Owners will find that their Nintendo 3DS experience is different every time they pick up the system, thanks to new content and updates delivered by Nintendo, by third parties and exchanged between users.
A new system update is now available for the Nintendo 3DS system. Users who connect to a wireless broadband Internet connection and install the system update will instantly gain access to the Nintendo eShop, which contains a variety of games and applications for download using a cash-based system.
Users can browse original 3D software, 3D Classics (select classic video games re-mastered in 3D), classic Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, and more than 350 games and applications currently offered for the Nintendo DSiWare service. Visitors can also see videos and screen shots for games, plus see how other players rank games.
The system update also provides Nintendo 3DS owners access to free items, including an Internet browser that can show 3D images on sites specifically designed to show 3D images, a download of a re-mastered 3D version of the NES classic Excitebike game (free until July 7) and Pokédex 3D, which lets users discover and view more than 150 Pokémon from the Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version games in visually engaging 3D.
Nintendo also announced a huge lineup of upcoming new and fan-favorite franchise games, many of which are playable on the E3 Expo show floor in booth 4922.
- Nintendo 3DS: Super Mario, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Mario Kart, Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time™ 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Picture Lives!, The Rolling Western.
- Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kirby Wii, Wii Play: Motion, Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident, Mario Party 9, Rhythm Heaven and Fortune Street.
- Nintendo DS: KirbyMass Attack, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 and Super Fossil Fighters.
Nintendo kicked off its E3 Expo Presentation by announcing a number of initiatives to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. A re-mastered 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launches for Nintendo 3DS on June 19, while Wii owners will see the arrival of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in the 2011 holiday season. Additionally, Nintendo announced a tour of orchestral concerts featuring music from the beloved franchise. Additional commemorative activities will be announced at a later date.
IBM announced that it will provide the microprocessors that will serve as the heart of the new Wii U system from Nintendo. Unveiled at the E3 trade show, Nintendo plans for its new console to hit store shelves in 2012.
The all-new, Power-based microprocessor will pack some of IBM’s most advanced technology into an energy-saving silicon package that will power Nintendo’s brand new entertainment experience for consumers worldwide. IBM’s unique embedded DRAM, for example, is capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience.
IBM’s state-of-the-art 300mm chip plant in East Fishkill, N.Y., will be the manufacturing facility for the new game chip the company is building for Nintendo’s new game console due to hit store shelves in 2012.
IBM plans to produce millions of chips for Nintendo featuring IBM Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology at 45 nanometers (45 billionths of a meter). The custom-designed chips will be made at IBM’s state-of-the-art 300mm semiconductor development and manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.
The relationship between IBM and Nintendo dates to May 1999, when IBM was selected to design and manufacture the central microprocessor for the Nintendo GameCube system. Since 2006, IBM has shipped more than 90 million chips for Nintendo Wii systems.
“IBM has been a terrific partner for many years. We truly value IBM’s commitment to support Nintendo in delivering an entirely new kind of gaming and entertainment experience for consumers around the world,”
said Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director, Integrated Research and Development, at Nintendo Co., Ltd.
“We’re very proud to have delivered to Nintendo consistent technology advancements for three generations of entertainment consoles,”
said Elmer Corbin, director, IBM’s custom chip business.
“Our relationship with Nintendo underscores our unique position in the industry – how we work together with clients to help them leverage IBM technology, intellectual property and research to drive innovation into their own core products.”
Built on the open, scalable Power Architecture base, IBM custom processors exploit the performance and power advantages of proven silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. The inherent advantages of the technology make it a superior choice for performance-driven applications that demand exceptional, power-efficient processing capability – from entertainment consoles to supercomputers.