When Nintendo officially revealed Wii U to the world and showed that we’d each have a touchscreen tablet controller in our hands, we had our apprehensions. We thought cost could be an issue and we also thought battery life could be a problem. And now, Nintendo has confirmed our hesitations about the latter.
Simply dubbed the Wii U “GamePad,” this tablet-esque controller will have dual thumb sticks, along with standard d-pad, L/R shoulder buttons, ZL/ZR shoulder buttons, A/B/X/Y face buttons, start, select, TV control, power, home, and a 6.2-inch 16:9 LCD touchscreen. There’s also motion control (accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble, a sensor bar, a stylus, and NFC support.
While we haven’t heard anything concrete about price yet, we have learned that having all that tech in a controller is going to cost you in battery life. You can expect to only get three to five hours per charge. Given many people’s propensity towards marathon gaming sessions, this could prove to be a huge problem. Can you imagine being in the middle of an awesome session of Zelda or Mario Kart, only to have your controller die on you? Not good. And it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge it.
As far as other major highlights about the Wii U, it’ll use an IBM Power-based multi-core processor, AMD Radeon-based high-definition GPU, internal flash memory, SD card slots, USB storage, Wii U and Wii optical discs, 802.11/b/g/n Wi-Fi, four USB 2.0 ports, legacy support for Wii controllers and accessories, up to 1080p video (including HDMI), video chat, Internet browser, and video entertainment (Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, etc.). There’s also something called Miiverse, which is like a Mii social network to post messages and challenge friends to games.
What do you think? Are you buying a Nintendo Wii U when it launches this holiday shopping season?