By Ben Bowers
on 6.7.11

Nintendo has just announced the successor to its wildly popular and family friendly Wii system today at E3 — called the Wii U. If the name didn’t clue you in, essentially Nintendo hopes they’ve built a console gaming experience that’s highly entertaining for the entire family and individual gamers. To pull this off, the new system features a unique accessory that merges aspects of a traditional gaming controller and the motion sensing of a Wiimote with a 6.2-inch touch screen. The screen is part second display, part interactive controller (a kin to the DS), and can be leveraged to create a variety of unique gaming situations. For example, they showed clips of happy gamers using the controller’s smaller screen as a separate rifle site for full targets being displayed on the HDTV. They also showed off multiplayer situations, where one user viewed the game from the controller while others looked at the main TV. The controller can also be used independently of the HDTV to play games or make video calls thanks to a front facing camera. All in all, it appears to be another great example of how Nintendo continues to tap into a well of gaming creativity and imagination that other companies can’t. Other good news is that the console will finally support full 1080p graphics (only on the TV). The system will also be fully backwards compatible with original Wii accessories, and tons of older Nintendo game titles.

Nintendo Announced today that the Wii U will be available November 18 in the U.S. The 8-gig basic version, sold without sensor bar or nunchuk controller, retails for $300; the $350, 32GB premium edition with includes a sensor bar and Nintendo Land, a theme park, mini-game based title.

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