E3 2011 Features Big Announcements from Sony and Nintendo
E3 is now in full swing and there have already been some huge announcements with a week left in the show. The crew here at the Show has been busy scouring the interwebs, with eyes glued to several live feeds, all in an effort to bring you the best of the best so far from the Electronics Entertainment Expo.
Formerly code named the Wii 2, Nintendo finally revealed their next console, the Wii U. Yes, that’s actually the name of the system that will debut in 2012. This Wii placement, (okay I’ll stop), will utilize a touchscreen iPad-like tablet controller.
Price-wise, the Wii U is expected to cost more than $250, but it should be noted that no official price has been revealed by Nintendo at this time.
There will be an option to play games using both the controller touch screen and your television. You will also be able to play games on the Wii U without the use of a TV, by just using the controller screen itself. Social games, multi-player mini games, as well as onscreen maps and the like will really open up the gameplay experience. The Wii U will also offer backwards compatibility so that you can play Wii games on the new system.
Other details include:
- 6.2 inch touchscreen
- Third Party support from the likes of Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.
- Stronger IBM processor
- Six Channel PCM linear output
- 480p, 720p, 1080p support
- Wii controllers and accessories will work with the Wii U
- AMD graphics
- 25GB disc
You can check out a Wii U gameplay demo reel, but be warned: the Nintendo gameplay video shown at the conference, not the actual game demos, contains footage from the 360 and PS3 not the games as they will appear on the Wii U. But with output up to 1080p HD they should look comparable. The demos of actual games on the Wii U look pretty cool with the graphics finally looking on par with the rest of the next gen.
The PS Vita is the 3G-powered successor to the Sony PSP brand of mobile gaming systems. It will actually be available in two versions. The 3G version of the Playstation Vita will be priced at $299, while its WiFi counterpart will cost just $249. (Yes, I know I said “just.”)
Should you decide to go the 3G route, AT&T will be your exclusive provider. That’s a yay or nay depending on your feelings about AT&T. According to the FAQ on Sony’s site, the Vita will start hitting shelves towards the end of this year. Can you say big holiday push?
Other noteworthy tidbits:
- 5 inch (16:9 ratio) OLED screen
- External media storage slot
- Games can be purchased and downloaded via the Playstation Store or via traditional in-store pickup
- Bluetooth compatible
- Multi-touch rear pad
- Two cameras, front and back
- Three motion sensors
- Electronic compass, accelerometer, gyroscope
- Pre-installed with Near and LiveArea
Near is a social tool that will let “users find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing now or what they were playing recently. Users can meet their friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing their game information across different dimensions of time and distance.“
LiveArea is another social tool that basically lets the gamer “view “Activity” log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication among users.”
Finally, physical games will be on a Flash memory card. No details yet on actual game pricing.
Follow my further updates on all things E3 via Twitter @SavingsGCapes. Tune in next week for my full E3 wrap-up.