Nintendo announces Project Cafe as Wii U

Nintendo announces Project Cafe as Wii U

Nintendo has unveiled its next console, the Wii U (pictured) at its E3 2011 press conference.

Nintendo has unveiled the successor to the Wii at its E3 2011 press conference, renaming what had previously been known by the codename Project Cafe as the Wii U.

The Wii U is a white console with a six-inch touchscreen embedded into the controller, as well as two thumbsticks, a camera, motion sensors and face buttons. There's also a base unit.

Players are able to switch between a roaming mode, where games are displayed on the touchscreen, and a fixed mode, where the controller outputs to a TV. Nintendo promises zero latency for this link.

It is also possible to use both screens at once, as a Nintendo demo showed Zelda played with the main action on a TV and inventory screens on the controller.

Nintendo has confirmed that the touchscreen doesn't output in HD, but HD is available when the controller is linked to a HD TV.

'As an industry, what we haven't achieved yet is a game platform that is equally satisfying for all players,' said Nintendo's Satoru Iwata. 'Yet, this is exactly what we intend to create with our new home platform.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

You can check out other news from the show via our E3 2011 News hub.

This article has been updated since publication - see here for details


Discuss in the forums Reply
oasked 7th June 2011, 18:17 Quote
WTF - Really?

That looks really, really awkward to hold. I guess we won't really be able to tell until people get their hands on it though. For now, I'm not convinced this will be anything else but a disaster.

I hope I'm proven wrong. :)
Phalanx 7th June 2011, 18:19 Quote
OK, what in the... No. No no no no no.

I hate that. Really.
Lord-Vale3 7th June 2011, 18:20 Quote
haakon.t 7th June 2011, 18:23 Quote
Are you sure about this? Because I got the impression that this was only the controller, maybe the console design isn't completely finished yet, so they decided not to show it yet?

EDIT: I knew there was a console
mjm25 7th June 2011, 18:23 Quote
APRIL F- Oh wait... :/
Arkanrais 7th June 2011, 18:24 Quote
Judging by the amount of hand controllers, keyboards, mice and even steering wheels I've broken in frustration over games, I don't think owning one of these would be a good decision on my part.
Hand controllers are meant to be able to take a beating, but with a touchscreen and other hardware inside the thing, people are going to need to be damn careful. I suspect even just dropping/thowing the console on a couch as you would once finished on a game could cause some damage if not immediately, then over a long term.
greypilgers 7th June 2011, 18:25 Quote
I thought the Wii was such a success simply because it was so accessible to all and just so intuitive in its control method. This looks... not like that. Different direction for Nintendo, but not necessarily a better one?
13eightyfour 7th June 2011, 18:27 Quote
Erm, yeah i didnt see that coming when it was originally announced!

So if the controller is the console, that makes multiplayer massively expensive, mind you at the rate the wii sold everybody will probably buy one anyway. Last thing would be if 4 people want to play how do they all connect to the tv.

Im sure all these issues have been addressed but i can see issues.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
Spuzzell 7th June 2011, 18:36 Quote
The controller is NOT the console. C'mon, Bit, seriously.
themax 7th June 2011, 18:37 Quote
According to Engadget, the WiiU is fully backwards compatible with all Wii accessories. Can't see anyone buying multiple WiiU controllers as they seem expensive, and only one is needed for general single player control and management on the system, with Wiimotes to fill the multiplayer roles. Inexpensive console if you are a previous Wii owner with accessories but an expensive investment if you never owned Wii at all.
guvnar 7th June 2011, 18:44 Quote
Oh the disappointment!
How are they going to withstand being chucked across the lounge like controllers often are at a tricky point?

Good to see Nintendo have a sense of humour though...
Zurechial 7th June 2011, 19:01 Quote
People said:
"Haha, Nintendo.. 'Wii' is a stupid name for a console."

Nintendo said:
"wii u!"
Silent_Raider 7th June 2011, 19:04 Quote
so Nintendo is now competing with Apple and the iPad instead of Sony and Microsoft?
timmythemonkey 7th June 2011, 19:06 Quote
And you can use the controller a lap-tray too!

The curves of the new console in the linked picture make it look like a blend of an original 360 and a Wii.

Unless they can really pull some 'must-have' platform-exclusive game IP that takes advantage of all of that, then it will go the way of the Game Cube. And that doesn't just mean re-hashing the old staples of Mario & Sonic with a new device name at the end of the title!

*cuddles trusty PC and waits for BF3 & ME3*
GoodBytes 7th June 2011, 19:08 Quote
I think this is awesome..

I don't really care about PS3 and XBox 360.. because other than some few exclusive games, it provide nothing over the PC. And I can get the XBox 360 controller for it, among a wide selection of other controllers that best suit my hands. Sure NOW you have Kinect and Move.. but I see it as too late... I smell new consoles from both companies coming soon, so why bother paying such an expensive console.

What I like about Nintendo, and especially with the WiiU, is that it provide something that I cannot get from my PC.
DwarfKiller 7th June 2011, 19:10 Quote
'Oddly, the controller is the console'

Bad form. Bad research.
leveller 7th June 2011, 19:13 Quote
A touchscreen for the kiddies ... yes!

One shaped like that ... erm ... if the price is right I guess so. I'm assuming that the child will be able to play the latest Zelda/MArio game on the big screen (with the console bit ;) ) and then when the parents want the child to go to bed then he/she will still be able to play the game but on the handheld ... or something.

Not a bad idea, but I hate the look of the controller ...
Eiffie 7th June 2011, 19:15 Quote
And I had such high hopes. . . oh well. . . pass.
enciem 7th June 2011, 19:16 Quote
Looks like a 'My First Tablet' device by Fisher Price
veato 7th June 2011, 19:22 Quote
Erm.... what bit-tech? The controller IS NOT the console. There's a box under the TV too with an optical drive and HD output, etc.

Still, I don't fancy holding that thing for extended gaming sessions.
Artanix 7th June 2011, 19:24 Quote
Don't really like it myself, but fair do's to nintendo. No point trying to compete with juggernaughts like Sony and Microsoft, just keep their own little part of the market. I found it amusing that most say the wii failed, when pretty much everybody I know has a PS3 OR Xbox, and a wii.
chrismarkham1982 7th June 2011, 19:52 Quote

i dont like this at all, if im going to use a controller, i want one that fit in my hand comfortably not sit on my lap like a book with a screen, besides with all this 'tech' (read xbox killed us with kinect so this is all we could come up with) surely there will be a fairly big price? and i cant really see it improving over current consoles by much BUT that is just my opinion, others out there will like and thats fair enough but at the end of the day i have my pc and xbox, wife and kids use the xbox for kinect (apart from my son who thinks blowing things up in any fps is cool.....he's only 4) and we have a ds lite and a psp so were covered on all angles and i know quite a few people who have at least 1 console and 1 portable copnsole in there house especially considering you can pick up an xbox and a psp or ds with games for around 100quid these days.
chrismarkham1982 7th June 2011, 19:55 Quote
Originally Posted by Artanix
Don't really like it myself, but fair do's to nintendo. No point trying to compete with juggernaughts like Sony and Microsoft, just keep their own little part of the market. I found it amusing that most say the wii failed, when pretty much everybody I know has a PS3 OR Xbox, and a wii.

we had an xbox and a wii as-well.....the xbox is still there 5 years on and the wii....well that went when we bought kinect, we had for 2 years and used for about 3 months and most of that was the kids playing it, my wife saw this new wii and the first thing she said was 'what the hell is that thing? i think ill stick to kinect thanks we aint getting that chris' how many more families will say that if they already have a wii or ps move or kinect?
bothaus 7th June 2011, 20:13 Quote
Oh God. Change is bad, always. I'm with a lot of people here. Nintendo offers something different. I'm a PC gamer so Xbox and PS3 are not on my radar. Too anemic in regards to graphics and power. They hold back the entire industry. Upgrade your components already so I can have better ports!
StoneyMahoney 7th June 2011, 20:18 Quote
Ok, so the screen on the controller can also be the game screen, that's kinda cool, stops the kids monopolizing the TV. Hope they streamline it a bit before they release it, like they did with the Wiimote. I think it's success will depend on how expensive that controller is. Gyros are cheap, touch screens aren't. I still maintain the extra screen is a good idea, let's just see how well it's executed in the final product.
confusis 7th June 2011, 20:44 Quote
5 minutes with that and id expect massive cramping and sore arms. fail nintendo.

How about slimming it down a bit, like an xbox/PS controller but with the screen out the top?
Bungletron 7th June 2011, 21:04 Quote
This seems like familiar territory, news of Nintendo's revolutionary new console is met with ridicule and bemusement...

So I guess it is destined to become a world wide best seller, no?
Stelph 7th June 2011, 21:04 Quote
Originally Posted by Zurechial
People said:
"Haha, Nintendo.. 'Wii' is a stupid name for a console."

Nintendo said:
"wii u!"

I assume this is how you are supposed to refer to it

(taken from Kung pow : way of the fist, great film!)
CardJoe 7th June 2011, 21:33 Quote
This article has been updated
This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the Wii U controller has a base unit with which it communicates to the TV. Apologies that this wasn't clear before. I used the line 'The controller is the console' merely as a shorthand impression of the Wii U device, since it is both where the game is played and displayed. This mistake has now been corrected.
SMIFFYDUDE 7th June 2011, 21:43 Quote
I think the controller needs to go back to the drawing board. It looks to wide to be comfortable and would you trust a 6 year old with something this expensive. Heck with my record for smashing stuff up in frustration I wouldn't even trust myself to have one and i'm 26.
Bauul 7th June 2011, 21:45 Quote
How are you supposed to play tennis with that thing? It'd be like Wimbledon with dinner plates!
GoodBytes 7th June 2011, 21:52 Quote
To @SMIFFYDUDE and @Bauul
You give them/use the Wiimote controller... simple.

I think the size is perfect... look at your position of your hands on your keyboard when you play a game.. it's WAAYYY over the size of the controller.

Nintendo invests a lot on controllers design to be comfortable... like Sony PS3 first design, and end up with the PS2 controller because it was too costly to get it right.

While Nintendo has no problem with that.. and they did that with the Wii more from the 2006 E3 and the final product (longer, wider view camera on the remote, and other improvements)
dactone 7th June 2011, 21:54 Quote
i can not wait to play final fantasy on that thing :)
DBA 7th June 2011, 22:06 Quote
WTF people?!! How can anyone not think this is the best news in console gaming since ever!?!

It's a new console which can play HD games, nah! It can play HD nintendo games. It doesn't focus on motion control and it can be played, while you watch TV! This new console most certainly get me back into console gaming..
Also I can't see why people complain about the controller being fragile and too big, it's not a much more different than your iPad or whatever gadget you have..
Nanu 7th June 2011, 22:14 Quote
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
I think the size is perfect... look at your position of your hands on your keyboard when you play a game.. it's WAAYYY over the size of the controller.

Um... I hope you're right but i don't see how. When i play on a pc my hands are flat, which is natural and comfortable, but it's not holding a controller is it?

To hold a controller comfortably the lower palm supports need to be further apart than the buttons, that way your wrists are in line with your arms and not twisted into a wierd angle... which I think is the first thing people were see when they look at this... ouch.

probably why the basic shape of the playstation controller has stayed so long...
Nanu 7th June 2011, 22:17 Quote
virtual boy anyone???? am i the only one thinking that?
Nikols 7th June 2011, 22:45 Quote
Lol at the negative posts. This is nintendo people... Regardless if it has longevity or not one things for certain, it'll work and well. Kids can game when the tv is in use, probably do a hell of a lot more as well, then jump back on the tv when it's not in use. Wireless integration made simple!
GoodBytes 7th June 2011, 23:33 Quote (with video)

Controller design is not an issue as you can see here, and you can see how it works... really cool.
Shayper09 8th June 2011, 00:41 Quote

But seriously?

GTFO Nintendo. Yes that door. Close it on your way out. Yes, you can keep Zelda. We don't want it it.

Now hurry up and die. Preferably under a barren hedge somewhere.


GoodBytes 8th June 2011, 01:01 Quote
Shayper09, that post was very nonconstructive. You have said a false stereotype.
Like saying that PC gamers are social inept geeks, over weight, looking at porn when they are not playing games, and eating hamburgers all day.

Or that XBox 360 players are insecure beer drinker alcoholic man, playing football games all day.

And for THAT, a console should be banned. It makes no sense.

And in term of innovations (since day 1), even if Nintendo screws up, you must close your eyes. It's like if you hire an investors, makes millions for you out of nothing for several years, and then loses 10$ and you fire him (and that is assuming that this console will be a failure, which won't, especially after Wii success). It makes no sense. Nintendo revolutionized gaming several times, which many (including you) take for granted.

Some of Nintendo innovations:
-> Perfectly smooth and optimized way for side scrolling
-> Saving games on consoles (battery on cartage for North America and Europe, and disk system add-on for Japan)
-> Force feedback (N64)
-> Perfected the shoulder buttons (SNES), you can say even invented, as I wish you good luck using Intelivision ones, which was on the side of the controllers.. so not really "shoulders"
-> Perfected D-Pad (Game & Watch consoles and perfected even further with the NES)
-> Analogue thumb stick on controllers with full motion and precise. (N64, and perfected in the Game Cube)
-> System to load content while somewhere in the game, eliminating game loading screens, once loaded the first time.
-> Wireless controller done right, with long range, long battery life. (GameCube WaveBird controller)
-> Wireless controllers working correctly without any latency problems and connection problem with the NES Satellite controller.
-> Wii remote
-> First home console with 4 player support (since Atari 2600?!) with a full library of games supporting it (unlike Atari consoles)
-> Real Portable systems

And of course
-> Saved the gaming industry.

As for Zelda games... you play Zelda for the game play experience, like Mario games, and for Zelda the puzzles. If you expect Mass Effect story... than really you are looking at the wrong games.

And no says "Another Football/Soccer/Golf/etc. game", "Another Mass Effect/BioShock/Resident Evil/Street Fighter/Taken/etc game". No one forces you to play games, or buy a console.
DwarfKiller 8th June 2011, 01:54 Quote
Ofcourse they're going to be catering to the 'casual' market. It's a market they damn well made out of nothing and it would be foolish of them to drop them entirely. It's a great middle ground console that caters to both the 'casual' and 'hardcore' markets. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up dragging some of the 'casual' players further down the rabbit hole of gaming in general.
I think it's great that it uses Wii peripherals as well, both seperately and in conjunction with the new controller.

The only part that MIGHT come back to bite them is their pricing. Sony have shown them up with the PSVita pricing (rightly so) and I hope that sticks with them for some time while they decide on a price.
Even then, there are a LOT of die-hard Nintendo fans that will end up buying it regardless.
Shayper09 8th June 2011, 02:34 Quote
Okay, maybe my post was slightly (very) full of vitriol. It was also meant to be not taken seriously at all, not a swipe at nintendo, I'm actually a huge fan of innovation, rather a parody of what the reaction to this console will be and has been like :)

My apologies for the confusion, I probably should have added a disclaimer to my post :D
Gh0stDrag0n 8th June 2011, 02:43 Quote
I'll take 2.
Now if Sony and Microsoft would just get with the program and update their systems...
Looks like there will be good times ahead for all gaming platforms. I kinda feel bad for all the fanboys fighting over who is best, take some time to enjoy what each platform has to offer and have fun... Is that not why we play games in the first place?
Toploaded 8th June 2011, 03:38 Quote

Best video I've seen to show it's potential.
outlawaol 8th June 2011, 03:40 Quote
Nintendo thought they had a problem on their hands when people where chucking a little remote at the TV, now this monster? I mean its one thing to crack your TV screen and another to make a visible hole. I mean consider the rubber thing on new wiimotes, if this thing has one it'll be safe to use as a pillow! :D

I digress, it does look to have an interesting concept. But I dont judge a system till I've had a time to play on one and see for myself. Knowing Nintendo it'll be quite good, but they have had failed products before.
Toploaded 8th June 2011, 03:44 Quote
Originally Posted by outlawaol
Knowing Nintendo it'll be quite good, but they have had failed products before.

Only true failure being the virtual boy, but at least it introduced the concept of duel analogs.
runadumb 8th June 2011, 08:11 Quote
I think it's a crazy idea, but then when nintendo first pulled the wii-mote out on stage 5 years ago I thought they had lost their minds. I was proven very wrong.
will_123 8th June 2011, 08:16 Quote
Originally Posted by runadumb
I think it's a crazy idea, but then when nintendo first pulled the wii-mote out on stage 5 years ago I thought they had lost their minds. I was proven very wrong.

Exactly some people just need to chill out and give it a chance! Only time will tell.
maximus09 8th June 2011, 08:22 Quote

It is a handheld console? Don't Nintendo already have the 3DS?

Can't wait until the kids will be throwing this around, dropping it cause it is so heavy, poking their fingers throught the touch screen, dropping food and drinks on it..........etc etc.

What is Nintendo's stategy here? Are they trying to move gaming away from the TV? Are they trying to cash in on the whole casual/mobile gaming thing and apply it to a powerful console? I don't know but it look lame to me. Will stick to my Wii and PC ;)
Toploaded 8th June 2011, 08:33 Quote
The whole 'have the same image on your controller and turn the TV off' part of it I think is pretty pointless for me, but watching that video really did show it's potential. Some ideas are just silly such as seeing the golf ball on the floor, but other show how it could really change the way we play co-op gaming. I loved the whole baseball game concept of pitching from the controller so the batter can't see what you are planning.

I'll post it again, this time with the embedding working.


Personally I think Nintendo have it going on here, and the fact it should match the 360/PS3 in graphics and it's coming out a good year or two before the next gen of consoles, means it could be a very nice purchase.

Edit: Embed fixed, thanks Fod.
Fod 8th June 2011, 08:45 Quote
The engadget (or was it gizmodo) hands on states it is actually very light - a lot lighter than they expected.

And no - Nintendo isn't trying to move gaming away from the television. The controller is useless without the WiiU base console.
Toploaded 8th June 2011, 08:48 Quote
Ahhh thanks dude, fixed mine now.
phinix 8th June 2011, 08:54 Quote
I hope this one will be back-compatible with previous hand controllers (what I just watched on that movie, nice for palying golf:)) and will play all games in HD. That is all I was waiting for. New multimedia controller looks bulky. I only wanted to buy Wii for its motion sensors, but wanted HD resolution.
Da_Rude_Baboon 8th June 2011, 08:58 Quote
So how many new games will this console see or will it be HD remakes of their old titles? Prepare for release details of Mario 68394 and Zelda 82763738.
Toploaded 8th June 2011, 09:09 Quote
I'm cool with that, playing SMG 2 on the dolphin emulator in HD was pretty sweet, I'm sure SMG3 made for the Wii U with this new controller will be beyond awesome.

If this console did somehow bump all WII games run on it to HD that would be nice, but I won't count on that.
Kingsley813 8th June 2011, 10:23 Quote
Two things come to mind looking at this thing; those crappy kiddies vTech fake laptop things you buy for your kids, and a throwback to the add-on that came with the Dreamcast.
alialias 8th June 2011, 11:45 Quote
I just hope it isnt too difficult to make games for it, or that developers feel like they HAVE to use its features that are different to other consoles. Nintendo has always missed out on a lot of titles and i cant understand why.
Phil Rhodes 8th June 2011, 13:00 Quote
Nintendo promises zero latency

Three cheers for claims of the fundamentally impossible!

Yes, yes, I know they probably mean "so near to zero it's irrelevant", or perhaps, more likely, "so near to so near to zero it's kind of usable", but honestly.
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