Nintendo today at the E3 expo debuted its newest piece of gaming hardware, "Wii U," a touchscreen tablet and game controller that takes the dual-screen gaming concept of the DS and applies it to the television.
"Wii U includes a 6.2" touchscreen tablet with dual analog circle pads, a D-pad and buttons, rumble support, a microphone and speaker, accelerometer, gyroscope, and forward-facing camera which are all used to communicate with a 1080p HD set top box that stylistically looks like an update to the current Wii console."
Nintendo did say it'll be "backward compatible" with all of the Wii's peripherals and games, and that it'll be compatible with the 3DS. The company was explicitly clear that Wii U willn't be a standalone mobile/portable gaming console when it is released next year.
Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata referred to it as the "new Nintendo platform," saying it will provide both a deeper gaming experience and a broader appeal to all gamers. Iwata said the new platform will have an appeal even wider than Wii, which will "let everyone see games in a different way."
The Wii U platform, Iwata said, represents a major step toward Nintendo's goal of serving every player's needs.
Nintendo will release more information on Wii U later today.