E3: 5 Ways Nintendo's Next Generation Wii Is Different

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New controller for 2012's Wii U includes a tablet-like touch screen.

Nintendo on Tuesday unveiled its next-generation Wii -- dubbed the Wii U -- with a newly designed controller that includes a 6.2-inch touch screen and resembles a tablet.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the audience at the company's E3 presentation in Los Angeles that the aim is to offer "a deeper game experience and wider appeal" that will attract both casual and hardcore gamers.

Wii U is slated for availability in 2012; pricing was not announced.

According to Nintendo, the Wii console has sold more than 86 million units globally. But a report from Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices in March predicted that declining sales of the Wii -- which launched in 2006 -- would take the console from first to third place in sales rankings this year, falling behind Xbox 360 and PlayStation3.

Here are five ways Wii U differs from its predecessor:

1. The new controller can display information on its screen that does not appear on the TV.
Nintendo emphasized that the new console could be used to bring a second screen to the gaming environment.

2. The system allows a user to take a game off the TV to continue playing from the controller's screen.
While not designed as a portable player, Wii U acts as one.

3. The controller includes new features such as an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers.

4.  Wii U supports Full HD graphics.

5. The information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope.

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