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Nintendo pins hopes on holiday-ready "Wii U"

posted 5 Jun 2012, 14:02 by Mpelembe   [ updated 5 Jun 2012, 14:02 ]

Nintendo introduces the new gaming console, Wii U, at the Los Angeles E3 expo. The company is depending on the new device to boost slumping sales.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 05, 2012) (REUTERS) - Nintendo will launch a console with a dedicated "Super Mario" game title for the first time in 16 years, as the struggling Japanese company hopes the new Wii U will score the rave reviews that helped make its predecessor the world's biggest gaming hit.

Nintendo, which was knocked off its perch at the pinnacle of gaming industry hardware by Microsoft's Xbox in recent years, formally unveiled a white console on Tuesday (June 05) at Los Angeles' E3 expo, saying it will support two "GamePad" controllers designed to look and function like tablets.

"At its core, Wii U does three different things: it changes your gaming, it changes how you interact with your gaming friends, and it changes the way you enjoy your TV. It's not just intuitive, not just accessible to everyone, but it stands to revolutionize your living room," said Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime.

The Wii U - which will carry video content from Netflix,, YouTube, and Hulu - will hit store shelves in time for the holidays, although Nintendo has not yet not put a price tag on the device.

It is the first console from Nintendo in six years and will come with a social gaming network dubbed "Miiverse." But it will need a vast library of software - including the star of its stable, Super Mario - to have any hope of matching the Wii's success.

That's the reason that Nintendo focused less on the hardware on Tuesday and more on the games it will bring to the Wii U. The company showed off different levels featuring its signature fixtures: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and gumbas. The company also showed off games made by other companies built for the Wii U, such as Warner Brother's Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition.