Wii needed this

Nintendo has its eye on an even bigger addressable audience of gamers with its new Wii U home console.

After courting new audiences for so long, the focus is back on a much-desired re-engaging of actual gamers alongside that skillful non-gamer push.

Wii U pushes the boundary – it gives gamers a much deeper experience, but the control and touchscreen means we can widen the audience even more,” Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton told MCV. With DS and Wii we expanded the audience; we changed perceptions about gaming.

What we are now doing is looking to grow that further, but with power and graphics and a new controller, gamers get a deeper experience than ever before.”

And that’s good news for retail, said Yarnton: We’re still growing the Wii audience. We are doing really good numbers in the UK at the moment – the price drop got people back in stores, and helped retail in a very challenged market.”

Unveiled at E3 this week and due out in 2012, Wii U is a new home console to go under the TV. It features HD graphics, online connectivity and an optical disc drive, keeping physical retail-sold games in the mix.

But the centrepiece is an innovative controller which mixes joypad, touchscreen and streaming technology. Games can be transferred from TV to handset.

Most telling: Nintendo didn’t announce many first-party games for the console, but third-party partners did in their droves. Core games including Batman: Arkham City (Warner), Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft), Darksiders II and Metro (THQ), Aliens (Sega), plus Namco Bandai and Tecmo Koei titles were all confirmed.

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