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Nintendo Wows Electronic Entertainment Expo Crowd With New Wii Console, Slated for 2012 Release

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While they will always have a port on my television and in my heart, I haven’t been impressed with Nintendo over the past few years. Much hype erupted for the Wii, their last console, and then worldwide clamor for the system died down to a mere whimper, as did the flow of interesting games.

After the ballyhoo over Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and a few other games that heavily emphasized the neoteric Nintendo Wii-mote slowed, there really wasn’t a whole lot of use for the system for anything but your basic Mario side-scrollers and less involved games. While those may be fine for your average prepubescent teen and those who aren’t interested in more out of their gaming systems, it just doesn’t hold my attention.

That’s why the Playstation 3 has become my console of choice, because it has a crisp, clean interface, a Blu-ray player, all the games that I want without the silly Wii-mote inaccuracy, and a much better build quality than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (I’m on my third). Of course, their Playstation Network has been an Achilles heel for the past few months, but most of the features are free, which is something Microsoft has never been interested in offering.

That leaves my poor, dejected Wii gathering dust next to its forefathers, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, The Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64, and assorted Game-and-Watch, Game Boy, and DS systems that were all much more significant than the gimmicky mediocrity packaged in the pale rectangular shell.

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Nintendo, often the industry trailblazer, announced their next console at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles Tuesday morning, marking the only big announcement of the top names in console gaming.

At Tuesday’s E3 Press Conferences, Microsoft bored the crowd with information on new interface and Kinect updates (which, if you want a controller that makes you move, the Wii is a better choice, simply because it will last more than a few years), in addition to the announcement of more upcoming games from the Halo storyline, which could include Halo Combat Evolved: Redundancy and Halo 4: Beating a Dead Horse for More Money.

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In a slightly more exciting conference, Sony announced the impending release of their new PS Vita, the updated version of their Playstation Portable (PSP), which offers new interaction with the Playstation 3 and models that have wifi and 3G-network connectivity for $249 and $299, respectively. Sony also presented their new Playstation Television, a 24-inch 3D high-definition television, which is designed to do away with split-screen multiplayer gaming.

Their new television allows each player to see a full screen image, completely separate from the other player on the single screen. This is done by creating two images as is done through the 3D picture, but special glasses allow each player to see their image alone on the entire screen by only showing what the either left or right eye would see during a 3D image. This means that multiplayer gameplay will not be in 3D, but it will be an interesting development for those with limited space for a television. Of course, one still has to purchase a Playstation 3 to use with the system, far from my original hopes that the Playstation television would also have a built-in Playstation 3 console. The cost is expected to be around $500.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lastly, Nintendo announced their next console, the Wii U, which has been designed to reach out to the hardcore-gamers that have shunned the Wii for years. The new two-handed controller features a 6.2-inch touchscreen that can be used as a standalone screen upon which to play games, or in conjunction with a full television screen. Future games will integrate both the television and controller screen, and the controller will still utilize movement, albeit likely on a greatly-reduced scale as compared to the current Wii. The system will also be high-definition, and is expected to woo more popular third-party game producers, allowing there to be much more interesting content than the pathetic plethora of pablum largely available for the current Wii.

While Nintendo is not completely starting over with the Wii U, they are making some badly-needed changes to return the palatability of their brand to post-pubescent gamers across the globe. The Wii U does not seem to be a remarkably powerful machine, but it takes Nintendo’s original idea (which Microsoft feebly tries to emulate) and greatly improves it, making the Wii U the system that the Wii should have been in the first place.

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