Nintendo's Wii was a unique success story for the video game industry. As the first video game console ever marketed primarily to a casual audience, it expanded the market far beyond previous player demographics and created a viable casual space which many companies thrive on today.
With over 96 million Wii systems sold worldwide since its release in 2006, Nintendo is hoping to repeat its success story with the release of its Wii U console this holiday season.
The system’s standout features include a high-definition output resolution – a first for Nintendo consoles – and a touch screen controller capable of displaying live game content. In addition, compatibility with controllers and accessories for the existing Wii console will mean families won’t have to spend extra money to enjoy group play.
The Wii U is on display this week in Austin.
Invited fans will have an opportunity to see the system in its final form and play several game demos. Thursday's opening event had an impressive turnout. Smiles filled the venue as patrons danced, sang and flailed their arms in familiar “Wii party” fashion.
Jessica Arjet decided to attend the event after her son received an invitation from a local game store. “I like the table experience. It seems a little easier, like a mix between an iPad and the old Wii remote.”
Jaime Burchardt shared a similar experience. “I'm loving it! I think it's actually the coolest thing I've ever experienced from the video games.”
Nintendo has not yet announced the Wii U's release date or price. The demo event will be in Austin until Aug. 19 and is open by invitation only.
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