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Wii U: Five players, one touch screen, total family madness

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Reuters

(Read caption) The Wii U, Nintendo's latest console, is set to hit shelves in 2012.

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Back in June, Nintendo took the wraps off the Wii U, the successor to the aging Wii console. The device, expected to hit shelves towards the end of this year, included a motion-sensing controller, which Nintendo said could be operated independently – or in concert with – the television set. This week, at the CES show in Las Vegas, Nintendo again trotted out the Wii U, and offered a few journalists the chance to give it a brief test run. 

So what does this new system offer over the original Wii? Well, as the Associated Press points out, the Wii U system will sync not only with the new touchscreen controller, but also older Wii-style controllers. 

"For example, in one of Nintendo’s demonstration games, four players with Wii remotes chase a fifth, who uses the touch controller," writes the team at the AP. "The fifth player uses the screen on the controller to guide his movements, which are thus kept secret from the other players. The other players keep track of their own movements on the TV screen." 

Which syncs up pretty well with what Nintendo had stressed last year – that the Wii is meant to be, at least in part, a family device, for use in group settings.

Over at Ars Technica, Ben Kuchera notes that Nintendo is still remaining mum on the spec list behind the Wii U (save what Kuchera describes as a "few hints.") But he does like the interface. 

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