updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue July 5, 2011
Fils-Aime talks about Wii U capabilities, limits
The Wii U from Nintendo will have the ability to play back streaming media from Netflix on its touchscreen-equipped controller, Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president and CEO revealed during an interview with Forbes. The executive also said the console will launch after April 1st of 2012 and likely be sold alongside the existing Wii console for some time. In response to a direct question, he also said that, "theoretically," it would be possible to watch Netflix on the Wii U's gamepad.
The controller will not have the ability to act independently of the console, however, as Fils-Aime said the console powers it.
When pressed, Fils-Aime admitted Nintendo needs to do more online and to this end will launch eShop for the Nintendo 3DS. With the Wii U, Nintendo envisions a much more flexible system that will allow independent, third party publishers to create and share content rather than argue with a company like Microsoft or Sony over who controls the system. An "extremely robust online experience" will also be part of the Wii U at launch, Fils-Aime promised without giving details.
As for 3D for the console, he reiterated that Nintendo doesn't want any glasses-bound 3D display technology. The approach seen in the 3DS isn't yet ready for the company's games consoles.