Nintendo, for the majority of this console generation, has been content to play its own game. Now it's ready to take the fight to Microsoft and Sony.

The company on Tuesday unveiled its next generation home video game machine -- dubbed Wii U -- that will be flush with the high-definition graphics gamers have come to expect, as well as a unique, touch-screen controller. It's scheduled to launch in 2012.

Like the Wii, the Wii U (which, despite the name, is not an institute of higher learning) revolves around and innovative controller. Equipped with a 6.2-inch LCD touch-screen, a camera, a microphone and an accelerometer, the controller acts as a sort of fusion of a gamepad, tablet PC and a handheld gaming system.

The system will allow players to transfer games from their TV to the controller seamlessly, something that will be handy for families with a single TV. In other words, Johnny won't need to turn off his Super Mario Bros. outing so that dad can watch the Cowboys game.
Nintendo also ran video demos showing off some of the ways in which the controller will interact with the console. Players will be able to ‘sling' elements from the controller to the TV, such as using the touch screen to throw shurikens at targets on their HD set.

The Wii U will give Playstation and XBox a run for their money, I predict.