The Wii U is a home video game console created by Nintendo and the successor to the Wii. The system was released on November 18, 2012 in North America, on November 30, 2012 in PAL regions, and on December 8, 2012 in Japan. As the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles, it competes with Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.
The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support high-definition graphics. The system's primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen. The screen can be used either as a supplement to the main display (either providing an alternate, asymmetric gameplay experience, or a means of local multiplayer without resorting to a split screen), or in supported games, to play the game directly on the GamePad independently of the television. Games can support any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Balance Board, or Nintendo's more traditionally designed Classic Controller or Wii U Pro Controller for input. The Wii U is backwards compatible with most games released for the Wii. Online functionality on the Wii U centers around the Nintendo Network platform and Miiverse, an integrated social networking service which allows users to share content in game-specific communities.
- Nintendo manufactures a similar line of "Toys to Life" product known as amiibo.