IDC Cites Nintendo Wii U as Key to Console Market's Future
Running contrary to most analysts predictions regarding Nintendo's future Wii U console, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued a fresh report suggesting the machine will be a key turning point in the games industry's future.

With Nintendo having only just revealed its new Wii U console, both Sony and Apple have answered back, each revealing future projects and plans similar to those of Nintendo's.

The Nintendo Wii U

At this year's E3 expo in Los Angeles, Nintendo revealed its new Wii U console.

The Wii U is set to make several significant changes and upgrades to its Wii predecessor, chief of which will be its tablet sized touch screen controller and upgraded HD 1080p graphics.

Despite not revealing the consoles cost, release date or actual processing power, fans and critics have already taken interest in the console's new controller.

The Wii U's new remote is actually fairly similar to what the rumours hinted at. It is a large tablet like affair just smaller than the iPad, that contains a 6.2-inch touch pad on its front.

The controller also houses two circle pads on its front, a D-pad residing on its left, four additional A, B, X, and Y buttons on its right as well as two shoulder and trigger-like buttons on its top and bottom -- it also has all the standard start and select buttons. The Wii U's controller is also set to feature motion controls.

In addition to the above, as was expected, the controller will be able to stream games from the console, letting the user play them even if the TV that the console is plugged into is being used for other things.

The PlayStation Vita

Announced just before Nintendo's Wii U at Sony's E3 press conference, the PlayStation Vita is Sony's forthcoming new portable console.

In a meeting with Develop, SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuehi Yoshida revealed that Sony had been toying with the idea of a similar multi-screen approach to gaming using the Vita and PlayStation 3.

"Already people are starting to ask about linking Vita and PS3 to do something similar, in terms of using two screens, and having controls on the screen.

"Lots of the things that developers of Vita games are doing, as you may have seen, is experimenting with connectivities between Vita and PS3... The Wipeout team came up with their cross play ideas, and the other Vita teams have come up with ways of playing with two systems.

"It's just a matter of time, as we provide the SDKs to developers so they can make use of both PS3 and Vita, and they might come up with something interesting."

Apple's iPad

Apple have also revealed similar plans for multi-screen gaming. One of the key aspects of its recently revealed iOS 5 operating system will be its new AirPlay Mirroring feature.

The feature will allow users to pair their iPad with an Apple TV. When done the AppleTV will output a game to the HDTV it is plugged into. The iPad as well as being the games controller will also reportedly, like the Wii U, be used to display further information on its own screen.

Mobile studio Firemint has already confirmed its plans to release a game using AirPlay Mirroring.

Is this a good idea?

When the original Wii came out both Sony and Microsoft rushed to create motion controls for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

It seems now history is repeating itself, though this time with Sony and Apple -- Microsoft seems content to continue focusing on its own Kinect peripheral at this juncture.

The trouble is, it's still questionable whether consumers want the Wii U's new form of multi-screen gaming.

The fact that Nintendo's stock value actually hit a new five-year low just after the Wii U was unveiled would certainly indicate otherwise.