The Wii U is part tablet, and part gaming controller, and it's coming in 2012.
Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage at E3 2011 to speak about the 3DS, but he closed by revealing the name of Nintendo's new console. If "Wii" was "We," Nintendo wanted to focus on everyone else: "You."
So the new console is now "Wii U." Gesundheit.
As rumored, the Wii U controller has a tablet-like screen, which can be used as a touchpad, or it can even stream games directly from the TV - so if your family wants to watch something else, you can let them have the boob tube and play it on your controller.
You can use it as a golf tee, or play board games on it - or put it on your Wii Zapper as a gunsight. The controller has a 6.2-inch touch screen, dual analog circle pads, motion controls, speakers, a microphone, a gyroscope and an inward facing camera. The controller isn't a standalone game system - it gets all its data wirelessly from the Wii U - although you will be able to play some games on it directly without a TV and use multiple controllers.
Good news: The Wii U is backwards compatible with all Wii games.
Better news: There are a slew of games - some even core - coming out for the new console at launch. More information on that here.