At the end of 2012, Nintendo released the Wii U, its successor to the highly popular Wii gaming system. It is the first Nintendo home console to support high-definition graphics, and it initially released in a white "Basic" model with 8GB of storage and a black "Deluxe" model with 32GB of storage. The console's most notable feature is its controller, the Wii U GamePad, which includes a six-inch touch-screen and nine-axis motion sensors. The GamePad can act as a supplement to the main game shown on the television screen, it can display mini-games, and with certain titles, it can become the primary game screen if the television is off or in use for another purpose. The console also supports the Wii U Pro Controller, which is shaped in a more traditional style with standard buttons and control sticks. The console is backward compatible with the Wii and will support certain Wii peripherals, like the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
Nintendo began production of the Wii U in 2008, with the hope that their new system would both continue to attract the casual gamers who flocked to the original Wii and also capture the attention of core gamers, who mainly favored the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Support for HD graphics and the creation of the Nintendo Network, an online community that provides a multiplayer experience similar to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, were added to the console specifically to attract the core gaming audience.
As of January 2013, over 3 million Wii U consoles have sold worldwide, with the US selling its entire quota of 400,000 units within the first week.