The Wii U is a video game console from Nintendo and the successor to the Wii. The system was released on these dates: November 18, 2012, in North America; November 30, 2012, in the PAL regions; and on December 8, 2012, in Japan. As the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles, it directly 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 Wii U's primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen. Each software title may be designed to utilize this touchscreen as being supplemental to the main TV, or as the only screen for Off-TV Play. Each game may support any combination of the GamePad, the Wii Remote, the Wii Nunchuk, the Wii Balance Board, or Nintendo's more classically shaped Wii U Pro Controller.
The system is backward compatible with Wii software; this mode also utilizes Wii-based controllers, and it optionally offers the GamePad as its primary Wii display and motion sensor bar.