Nintendo has finally lifted the final veil of secrecy on the Nintendo Wii U and beginning last night, we began learning the official features, pricing and release dates for the upcoming console for Japan, North America and Europe. As part of the North America presentation in New York earlier today, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg took to the stage to talk about his company’s plans to support the Wii U.

Some of the higher profile releases to be published by Activision include 007 Legends, Transformers Prime, Wipeout 3, Skylanders Giants and as we learned today (it was leaked before), Call of Duty: Black Ops II. For the first time ever, Call of Duty is getting a proper multiplatform variant for a Nintendo home console.

Unlike the Vita exclusive Black Ops: Declassified, the Wii U version of Black Ops 2 is being developed by Treyarch and not farmed out to another studio for a port. It will feature all of the same content as the PC/PS3/Xbox 360 versions of the game, from its nonlinear story and zombies, to its online multiplayer modes and new eSports features.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Wii U features and facts:

  • HD Experience:  The title features the most advanced textures, lighting and shadowing systems in series history, all of which are on full display on Wii U.
  • Second-Screen Gameplay: Utilizing Wii U’s second-screen experience with the Wii U GamePad, Call of Duty: Black Ops II players can join the action in a full Call of Duty experience from the second-screen.  Plus, with the state of the art Wii Touchscreen, gamers can view multiplayer maps, call in score streaks and choose loadouts.
  • Expanded Functionality: Players have the option of using Wii U’s split-screen functionality to use both the GamePad and the Wii U Pro controller. Wii U also supports up to four controllers, including the Nintendo Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
  • Controller Choices: Use the GamePad touch screen to customize controls in real-time, or switch at any time to use another controller of your choice, including:
    • Wii Remote
    • Classic Controller Pro
    • Game Pad
    • WiiU Pro Controller

Yes, “HD” is the first touted feature. Next-gen, right?

The second-screen multiplayer was demonstrated live on stage where one player has the TV and the other the GamePad, substituting for traditional splitscreen play. While it’s still in testing, the splitscreen play results in a drop in the sacred 60 FPS frame rate but that’s something Treyarch is still working to rectify before launch.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Wii U cover

To play competitively, we can’t imagine too many players opting to play Black Ops 2 with a Wii Remote and this is exactly what the Pro Controller was designed for.  The question now becomes, will anyone who’s been playing Call of Duty on the PC/PS3/Xbox 360 for years switch over (especially if it releases later on the Wii U)? Or is this Call of Duty strictly going to sell to casual gamers who are upgrading from the Wii?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 launches November 13, 2012 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. It will release sometime in the five-month launch window on the Wii U.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.