THQ has announced the launch of a new peripheral for the Nintendo Wii console, the uDraw GameTablet, a device that will allow gamers to draw images on-screen.
The hardware add-on, which clips onto a Wiimote, is set for release in North America in November this year and Europe in early 2011, with the Wii market - although linked by some analysts and observers as one of the key reasons for the industry's year-on-year revenue declines - experiencing "an exciting time," according to executive VP of THQ's Kids, Family, Casual Games and Global Online Services Martin Good.
The peripheral will launch alongside a Wii version of Pictionary, as well as uDraw Studio and Doo's Big Adventure, with price points expected to be confirmed shortly.
"In developing the uDraw GameTablet, we wanted to deliver a gameplay experience that would offer families a unique and fun way to play with the Wii," Good explained to GamesIndustry.biz.
"Pictionary was a natural fit for the uDraw GameTablet as it's a game people have known and loved for years, and by marrying the two, we are offering families an entirely new and entertaining way to play the game.
"This is an exciting time for the Wii market," he added. "With the introduction of the uDraw GameTablet, THQ is providing an entirely new and unique way for kids and families to play with the Wii, while further enhancing what Nintendo has already done in expanding the world of videogames to new audiences.
"Nintendo also said on Wednesday [last week] that the company has sold 74 million Wii units worldwide as of June 2010 - selling faster than the PlayStation 2 from Sony."
As well as a strong console installed base, the uDraw GameTablet will also benefit from a solid marketing campaign.
"We are conducting a multi-million dollar global marketing campaign in support of the uDraw GameTablet that will include TV advertising, PR, online and social media initiatives, and more," he explained.
"Nintendo is also providing great support in terms of publicly endorsing uDraw and working closely with us to help make sure we maximize the launch. The campaign will communicate how uDraw opens a world of inspiration to create, play and share on the Nintendo Wii."
The launch of the device took place during Gamescom week, with further announcements from developers and publishers set to unfold over the next few days.