Nintendo get in early on their E3 announcements with a pre-E3 presentation to introduce us to the Wii U, allowing the actual E3 press conference to concentrate on the Wii U games. Here’s what Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, had to say.
First off Mr. Iwata announced the official name of the Wii U tablet, the Wii U Game Pad, stating that they wanted to use the specific term ‘game pad’ rather than ‘joystick’ due to how consumers referred to the NES controller back in the day. Good to see Nintendo keeping with the times, eh?
Since the Wii U Game Pad was showed off at last year’s E3, several additions and changes have been made. The nubs have turned into full Actual analogue sticks that can be clicked in akin to the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers. The rear of the Wii U Game Pad has been redesigned to better fit your hands and feel more comfortable. A sensor has been added for scanning things like the Skylander toys. Mr. Iwata also shared some information on how the Wii U Game Pad will acts independently from the system. It can be used as a remote control for your TV and can show different things than the TV for what Nintendo are calling Asymmetric Diversity – which boils down to the Game Pad showing you a map whilst the game shows the action, all in HD. The Game Pad will also have motion and gyro sensors.
Mr Iwata then announced the Wii U Pro Controller which looks practically identical to an Xbox 360 controller. He also confirmed that the Wii U will be compatible with all Wii controllers and accessories.
The rest of the presentation was focused on the social aspects natively built into the system and specifically to the Game Pad. There will be a Mii message board application that looks to work in a similar fashion to Twitter. Video chat possible as well as screenshot posting, the sharing of user created content, hand written notes and drawings, and even adding emoticons to your Mii’s face. Additionally, when you start up the Wii U you’ll be greeted with the Miiverse, described as a social window where you’ll be able to see Miis from account on your system, friends, and people in your region playing specific game. Similar to the PS Vita’s near application.
Finally it was confirmed that there will be an internet browser built in and the majority of the social features will eventually be available on 3DS, PC and smart phones.
Of course there are many more questions that we’re itching to have answered by Nintendo, but this is a good start. It’s encouraging to see such relevant social application being brought into play. Roll on Tuesday where we’ll be able to see what else Nintendo have to share at their E3 conference.