Nintendo released a video, before its E3 presentation on Tuesday, revealing new information about the upcoming Wii U game console, including details about the system’s touch-screen controller and the Wii U GamePad.
In the video, embedded below, Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata illustrates how Wii U will revolutionize how people connect with games, each other and entertainment through the system’s unique and integrated second-screen controller. The press release sent to me summarizes some of the features of the upcoming Nintendo system:
New ways to play: With the television and the Wii U GamePad working as two integrated screens, Wii U creates unique possibilities for gaming, allowing “asymmetric” game play where each player can have different goals, challenges and views within the same shared gaming experience.
Nothing new here. The Wii U GamePad has a built-in screen that can show different information than your T.V. Fast forward the video, below, to 12:40 for a great dramatization of how the Wii U will work.
Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
With Miiverse, if you get stuck in a game you can ask Miiverse community for help directly from the GamePad. No more do you need to search the internets like a mad man. Just ask for help. At least the video makes it seem that easy. You’ll also meet some strange old people on Miiverse; I learned that from the dramatization too.
The video also shows a Mario game. On the map part of the game, you can see Miis on different worlds. Comment bubbles appear over their heads with different statuses. Although it’s cool to feel this connected with other Wii U players, it becomes much harder to avoid spoilers.
Wii U GamePad controls: In addition to the previously announced touch-screen and motion controls, the Wii U GamePad was redesigned and improved from its reveal in 2011. The new form factor offers players dual analog stick controls and can be used as a remote control for users’ TVs, even while the Wii U console is turned off. Nintendo also announced availability of the Wii U Pro Controller as a separate peripheral.
Yup, new design for the Wii U GamePad. Check out these pictures, taken from the video:
And we can’t forget the new Wii U Pro GamePad:
Wii compatibility: All game discs for the Wii system are compatible with Wii U, and the system will support controllers for the Wii system.
No surprise here.
One interesting, uh, feature of the Wii U; it lets you hide what you are looking at in the browser. Normally the browser is displayed on the GamePad and your T.V. By “pulling the curtains” on the T.V. screen, the display on the controller is hidden from everyone else. Take that literally; curtains appear on the T.V., like you’re at a live play during intermission. So now if you’re looking at something… not family friendly, you can hide it from the rest of the living room.
Really, what else can this be used for? It seems you can only “pull the curtains” on the browser. So what else would you want to hide when surfing the ‘net?
Additional information about Wii U will be revealed at the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific time (noon EST) on Tuesday, June 5.