Nintendo Shows Off Wii U; Introduces GamePad, Miiverse


Posted June 3, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

Nintendo Shows Off Wii U; Introduces GamePad, Miiverse

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata showed off the Wii-U's new function in a pre E3 2012 a video released, giving the gaming world a name for the Wii U controller, showing off a newly designed secondary controller controller,and explaining the Wii U's online platform, called the "Miiverse."

The Wii U controller will be called the Gamepad, in a nod to the NES's Gamepad. The controller itself is a little larger than the prototype shown at last year's E3. As was rumored, it will feature a pair of traditional control-sticks rather than the control pads on the original version. Also of note: There's an area for near-field communication (NFC) built in, which will allow you to scan tokens or cards without having to enter codes into the Wii U. For more, including the full presentation, be sure to click inside.

The Wii U Gamepad will also function as a remote control for your television, working to control it even if the console itself isn't on. The less fancy, smaller secondary controllers look more like 360 controllers than Wiimotes, a nod to traditional, "hardcore" gamers.

Nintendo is (finally) embracing interconnectivity with the Wii U. As Iwata put it, "One of the challenges we set for outselves was creating something that will help unite people rather than divide them."

Nintendo Shows Off Wii U; Introduces GamePad, Miiverse

Iwata explained the Miiverse concept like this: "It's a place where Mii's from around the world can meet and connect. It's a network communication system that is as native to Wii U as is the Wii U Gamepad."

The Miiverse features a lobby system where Mii's will gather around the games their owners are playing, and also allow you to send messages (including drawings) to other players.The Wii U will also feature a sort of constantly updating bulletin board system that allows gamers to leave each other notes at specific points in games. It's like a built in cheat code system. Imagine notes from other users about how to beat a particularly troublesome boss. You'll also be able to use the Wii U to video chat as well.

Many of these functions will be able to be accessed with just the gamepad being turned on. "We consider the small screen on the Wii U Gamepad itself as a social window, capaable of linking player to player," Iwata said.

If you're wondering what games you'll be able to play on the Wii U, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait for a bit. Nintendo plans to devote its E3 2012 press conference to game releases.

Now that you've gotten a little bit more of an in-depth look at the Nintendo Wii U, what do you think? Are you excited to buy one?

Nintendo Shows Off Wii U; Introduces GamePad, Miiverse


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