One day prior to their official press conference for E3 2012, Nintendo held a special presentation from Japan that unveiled some new details about the Wii U and more specifically its tablet controller.
For starters, President Satoru Iwata revealed that Nintendo has renamed the Wii U tablet to the “Wii U Gamepad”. The reveal also confirmed leaked information from last week that highlighted the Gamepad’s analog sliders being changed to full-on analog sticks. Additionally, each stick can also be pressed down to work as a button.
Other functionality for the Wii U Gamepad included the confirmation of what the leaked Rayman Legends video showed, which was the ability of the Gamepad to interact with an object placed on its surface to create some sort of in-game effect. There is a small square on the left side of the controller’s surface which is where the object would be placed. As expected, the controller will also feature gyro and motion sensors.
The Wii U Gamepad also has a new button that is fund near the Power button: the TV Control button. That button will let users turn the controller into a TV remote, while also having the ability to send a TV image onto the controller’s screen and vice versa.
Now for something a little bit different in relation to social interaction…
Nintendo teased the new “Miiverse”, which will function as a hub where players can interact with each other and see what other friends are playing. However, aside from this sort of general use, Miiverse will also allow players to share screenshots and message, even while playing a game. Hand-written notes such as those from Swapnote (on the 3DS) can also be created and shared. What’s more important, is that Miiverse will be accessible not just on the Wii U, but also on the Nintendo 3DS, via PC and smartphones, using an app connected to the Nintendo Network.
Another demo showed how one could use the Gamepad’s built-in camera to start a video chat with another gamer that was found in a forum/chat stream, almost resembling Twitter, to ask for tips on a game that the player had information on.
Finally, Nintendo showed off a new controller, dubbed the Wii U Pro controller, which resembles the Xbox 360’s controller. One could take that as cementing the Xbox 360 controller as the best one in town, so it’s nice to see Nintendo essentially agree. The controller was shown in black as seen below.
Nintendo’s E3 presser takes place Monday morning, so stay tuned for full details!