June 3, 2012

Wii U news, Final controller design and a network for Mii and U


Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, just presented some new WiiU news head of the E3 via the Nintendo Direct channel. This is a picture of the final controller design for the WiiU, dubbed the WiiU GamePad.

You will notice that there is some major differences between the final product and the prototype shown off last year at E3. The biggest change is the circle pads have been replaced with actual joysticks. The joysticks look to have come from the Wii’s Nunchuck attachment and that’s great, they were comfortable and held up well. Also the button layout has changed slightly, and I do not have a picture of it but the back as been reshaped to improve ergonomics. To the left you will see a small square, that is a NFC reader that can read cards and figures for future use. The Gamepad can also be used as a IR remote and work directly with your TV. The screen on the Gamepad is touchscreen as they showed last year and can use a stylus for hand written messages and games. You will be able to play certain games directly on the Gamepad, such as the Mario demo at last years E3, or stream your game from the TV to the controller. I know this is a little vague, but Iwata was vague in the description. They showed off the Zelda footage from last year running on the TV and then to the controller, so is the screen the OLED? How is it capable to run HD pictures on the screen? The Gamepad will include motion and gyro sensors, though we knew that last year. The WiiU will be compatible with the Nunchuck, Wii Remote and the balance board from the Wii console.

Last but not least there will be a new pro controller similar to the Classic controller Pro from the Wii. It’s name is the WiiU Pro controller and looks very similar to a certain current gen controller sans the joystick placement. the 360 controller is my controller of choice thanks to its great ergonomics and the WiiU pro is looking to be a comfortable while giving gamers what they need for long play sessions.

Finally Iwata went into great length about Miiverse, the WiiU’s network and I have to say if all goes well this could rival Microsoft’s. When you boot up the WiiU you will have the Plaza screen, which will have you, the other profiles on your console, your friends, and people that speak your language that are playing the same games as you, represented as Mii’s in the plaza. The Miiverse is more of a structured social network as well. you will be able to video and text chat from the Gamepad as well as accessing forum type channels to discuss and get hints for games from other users. There will be a browser that can be access directly from the controller and then transmitted to the screen. There will also be a browser based app for the Miiverse that could be accessed from WiiU, your computer, or even your smart phone. This app will be sometime after the console launches. The Miiverse will be able to brought up during gameplay without cancelling the game, similar to XBL.   You will also be able to take screen grabs and submit user based content, depending on the game, on the Miiverse as well. The WiiU and the 3DS will all be interconnected via the Nintendo Network which was revealed earlier this year via the 3DS and the re-branding on 3DS game cases. Nintendo structured the Nintendo Network to work with the 3DS, WiiU and other future hardware. That was the extent of what the pre-E3 press event held, which is more than enough to get me excited for Tuesday. Now, Iwata did mention that Tuesday’s briefing will be a WiiU event and there may not be any focus or news on the 3DS, but there will be in the near future. After seeing all of this, Nintendo is heading in the right direction with this console. The controller looks fantastic and having a great structured Nintendo Network is something they have needed for years. Don’t for get to keep checking back with our thoughts and opinions on all the E3 news, right here at TheGamersBlog.

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