Before I beging writing this I must say that the Game-Modo guys have been a little unsure so far on the Wii U after last year’s really disappointing E3 showcase of the Wii U.
Satoru Iwata presented a rather interesting video that lasted 30 minutes, and he revealed some information on the Wii U that really made us sit back and go, “Wow”.
Nintendo sure have been hard at work on the Wii U tablet controller, now known as the Wii U Gamepad and it has had a re-design. It now features better thumb-sticks that click (like the PlayStation 3 ones), a better layout of the buttons, a square section used to scan in NFC items and a complete backside re-design. Many people will recognise it due to a recently leaked image of the pad on Twitter. The Gamepad also features a touch screen, gyro sensors, motion control and the ability to control your TV. It actually looks a lot better than the original version.
Another interesting thing Nintendo showcased was the Wii U Pro controller. It looks really nice; it’s good that Nintendo is offering this pad because I’m sure some gamers would rather use this instead of the tablet. This opens up huge doors for Nintendo and will pull in a lot of game developers for sure. Think of maybe GTA and CoD coming the Wii U way maybe using this pad.
The Wii U will also support all the pads on the Wii including the Wiimote, nunchuk and Wii balance board.
Now this next bit totally blew us away, Nintendo have created their own social network style environment for gamers called Miiverse.
Miiverse will let players communicate with other Miis via the GamePad using the touchscreen to send text messages or written and drawn notes or as a webcam video chat device.
In one of the examples shown by Satoru Iwata, Miiverse was used by a gamer struggling to kill a zombie so he used the Wii U Gamepad to find out how to progress. He used a message board style system to find his answers and in the end decided to video call up a gamer found on the Miiverse using the Wii U Gamepad. It was really interesting and showcased the video calling functionality and the social interaction aspect of the Wii U.
Miiverse will also be accessible on 3DS, PC and on “all web-enabled mobile devices”. Satoru Iwata said that these services would become available after the Wii U launch on these devices.
One of the highlights from the Nintendo Direct presentation was when Iwata said the GamePad will “show the same graphics displayed on the TV, nothing that any existing game console can do”. Was that a small nod to Sony’s PS Vita that can’t do this? Looks like it.
This was a great showcase of the Wii U and it looks like Nintendo have been hard at work creating a social network for gamers and what looks to be an experience like no other. We have still yet more to see in the coming days from Nintendo but this is a great start.
Check out the video for more info.