Nintendo this evening gave fans a little peak into the Wii U hardware and functionality by showing off the full idea of what the hardware can do, without actually showing any of the games or the heart of what will be their E3 press conference on Tuesday. First and foremost the controller for the Wii U is a little different, here is a look.
The analogs have been raised to a similar design as those found on the Wii nunchuk controller. As you can also see the size of the controller has been expanded to offer more comfort to gamers’ hands when playing the controller, as grips were added to the back of the device. They are officially calling this the Wii U Gamepad, with inspiration for the name coming from the classic NES gamepad. Along with this they also announced a Wii U Pro Controller.
This is a controller offering for those who are not using the Wii U GamePad, and do not want to use the Wii Remote. As you can see the design is very similar to an XBOX 360 controller, only switching locations between the face buttons and the second analog. It also features bumpers and triggers just like the 360 controller.
On top of all this Nintendo also showed off ideas of their online network for the Wii U, as well as the other Nintendo devices known as Miiverse. It is apart of the Nintendo Network and turns your online experience almost into a social networking experience.
What you see before you is the home screen for the Wii U (as seen from the GamePad screen). All the Miis you see are ranged from the Miis on your console, the Miis of your friends, Miis from people in your country, and Miis who speak the same language as you. Their Miis will gather under the icons of various games they are playing and icons will be made as Miis play new games, eve if you are not playing them yourself. The Miiverse will be a place people can share comments and hand drawn messages about the game, and can serve as almost an ever active strategy guide.
The example Nintendo showed was a man playing a Zombie game and getting stuck on a boss. He opened the Miiverse for that specific game and posted a comment about how he could not beat the boss. Another gamer posted a tip and he tried it, when it didn’t work he was able to call that person and have a web chat with them to further explain the tip. He then proceeded to use the further detailed information to finally beat the boss. Another example was for a Super Mario game where Miis left comments for each individual level.
Obviously things like this can cause spoiler issues which Iwata did mention, there may be opportunities to flag or report the issues, it was unclear to hear if he mentioned it as my audio was out of sync on the broadcast. Furthermore Nintendo did also discuss the capability of using the Wii U GamePad screen to display your game when using the TV for other use. They recommended it’s use for more casual games and not the hardcore ones that require use of the GamePad screen.
More of the event was used to show off things we already saw last year. It does show great potential and I want to see these features used in actual games. Luckily we only have to wait a few days as the Nintendo Conference (with promised gaming showcases) is Tuesday.