Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 Wrap-up: Wii U’s GamePad, the Pro Controller, and the Miiverse

Kicking off E3 2012, Nintendo released a video presentation to properly introduce the Wii U and its hardware to the public. Showing off an updated and newly-named GamePad, a new controller designed for extended play, and a new approach to social gaming, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata addressed fans worldwide with the promise that Nintendo was “creating something unique.” Here are the highlights from Nintendo’s Pre-E3 presentation.

 

The Final Design for the Wii U GamePad

Wii U GamePad

Iwata first talked about the changes made to the Wii U GamePad (yes, that’s the official name) since Nintendo’s E3 2011 presentation. The original design sported circle-pads like the 3DS, but after playing with some prototypes, Nintendo decided circle-pads were not the best option for controlling console games. The Wii U GamePad now features clickable joysticks similar to the ones found on the Wii’s Classic Controller, and curved the back of the device a bit more for added comfort.

Another new addition to the GamePad is an NFC Reader/Writer. When you place a special “card or figurine” on the NFC reader (that small rectangle to the left of the screen), the reader will pick up “relevantĀ data” and transmit it to the game. This explains the use of figurines in Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends trailer, where real-world objects added power-ups and unlocked levels in the game.

Finally, the Wii U GamePad can also be used to control your TV and cable, even while the Wii U is off. You can use the GamePad to turn on your TV or the Wii U, and perform basic functions like selecting channels, changing the volume, and navigating the cable guide.

WiiU GamePad TV Remote

 

The Pro Controller

WiiU Pro Controller

Nintendo mentioned last year that you’ll be able to use the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, and Balance Board with the Wii U. In the interest of making multiplatform development a bit easier and giving hardcore gamers something suited for longer play, Nintendo unveiled the Wii U’s Pro Controller. As you can see, it’s a bit…familiar to those who have ever held the Wii’s Classic Controller or an Xbox 360 controller.

 

The Miiverse

Finally, Nintendo demonstrated a new social system called The Miiverse. The Miiverse looks like an expanded Mii Plaza, and appears on both your television and the GamePad. There, the Miiverse pulls in Miis on your system and your friends’ Miis and groups them by the last game they played or currently playing. The system will also include other people who are playing the game, and allows users to share comments and sketches. Entering a game’s group lets you to share comments and sketches with other players based on where you are in the game. You can also video chat with other players, and allow their comments and feedback to pop up during gameplay.

Iwata also said that you’ll be able to browse the Miiverse and your friends’ activity on your 3DS and web-enabled mobile devices in the future.

That’s it for Nintendo’s Pre-E3 conference! What do you think? Will you use the GamePad or the Pro Controller, and what do you think about the Miiverse? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to visit GamerNode daily throughout E3 for news and hands-on previews from the show floor!

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Author: Dan McKenney View all posts by

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