Nintendo just finished broadcasting a pre-recorded video to kick off their E3 programming. President Satoru Iwata gave viewers an overview at the new controllers, plus a glimpse at some of the Wii U’s social aspects.
First off, the now-officially-called “Wii U GamePad” has changed a bit since its E3 2011 appearance. While the majority of the prototype controller’s style was kept, Nintendo swapped out the PSP-like slide sticks for actual thumb sticks that offer more accurate control. They also can be depressed to act as an additional button. The thumb sticks have been placed closer to the edge and adjusted the contours to maximize comfort. A “TV” button was added at the bottom, allowing for basic control over your TV’s functions. Finally, a NFC reader/writer was added for future use with game cards and other accessories. Interesting concept, but I wonder how much it will actually be utilized outside of the trading card games.
Iwata repeated a few of the controller’s functions that were announced last year; such as the ability to use the GamePad separate from the TV, an internet browser, and the ability to “push” videos from the GamePad to your TV.
Read on for the full recap plus a link to the full presentation.
Nintendo also showcased a new “Pro” Controller, which strikes more than a little of the Xbox 360′s controller. Could this be the sign of Nintendo’s dedication to more “hardcore” games this time around?
It seems like Nintendo is FINALLY ready to recognize that the internet is real and everyone uses it. With the announcement of the “Nintendo Network,” Iwata explained the company’s goal of creating something that will help unite people rather than divide them, whether in the same room or thousands of miles apart.
It seems like every aspect of the Wii U is socially connected through their own “Miiverse”. For starters, the concept startup screen showcases a modified Mii Plaza with large icons for games and other functions surrounded by the Miis of other players in real-time. These Miis can offer tips or ask for help from other players around the world. One feature will be the ability to leave in-game messages for friends or other players in any game, even if that game wasn’t designed with online functionality. Another feature is a video calling service, similar to Skype.
Also, this Miiverse isn’t limited to Nintendo products; it will expand to your mobile devices and PC as well. Nintendo was never really one to team up with anyone else, so it is no surprise that they decided not to work with an already-existing social network like Facebook or Twitter to tie this in with other devices.
Iwata closed the presentation by inviting gamers to continue following Nintendo as they have many more announcements to come this week. Their stage conference will be focusing on games for the Wii U and 3DS, which is why they wanted to present the social aspects here instead.
Nintendo has already uploaded the presentation in full on their YouTube page, which you can watch right here!
One final note: There is a video during the presentation showcasing the social media aspects of the Miiverse that featured a guy talking to his friend, OctoG123, which turns out to be his grandfather. Knowing this would turn into a meme lightning fast, I instantly attempted to grab the @OctoG123 twitter handle, only for twitter to give me @OctoG1231 after confirming. Oh well, gotta be faster next time.
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