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Nintendo Direct Wii U Event Round-Up

All the new details in one place.

Streaming live from a room, rather than a conference hall, Satoru Iwata – president of Nintendo – has just explained a little bit more about their upcoming Wii U console in the pre-E3 Nintendo Direct presentation.

The controller, now officially dubbed the Wii U GamePad, has been slightly redesigned, with analogue sticks, better grip and therefore more comfort, along with a few new buttons to use. There’s a TV button, for example, which allows the GamePad to be used as a television remote, allowing for easy access and controls when you’re playing the console. Another feature is the NFC reader/writer, which allows you to place items, such as cards, to be scanned – it should work similarly to Skylanders, if executed right.


The Wii U's pro controller, ideal for lengthy gaming sessions without the need for a touch screen.
As we already knew, you’re able to use the GamePad as a portable screen to display the current game, instead of your TV, but you’re also able to use it to send and receive messages. The Wii U also supports all current Nintendo controllers, such as the previous Wii Remote, and a new Wii U Pro Controller – a pad not too unlike the Xbox controller, which removes the screen and is more suited to core games.

Iwata also detailed the online features of the Wii U, now known as the Nintendo Network and – thankfully – it all looks good. In a rather rubbish video with some cheesy acting, Wii U’s sharing feature, an activity stream, was shown off. Similar to twitter, the stream allows you to post an update, which can then be accessed from mobile phones, PCs and even the 3DS (though none of these at launch, unfortunately). Responses can be made in a few ways, so if you or someone you know is stuck at a certain section in a game, a distress call can be made and someone can respond with a message or even a video call to help you out.

The Wii U’s home screen takes the online features one step further: the Miiverse, as it’s known, is a large screen filled with wandering Miis. These Miis are not only those on your console, but also your friends and even people playing similar games or those close to your location. You’re able to share updates, drawings or see groups of people playing the same game in real-time; it’s certainly more advanced than any online functionality Nintendo have dabbled with before.

Other features, including displaying the built-in internet browser on the Wii U GamePad and hiding it, amusingly and in true Nintendo fashion, with a curtain on the TV so you can reveal your surprise were shown. There appears to be a lot of great, innovative features with both the Wii U and the GamePad; it doesn’t seem like much of a gimmick and as though it could actually be something great. There looks to be a black Wii U, too, from one of the videos that was shown with a black GamePad.

Nintendo are describing the Wii U as both an evolution of the Wii and something completely different. Whilst we didn’t see any new games beyond those teased at last year’s E3, it certainly looks that way, and I’m rather excited to see the software line-up on Tuesday.

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21 Comments
  1. Cutter.T
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Interesting that they said there won’t be any 3DS games at their presser. I’m just happy the analog sticks are symmetrical.

    Comment posted on 03/06/2012 at 23:56.
    • nemesisND1derboy
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      They didn’t say that, they’re focusing on Wii U games though. They’ll still have 3DS games.

      Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:01.
      • colmshan1990
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        Snap!

        Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:01.
      • Kennykazey
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        Crackle!

        Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:01.
    • colmshan1990
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      They said they’d focus on WiiU, not that it’d be the only thing they show.

      Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:01.
    • ashw92
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      Pop

      Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:17.
      • mynameisblair
        hisnameisblair
        Since: May 2009

        Fail

        Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:29.
      • tonycawley
        Pint! Pint!
        Since: Feb 2009

        This was too funny!

        Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 02:20.
  2. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Sounds very interesting so far.

    Comment posted on 03/06/2012 at 23:59.
  3. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    That rather rubbish video was quite entertaining though.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cXfqtq_Yk0Y
    At least until you consider that this is who Nintendo think we are.

    Still, the WiiU looks very good- announce a few killer games, make it relatively cheap, and I might find the money (somehow) to stick it next to the PS3.

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:00.
  4. FigmentedReality
    Member
    Since: Jun 2012

    I’m just glad they have a normal controller now (not saying the new looks bad, just gimmicky), smart move nintendo…..

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:39.
  5. Watchful
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Oct 2008

    Are you sure you meant to put all that in one post and not split it into six in order to get more page views? :-)

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 00:47.
  6. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    I’m a bit disappointed that half the “event” was Iwata reading text scrolling out of view for the camera. Most interesting feature (apart from the pro-controller) was definately the Miiverse. Looking forward to seeing what matters at their presentation, games.

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:01.
  7. Sad Panda
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    They mentioned a whole bunch of crap that will panda to the casual crowd, nintendos version of Facebook, pathetic. Only bright spot was the new controller, not the tablet one. Hopefully this means they will release some real games without gimmicks.

    They failed to mention the 2 factors that will influence my purchase. The first being the VC, it’s existence and whether you can import your Wii VC collection. The second being, can you play your games on the tablet while someone else watches tv.

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:32.
    • mynameisblair
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      The fact that you used “panda” instead of “pander” and acted a bit sad made this one of the best comments ever.

      Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:37.
  8. skibadee
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    that controller looks awful in the hand it is way to big.

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 01:47.
    • skibadee
      Member
      Since: Oct 2009

      fisherprice kid tablet comes to mind.

      Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 07:37.
  9. October91
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    That pro wii controller might as well get them sued. 0_o It looks like they used image software to combine a PS3 and XBOX 360 controller together.

    Just Saying.

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 02:03.
  10. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    The social aspects look good but i’m still not convinced about the GamePad gameplay, for me at least. It looks even bigger in the Wiiverse trailer, did it really have to be so chunky? I thought the fact that it can relay the game to the GamePad instantly is a plus and the Tv curtain mode is a fun idea too. That pro pad though… that’s just cheeky!
    Waiting now to see what they have to show tuesday, although with Sony on before them i might not care at that point ;)

    Comment posted on 04/06/2012 at 03:10.

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