Nintendo Reveals Wii U Redesigned
E3–the electronics expo–is getting underway, and in attempt to get the jump on Microsoft and Sony press events, Nintendo has revealed their newly redesigned Wii U controller. Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata showed off the goods on their new HD system in a half-hour long video.
Enter the officially titled “Wii U GamePad”, the touchscreen tablet that is used to control Wii U games. Boasting an improved design from the prototype Nintendo demoed at last year’s E3, the biggest new feature is that it now has two analog sticks.
Besides the clickable sticks, the back of the tablet has been redesigned to jut out (like the 360 controller) to be more ergonomic and the analog sticks moved over a bit to the edge to make it easier to get a handle on. That little spot on the left side of the GamePad is a NFC Reader/Writer that allows you to scan cards or figures to for downloadable game content. The bottom right of the controller features TV controls, that not only let you power on and control the Wii U, but also allow you to use the GamePad as a TV or cable remote.
Nintendo seeks to emphasize all the new gameplay experiences they’ll have to offer with the extra screen, showing a lot of gimmicky sequences where you use it to see a ball that you hit in golf, or to catch a fly ball in a baseball game. The screen will allow you to play games even when the TV is in use since it can stream from the system with no lag.
For hardcore gamers, Nintendo also offers the Wii U Pro Controller, that looks almost exactly like an Xbox 360 controller and better for hours of serious gaming.
Nintendo also announced the Miiverse, the new Nintendo online network. On it you can see how many people are playing games, exchange actual notes (using the touchpad to write), video chat and even communicate with friends while playing offline games. Nice to see Nintendo finally focusing on the online experience, although it’s obviously playing catch-up to what Microsoft and Sony have already done.
Is it enough to get gamers excited about a Nintendo system? We’ll find out soon. Check the full video out below (and grit yourself for one goofy commercial) to prepare for lots more on the Wii U this week via E3: