On the eve of the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles this week,Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata unveiled more details of the Wii U GamePad, which confirmed details revealed in an unintentional leak of a photo of the device several weeks ago. The shipping versionof the pad will be somewhat different in size and layout than theprototype Wii U controllers, with a slightly wider aspect ratiooverall and substituting thumbsticks with a 360-degree range ofmotion in place of the flat, disc controllers in the prototype. Satoru Iwata (Source: IDGNS) Nintendo is also moving deeper into augmented reality, only barelytouched on with the 3DS portable console, with the Wii U Game Pad. The presentation included short clipsincluding using the pad as a tee for a golf game by setting it onthe floor and tossing shurikens from the pad toward the game on theHDTV with a flick of the finger. |
Iwata also announced a pro controller quite similar in layoutand shape to the controller used in Microsoft s Xbox 360. All controllers used in the original Wii, including nunchuck,handheld controller, and the Balance Board, are compatible with theWii U. The company is also expanding its online gaming presence with Miiverse. Miiverse is presented on system start as a crowd ofMii avatars representing people using the Wii from around theworld. Icons representing games being played also appear.
Inaddition, real-time, Twitter-like communication will be enabledbetween players in the network using the Wii U Game Pad stouchscreen. At a later date, Nintendo will also enable Miiversemessaging on PC or any portable device with web access. Integrating a real-time, social media network into the console andgaming experience is a logical next step forward. Gamers haveinteracted with each other on third-party networks for years, buthaving those interactions be a fundamental part of the Wii Uenvironment could be very cool for gamers, but also prevent risksand challenges for Nintendo, which has classically maintained afamily-friendly environment in its gaming experiences. Miiverse will also be accessible from within Wii U native games,including message posts in-game from players.
Iwata emphasized thatNintendo will work to prevent spoilers that ruin your gameexperience. He gave no details as to how comments containingspoilers might be prevented, however. Miiverse will support the Wii U plus the 3DS portable console, butNintendo did not say whether the original Wii will also be a partof the Miiverse. Watch the opening press conference of the 2012 E3 conference on a PCWorld liveblog on June 4.
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