We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Nintendo Talks Up Wii U Game Pad, Miiverse Online Network

The gaming universe is prepping for E3, but Nintendo launched an early stealth strike

On the eve of the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles this week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata unveiled more details of the Wii U Game Pad, which confirmed details revealed in an unintentional leak leak of a photo of the device several weeks ago. The shipping version of the pad will be somewhat different in size and layout than the prototype Wii U controllers, with a slightly wider aspect ratio overall and substituting thumbsticks with a 360-degree range of motion in place of the flat, disc controllers in the prototype.

Nintendo is also moving deeper into augmented reality, only barely touched on with the 3ds portable console, with the Wii U Game Pad. The presentation included short clips including using the pad as a tee for a golf game by setting it on the floor and tossing shurikens from the pad towards the game on the HDTV with a flick of the finger.

Iwata also announced a "pro" controller quite similar in layout and 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 the Wii U.

The company is also expanding its online gaming presence with "Miiverse." Miiverse is presented on system start as a crowd of Mii avatars representing people using the Wii from around the world. Icons representing games being played also appear. In addition, real-time, twitter-like communication will be enabled between players in the network using the Wii U Game Pad's touch screen. At a later date, Nintendo will also enable Miiverse messaging on PC or any portable device with web access.

Integrating a real-time, social media network into the console and gaming experience is a logical next step forward. Gamers have interacted with each other on 3rd party networks for years, but having those interactions be a fundamental part of the Wii U environment could be very cool for gamers, but also prevent risks and challenges for Nintendo, which has classically maintained a family-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 that Nintendo "will work to prevent spoilers that ruin your game experience." No details as to how comments containing spoilers might be prevented, however.

Miiverse will support the Wii U plus the 3DS portable console, but no specific mention was made as to whether the original Wii would also be a part of the Miiverse.


IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A better deal than the Z3 and most smartphones

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Framestore recreates ancient China for Mr Bean's martial arts misadventure

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests and more