Mr. Iwata is all on his own, bless him, to discuss Wii U and what is different from when we saw the system originally this time last year. In terms of the console itself, er, nothing at all. But the controller! Well, we’ve got absolutely stunning screen grabs for you to drool over while we explain what they all mean. Read on
First things first, the Wii U GamePad is now the official name for the systems tablet controller. It now features two analogue sticks instead of the 3DS circle pads from the original design. Iwata went on to explain the originally went with the circle pads as they would fit the system as a ‘tablet’. Obviously, the word disagreed and they’ve now been replaced. Also, the sticks can be clicked as a button..welcome to 2006 Ninty…
To the left of the screen there is an outline of a box just underneath the D-Pad. This is the near field communication interface is placed. So yes, plenty of Skylanders to get excited about folks! Finally, the Gamepad can be used as a remote for your TV. Yeah, that’s pretty sweet I think. Could just be me though?
One thing that was mentioned that of course we already knew but still worth a mention: The Wii U Gamepad has a touchscreen along with motion and gyro sensors, along with throwing an almighty ‘ASYMETRIC DIVERSITY’ gauntlet down, discussing implications of having different screens with different abilities for different players. Iwata opened this by saying many people are used to the double screen because of the DS series, but the Wii U is different / more dynamic because the relationship between the two is not fixed. So by using more intuitive motions, players of all skill levels will be able to play together with minimal fuss. Which is nice.
This is all possible due to the improved graphics processor of the hardware which we’ll learn more about at the full presentation this week.
Bringing back one of the highlights of the very original Wii U video last year and despite concerns and reports saying otherwise, you will still be to continue playing on the Gamepad when the TV screen is being used for other screenings, and threw down a challenge to other developers claiming players will see high quality graphics on the TV, and these images will be displayed on the GamePad without delay, something ‘no existing game devices can do’. Take that Microsoft/Sony.
One of the more surprising announcements (though expected and very Nintendo, when we think about it) was the announcement of this incredibly sexy Wii U Pro controller. Similar to the original Wii’s Classic Controller idea, if you’re really not into playing games on their GamePad you have the option to play with this controller instead. Check it out below:
“Some people will wonder if Wii U is a simple evolution of Wii or something entirely different. I think maybe the correct answer is both” said Iwata, going onto say the most memorable experiences with the Wii came from when people played it together, which I suppose is something we can all vouch for. He goes onto to say the Wii U does exactly what the Wii did, only better. Also, something entirely new.
This is where it got all very E3. A truly mindbendingly horrible clip started playing showing a dude in his house playing Wii U on some pretty gory looking zombie game (intentional move by Nintendo to throw a more mature game clip in there?) and getting stuck and crying like a little bitch about it all over his house. I’m presuming he doesn’t have a girlfriend, anyway. It’s here though, that the video got interesting. Despite this guys horrible acting, the Wii U controller asks him what his mood is. A list of emoticons appears and he pics the sad face. He then proceeds to check posts from other players who have been struggling to beat the boss also. He calls his even more annoying friend who offers him advice, but then ignores it as another online player has helped him figure it out.
He gets told to use the ‘scanner’ to locate his weak spot. It doesn’t work, what happens next, is pretty darn cool..
He connects his GamePad to a cradle which is placed under his television and calls his grandfather for a video chat about the game. From here they have a little chat and he gets more advice, he then disconnects the Wii from the cradle and jumps straight back into the game where he left it. Now, that’s pretty sweet if you ask me.
“I think you may agree that was a little different,” Iwata says. “I hope you liked it.” Well, I hated the video, but what we saw of what Wii U and what it is capable of was pretty sweet. Oh, and in this video we saw a Black Wii U.
Next up is the Wii U menu people see when its powered on. The developers of the system have been calling it Mii Wara Wara. Roughly translated, it refers to the noise created by a crowd of people. You begin to see what he means when the menu loads up.
The Mii Wara Wara will feature your Mii along with your friends Miis and Miis of players who are currently online in your country. The GamePad at this time will show a familiar lineup of games and applications, while the TV screen will show a bunch of games and the Mii’s of people who are currently playing that game. Terrific. To this end, it will show people which games are popular right now. The MiiVerse (as Iwata now refers to it) is a universe of Miis. A Mii Universe. A MiiVerse. See?
Communication between Miis can occur with simple text messages, but the players can also write with their hands and the stylus. Iwata went onto say he has problems reading the channel guide from across the room, however handwritten notes and doodles from the supposedly built in Flipnote Studio application can be easier to read. You can also send screenshots of the game you are playing along with game content to your buddies. No mention of Friend Codes just yet, fingers crossed it pops up on Tuesday.
All of these Miiverse features are exclusive to the platform, and can be found from all Wii U games directly from the home button whilst playing. Sweet. Developers will also have a chance to incorporate Wiiverse features in their games should they so choose. Iwata has said they will work to prevent spoilers in Wiiverse, but they want to create a level of ’empathy’ between players. Yeah, cus gamers are normally such a friendly bunch, aren’t they? Finally, Iwata mentioned that even in single player players can connect with each other, ‘regardless of space or time’. The Doctor is in, indeed. It’s here we also saw very brief glimpses of a 2D Mario Wii U title, with its own world map covered in Miiverse comments from other users.
The key features of MiiVerse are more or less browser based though, so a big announcement was that the components will be able to be accessed from your 3DS, PC or any web-enabled smartphone/tablet/Vita. The social elements are also designed to be incorporated into future Nintendo devices. Intriguing, it appears Nintendo are camping in the Miiverse for the long haul.
Finally, Iwata was discussing the Internet Browser which is found on the GamePad. Players can share what they’re looking at with other people in the room should you be so inclined to desperately show them a superb new porno you’ve found. To add that extra level of flash, players can add spotlights and drawn curtains before the content is revealed. I love that, it’s so Nintendo. Brilliant.
From there, Iwata took a bow and invited us all to join him on Tuesday, where they will present even more regarding the Wii U along with some 3DS announcements.
Take a look at the full briefing below:
What did you think then? Are you happy with the changes made to the controller? What do you think of Miiverse? Let us know below, and also check out a myriad of screengrabs we er, grabbed, for you below.
That’s all for tonight, cheers for sticking around! Get commenting.