Nintendo's Wii U Pre-E3 2012 Presentation Highlights
Nintendo's surprise pre-E3 conference was today, and while mostly it focused on a few revamped features of the Wii U from what was shown last year at its unveiling, there were a few surprises that make the company's Tuesday showing even harder to wait for.
First up were controls, with the circle pads of 2011's version being switched out for traditional thumbsticks. These give the Wii U GamePad a similar layout to competing controllers, with the main difference being the touchpad in the middle of the controller. Also, the + directional pad and A,B,X,Y buttons have been moved nearer to the touch screen, and an enhanced rear grip has been included for a more ergonomic playing experience.
Interestingly, the Wii U GamePad has the ability to be turned on independently from the console, and was shown being used as a remote control for a TV. Also, a sensor on the lower left corner will be able to read data from objects, similar to the sensor bundled with Skylanders or shown in the leaked Rayman Legends Trailer.
For those who don't want to buy more than one tablet, or for those that want to focus on multiplatform core titles, the Wii U Pro Controller was revealed. The controller looks very much like an Xbox 360 controller from the picture shown, down to the placement of the bumpers. However, the thumbstick on the right has been moved up, making the controller have the same layout as the tablet. The controller is also being touted as something more attractive for longer, intense gaming.
Nintendo is incorporating social media into the system also. But, unlike other console makers, it's creating everything from scratch and not using existing social networks from what was shown. Everything seems to be Mii-centric, with the system's menu grouping all Mii's on the system, as well as those of friends and even the Mii's of other player's in your region or who who speak the same language that enjoy the same titles as you.
Additionally, games can be interrupted to send messages to other players. Examples given included asking for help through a proprietary text chat system and even using the GamePad as webcam to start up a video chat. The Nintendo Network was also mentioned, and the platform's ecosystem includes the Wii U, 3DS, computers, and any other web-enabled device. Is this Nintendo subtly announcing that they are getting into app development for smartphones?
With the features shown today, Nintendo looks as though they have all bases potentially covered this time around. However, with the system's fall launch date not being revealed, nor a game shown, the company still has an uphill battle to convince the public why they should buy the Wii U.
An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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