“Creating Something Unique”
Ahead of the rush of conferences on Monday, Nintendo slipped in their surprise presentation to show off some of the ideas behind their upcoming console the Wii U. With Satoru Iwata taking presenting duties, we got a preview of what to expect from the Nintendo presentation on Tuesday.
A large portion of the video focused on explaining the philosophy behind the design of the console, with the phrase “creating something unique” being at the forefront of ideas thrown at the audience. “Uniting people, whether in the same room or great distance” was something that Nintendo are hoping to achieve with the Wii U, addressing the observed problem that technology (specifically tablets and smartphones) was creating an unintentional segregation of social groups best described as “alone together.”
Enter the Wii U GamePad, the tablet controller that was unveiled last year, as the presentation went on to explain in detail the functionality of the device. As demonstrated last year, the TV button on the controller will be able to switch the visuals between the GamePad and the TV screen, but it was confirmed that users will be able to flick between TV channels like a traditional remote control. Also highlighted were the gyro and motion sensors in the GamePad, as well as the inclusion of traditional analogue sticks which are pressable, replacing the 3DS-esque slider pads found on the prototype. Examples of the Wiimote being used in tandem with the GamePad that were shown last year were also given to remind us of some of the fuctionality that could be achieved.
Another introduction was made for the Wii U Pro Controller, which looks remarkably similar to the Xbox 360 controller, which will be an optional extra for those wishing to experience gaming in a more traditional manner.
We then got a horribly acted and incredibly cheesy sequence that built up to the reveal of the Miiverse; a “social window” that can provides information to users and be used to communicate with other players, even when playing a game without interrupting the action. Posting hand-written notes, screenshots, and user-made content on a message board system was confirmed, and it was announced that Miiverse will be native to the system, so all games will be compatible. It was explained that Nintendo plans to eventually move Miiverse outside of the Wii U to PC and mobile devices after the launch of the console.
The horribly acted sequence did manage to redeem itself by demonstrating the use of the GamePad as a webcam to make a video call with another user.
Also demoed was the main menu of the Wii U, titled Mii Wara Wara (translated as the Japanese description of the noise of large crowds.) A tile system for individual games and apps was shown, and it was confirmed that Miis local on the system, those on a user’s friends list, and those enjoying the same games around the world would appear on the start screen in the background, along with messages from the Miiverse popping up as well. The presentation closed with the announcement of the Nintendo Network, which would provide a way for connecting the Wii U and 3DS together, along with future consoles.
Although we got a brief hint at a look at what the Mario title on the system would be like (2D action with a Mario Land-esque map) that was pretty much all the info we got from the Pre-show. It certainly gave us an idea where Nintendo will expand to when it finally takes to the industry’s biggest stage on Tuesday, with Iwata stating that the Wii U will be the primary focus of their presentation but the 3DS would not be swept aside completely. We will be sure to keep you updated on any further news as we move ever closer into the E3 madness. If you fancy watching the 30 minute presentation for yourselves, we’ve embedded it below for your viewing pleasure.