Nintendo Details Wii U Features

Ahead of its E3 presentation on Tuesday, Nintendo is holding an online video presentation right now via Nintendo Direct to discuss its upcoming Wii U system. We will be covering the major points below (refresh once in a while for new updates).

  • Nintendo first started discussing the Wii U in 2008. The goal of the system is to unite people.
  • Wii U Game Pad Controller - Before and After The Wii U Game Pad is the name of the system’s new tablet controller. Last year at E3 2011, its prototype version was shown, but it now has a slightly different button layout, different joysticks (which are clickable), and a more ergonomic backing.
  • In addition to using it to play your games, you can use the game pad as a universal remote for your television.
  • The game pad serves as an extension of the games you play on your television. For example, you can point the game pad at your television and fling objects by launching them from the game pad to the television screen. The game pad can detect where it is in relationship to your TV screen and has motion and gyro sensors.
  • As is obvious, the Wii U will feature much more powerful HD graphics.
  • You can put the game pad in front of your television and see the portion of the television you are covering up on the game pad (to use an example, it’s like holding a clear piece of glass in front of your TV, except, of course, you can interact with it using the controller). This is useful for targeting or tracking objects on the TV screen with the game pad controller.
  • You can continue playing your Wii U games on the game pad when the TV is being used for something else (like when you’re trying to battle someone in Battle Revolution over Wi-Fi and your bratty brother walks in and abruptly changes the TV to Disney Channel).
  • There is no lag between what is displayed on the game pad and what is displayed on the TV screen.
  • Wii U Game Pad Controller - Before and After A classic controller, the Wii U Pro Controller, will be available for the system and is meant for extended play.
  • The Wii U system will be compatible with all previous Wii controllers.
  • “Mii Wara Wara” is the name of the Wii U’s menu screen that you see when you first turn it on (“wara wara” is the commotion of a crowd). It shows all of your Miis, your friends’ Miis, and which games your friends are currently playing. It also shows which of Nintendo’s games are popular by how many Miis are standing next to them (even games you do not own – perfect for marketing!). This entire feature is collectively referred to as “Miiverse.”
  • Wii U Miiverse Also apart of Miiverse is the ability to video conference, “text message,” hand write, and draw pictures to send to your Wii U friends via the game pad.
  • You can take screenshots of your games and share them with your friends. Some game content can even be sent.
  • Even if you’re playing a single player game, you will never be alone, as the game pad serves as a “social window” from which you can communicate with your online friends. You can even see what your friends have to say about levels you are trying to beat – you can see notes they have left behind. Miiverse will thus be integrated into the games themselves.
  • For developers, it is hinted that they can create multiplayer games where the game pad controllers of each player serve different functions.
  • The social elements of Miiverse will be available not only on the Wii U, but on your 3DS, your computer, and even mobile devices (i.e. your iPhone, iPad, etc.). It will not immediately be available for the latter devices.
  • The game pad also serves as a web browser. When you want to share content from the game pad on your TV, you can add a blue curtain over it before you display it. As you are about to reveal the content and raise the curtain, you will hear fanfare as well.
  • All in all, the Wii U will connect you to your friends more than ever before, the game pad does everything the Wii U can, the game pad extends the action of the TV screen into your hands, the game pad can sync up with your TV display and vice versa, and the game pad features the major functions of popular tablets today (like the iPad) such as web browsing, messaging, video conferencing, etc. It is a sort of “lite” iPad that can’t leave your living room. The relationship between the game pad and the TV screen is fluid and dynamic.

I will be attending Nintendo’s E3 conference on Tuesday in Los Angeles where they will apparently be discussing new software titles for the Wii U. If there’s anything Pokemon-related announced (doubtful), I’ll of course post the information right away.