During the pre-E3 Nintendo Direct conference today, Nintendo spent a great deal of time detailing the Wii U’s online functionality, as well as its controllers.
With Nintendo’s previous home console, the Wii, the company missed out on a great opportunity to have a built-in online aspect. With the Wii U, Nintendo has supposedly fixed this by introducing “the Miiverse.” The Miiverse launches when the system is powered on; it shows the Miis of you, your friends and family, and people who have been playing the same games and applications as you. From there, you can communicate with other players in a variety of ways. The feature allows you to use standard text chatting (Though you’re also given the ability to draw pictures and messages), as well as video chatting via the Wii U GamePad’s front-facing camera. The Miiverse also allows you to capture screenshots of whatever game you’re playing and share them with your friends. The Miiverse is accessible at any time during gameplay, and will be available on the Nintendo 3DS, mobile devices, and PC some time after the Wii U’s launch.
If you’ve been following news of the console, you may recall that an image of a supposed Wii U controller redesign was released via a Traveller’s Tale employee. Nintendo confirmed that the redesign is in fact final, and that the controller has been titled “the Wii U GamePad.” The square-shaped button located below the directional pad is used for swapping gameplay video between the television and the GamePad. In addition to the redesign, the company announced the Wii U Pro Controller, which is similar in design to a traditional wing-grip controller.
Expect much more news from Nintendo this Tuesday, when they are expected to reveal brand new games for both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS; you can see our predictions here. 4P will bring you all of the most exciting news from E3 2012 as it arrives, so be sure to stay tuned.