Revealed at last.
At the end of Nintendo’s press conference today, Reggie finally brought up Nintendo’s new console, which has been given a proper name: Wii U. Reggie said that the name came about as the game was custom-made for “you”. He then revealed the first images of the controller.
Nintendo then showed a trailer of the Wii U in action, showing a player playing the system via the controller’s 6.2″ screen while another person used the TV to watch baseball. Also shown was the stylus function, which offers a drawing mode, as well as social games like Reversi. The controller’s motion controls were also shown off, along with its sensor bar capability, as a player used the controller along with a Wii Remote to drive a golf ball. The controller was also incorporated into a “new” Wii U Zapper as an aiming sight. Video calls are also possible using the Wii U controller, as well as magnification for browsing, or sending video to the TV.
Iwata took the stage to provide some more details about the Wii U system, mentioning that one motivation for the screen was to allow the players to play without having to use a TV, as shown in the video. The controller has a touch screen, sensor bar, microphone, gyroscope, camera, rumble, and more; Nintendo wants the Wii U to support as many games as developers can design, and gave it many features as a result. The system was not designed to be portable, however; all images from the controller screen are generated from the Wii U system, and cannot be produced by the controller itself. Nintendo hopes to create a bond between gamers, their families, and the Internet; the system allows for video chat, video sharing, Internet browsing, and more.
Miyamoto returned onstage in the form of a translated video, talking about how the Wii U can be used for gaming. He claims that there will be “no shortage of ideas”, and that developers will be able to come up with many gameplay ideas that Nintendo hasn’t thought of. A full Wii U “Iwata Asks” interview with Shigeru Miyamoto will be available online soon at Nintendo’s website. Iwata then announced that Nintendo and Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai had worked together to develop a new Super Smash Bros. game for both the 3DS and Wii U simultaneously, but was not able to offer many details on the project. A short video of a bird among cherry blossoms was then shown, offering a look at the impressive graphical prowess of the Wii U.
Reggie then came back onstage to talk about how E3-goers would be able to play interactive Wii U demos at the show this week. One game was New Super Mario Bros. Mii, which is essentially New Super Mario Bros. Wii with Mii characters transplanted in; another was Shield Pose, which forces players to move the controller around to block attacks. Chase Mii was also on show, wherein four players with Wii Remotes tried to chase down a player with a Wii U controller. Another demo had two Wii Remote players trying to shoot down someone with a Wii U controller, floating above in a spaceship.
Reggie then announced Lego City Stories, in development for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in collaboration with TT Games. Afterward, he showed a trailer featuring industry figures like Peter Moore and Warren Spector talking about the possibilities of Wii U. Darksiders 2, Dirt, Aliens Colonial Marines, Tekken, Batman Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, Metro Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online were all announced as in development for Wii U, followed by trailers for several of these titles.
As a final perspective, Nintendo brought John Riccitiello from EA games onstage to talk about the Wii U. He said that Nintendo’s new console speaks directly to the players of EA Games and EA Sports, and has an open online functionality, with downloadables, leaderboards, and easy match finding. Behind him, games like Harry Potter, Army of Two and Battlefield flashed on the screen. Reggie finished off the presentation by talking about the uniqueness of the four existing and future Nintendo platforms, and how each brought a new innovative idea to the table.
Currently, no release date or price is known for the new system. Impressions of the Wii U will be made available during the show, as we get our hands on the system. More information from Nintendo can be found via the Nintendo Network, at e3.nintendo.com.
The audience was very impressed with the various gameplay methods the Wii U was capable of, and I’m pretty intrigued myself. I just hope that developers use this to add on to highly substantial games, instead of treating it in a more gimmicky fashion. The graphics were quite impressive, though, and frankly that was odd to see from a Nintendo machine. Might have to get used to Nintendo having a highly capable system.