E3 2012, the biggest event in gaming is only a few hours away and we have already begun receiving details about Nintendo’s next generation console, the Wii U.
The new Nintendo Wii U GamePad (formerly known as The New Controller, or TNC) announced supports NFC (Near Field Communications). The controller has a 6.2-inch touchscreen with dedicated controller buttons around the edges. The GamePad also has motion and gyro sensors for gesture-based motion gaming. This controller is similar to the one we saw last year at E3, but with a hint of redesign.
Apart from the touchscreen tablet-like controller, there is also a Wii U Pro controller that has been announced for Nintendo’s console. The controller looks very similar to an Xbox 360 controller. This controller has probably been introduced by Nintendo to appeal to the hardcore gaming audience. It features 2 analogue sticks, face buttons, D-Pad, triggers and the standard home, start and select.
The fact that the Wii U supports 2 different types of controllers suggests that the console is targeted at the casual as well as the hardcore gamer.
Apart from the 2 controllers, Nintendo also spoke about “Miiverse.” Miiverse (seen below) is Nintendo’s attempt to expand its online community. The interface represents a crowd of Mii avatars representing people using the Wii from around the world. Icons representing games being played are also displayed in the interface. A live Twitter like social feed is also available and will be displayed on the touchscreen controller of the Wii U.
As seen in the below video preview, it looks like users will be able write messages or draw pictures by hand on the Wii U GamePad screen, apart from typing out normal messages, and then send to other Miiverse members of the Miiverse. Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, spoke about Miiverse, saying: "We believe it can solve the issue of 'alone together'. We believe it enables the sharing of more smiles, more laughs and more empathy."
The services of Miiverse will be available on the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS but it isn’t clear if the service will be available on the original Wii console.
What remains to be seen is the launch date and the price at which the Nintendo Wii U console will be introduced. Microsoft and Sony have already confirmed that they will not be showing off their next generation consoles at E3 2012.
Stay tuned for more E3 2012 coverage, as it happens! In the meantime, let us know what you think of Nintendo's efforts to get back in on the console game, in the comments section below. Does it stand a chance?