As uneventful as tonight’s Nintendo Direct was, we did get some confirmation on some rumors and speculation, as well as some brand new information to boot. Ready to speculate on tons of information in lieu of Nintendo’s big event this Tuesday? Me too! Hit the jump for a play by play of tonight’s Nintendo Direct!
First of all, It looks as if Nintendo is listening, and Iwata even said as much in tonight’s video. Gone are the circle pads, and in are the true analog sticks with clickable joysticks (looks like Nintendo was listening to a few things). The Wii U GamePad (as it is officially now known) has gone through some other minor changes since E3 2011, such as the analog controls being moved closer to the edge for comfort, with a slightly altered rear for better ergonomics. Even more interesting is the fact that Nintendo will be releasing what has been dubbed the Wii U Pro Controller. The controller looks very similar to the Xbox 360 Controller, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. It looks to be very comfortable to hold, and will have the features necessary for developers to port their games on over to Wii U.
We also now know what the two little squares on the bottom corners of the GamePad are for. The one on the bottom left will be used for NFC reading and writing functionality, making the inevitable Pokémon card NFC game seem closer to reality. More interestingly is the Wii U GamePad’s ability to control your television via the controllers infrared sensor. It looks like the GamePad will have the ability to beam magical rays of light to your television, giving you the ability to control volume and cycle through channels with the click of a virtual button. It remains to be seen if the GamePad will have the capability to control cable and satellite set-top boxes, not to mention whether or not it will have the potential to manipulate Audio Video Receivers for those of us who own high end surround sound systems.
As Essel has pointed out, the Wii U will also feature a Twitter-like chat feature to connect with friends via the console, and eventually through mobile phones. Iwata also stated that their would be a web interface for the Ninten-twitter features, meaning that users can connect with each other anywhere that there is an internet connection available. This feature will also be available for the 3DS, seemingly after some sort of firmware update. This is pretty exciting considering that both the Wii U and 3DS will have the ability to post user-drawn pictures, much like the Swapnote app already available for 3DS.
All of the connectivity features will be a part of what is known as the Miiverse, an interactive feature built into the Wii U system that will be a social network of sorts for Nintendo fans. Think of the Miiverse as Mii Plaza 2.0, where you will be able to see what all your friends are playing live, with the ability to discuss your gameplay in realtime. The console will have the ability to have the Miiverse open on one screen (most likely the Wii U GamePad), while simultaneously having a game running on the television, giving you the ability to always stay connected with your friends.
All tonight’s Nintendo Direct has done is made my anticipation for this week’s expo all the more unbearable. Good thing my flight leaves tomorrow morning, or else I would have to commit myself to an institution!
It will be very important that you follow me on Twitter (@infendo_eugene) for all the up to the minute updates from the show floor. I’m going to sever you dear readers, so be sure to keep checking in to the site, and hitting that F5 key like your life depended on it! Also, for those of you in the area, see you in LA!