Nintendo reps took to the stage Tuesday at the E3 conference in Los Angeles to tout the forthcoming Wii U console, and to offer a look at a range of new games, including Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Pikmin 3, and New Super Mario Bros. U. But the focus was not just on software: Nintendo also introduced a social-media platform called Miiverse.
"Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing," Nintendo said in a statement. "From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed."
One of the biggest draws of the Wii U, of course, is the touchscreen controller, which will effectively make the Wii U a two-screen experience. (As we noted yesterday, Microsoft is pursuing something similar with its Xbox SmartGlass project.) And over at Engadget, staffer Tim Stevens got a brief hands-on. So how does the controller handle?
Well, Stevens reports, some "subtle tweaks" have been made to the hardware, chief among them "the change from circle sliders to proper analog joysticks for each thumb." The triggers, meanwhile, are "slightly wider and more pronounced," and the stylus has been moved from the left of the controller to the back-right.
"Like most Nintendo controllers, the Wii U gamepad is comfortable to hold in the hand and feels quite durable," Stevens writes. "Lengthy gaming sessions should be no problem." Other details, including the price of additional controllers, remain unclear, although Nintendo did tell Engadget that gamers will be able to use at least two touchscreen controllers with each console.
All of which makes us pretty excited to take this thing for a test run. But Nintendo is urging customers to be patient. "We will be sharing information on the launch date, price and launch lineup well before they need to make those (shopping) decisions," Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said at E3, according to USA Today. "From our perspective, now is not the right time."
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