Nintendo president Satoru Iwata held a 30-minute pre-E3 online presentation yesterday, so let's kick off this year's E3 threads:
- Nintendo revealed the final version of what they're calling the GamePad, that tablet-looking Wii U controller. The analog sliders have been replaced by dual clickable analog sticks.
- They've added near-field communication to the GamePad so you can exchange data with compatible objects (I don't know what Skylanders is, really, but I gather that's how it works?).
- You can also use the Gamepad as a TV remote. No real details on that, but I will say that I love my Logitech Harmony One remote and it would take something pretty special to make me use anything else.
- The Wii's Mii Channel is being replaced by Miiverse, an online system that displays a Mii plaza on the GamePad. Rather than rewriting Joystiq, let's just copy and paste: "The plaza will show Mii characters gathering around game icons and feature a messaging system for players to connect with players they both do and do not know, as well as a variety of other asynchronous functionality. The messaging system includes a "spoiler" checkbox to prevent players from wrecking a friend's game experience (should they choose to use it), as well as the ability to send images and drawings to one another. Miiverse will also feature a social networking-style "wall" of sorts, where players can post screenshots from games. Miiverse will also inhabit the 3DS and mobile devices (Android, iOS) in the future, though it will not be available immediately at launch."
- For games that use traditional controls, you can get a Wii U Pro Controller. Do you know what an Xbox 360 wireless controller looks like? Can you imagine one with a Wii U logo on it instead? Because that's basically what it is, only they swapped the position of the second analog stick and the buttons. I think I might like this controller a lot.
- This wasn't from the livestream, but since we're collecting news here: Club Nintendo reward values are changing on July 1; registering older games and systems will now be worth fewer coins, while some newer games will be worth more coins.
That's it for now - I'm sure a lot more news (like the Wii U's price and release date) will come out of their actual E3 presentation.
Updates: - the Nintendo keynote was mostly about upcoming Wii U games - no Wii U release date or price announced; very little 3DS news (no sign of the rumoured 3DS XL) - no Zelda, no Animal Crossing, no Metroid, no Smash Bros - Wii U to get Netflix, Hulu PLus, YouTube, and Amazon Video
Wii U games shown: - Pikmin 3 - New Super Mario Bros. U - Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition - Scribblenauts Unlimited - Wii Fit U - Sing - NintendoLand (a collection of mini-games that show people how to use the system - expected to be a pack-in) - Just Dance 4 - ZombiU - Assassin's Creed III - Your Shape - Rayman - Lego City: Undercover
And brief clips of: - Darksiders II - Mass Effect 3 - Tank! Tank! Tank! - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - Trine 2: Director’s Cut - Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge - Aliens: Colonial Marines
3DS games shown: - New Super Mario Bros. 2 (August 19) - Paper Mario: Sticker Star (holiday 2012) - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (holiday 2012)
Thursday store updates US Downloadable Games - UNO ($7.99) PSP Minis - Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess! ($4.99) - Hysteria Project ($1.99) - Homerun Hitters (PSP Only – $1.99) - Shogi (PSP Only – $1.99) - Charge! Tank Squad!