On the eve of E3, Nintendo decided to jump the gun a bit and held a special pre-E3 mini-conference that was streamed online. It only lasted 30 minutes, showed no gameplay, and did not actually announce any new games. So, what was the point you ask? Well, it turns out the Wii U has a few other features that they could not wait to announce.
First off, the Wii U controller has actual analog sticks now, instead of 3DS-esque circle pads. Additionally, they shifted the buttons around some. These changes were made to make the controller more comfortable. This might be a lot to keep up with, but I ask you stay with me. These changes are pretty revolutionary.
The Wii U controller can also be used as a remote control for your TV, even when the Wii U is powered off. This is an interesting feature that I’m sure will be used to replace traditional multi-remote living rooms. The controller also possesses an NFC reader to recognize cards and objects placed in front of it. This hoepfully hints towards some type of collectible Pokemon game…if they want money, that is.
Also among these announcements, comes another controller. As everyone knows, the system will support the Wii balance board, as well as Wiimote and Nunchuck set up, in addition to the Wii U controller itself. They did however, unveil a partnership with Microsoft in which you can use Xbox 360 controllers with the Wii U! Oh…wait, this is developed by Nintendo…and it’s called the Wii U Pro Controller? Whatever they decide to call it, it is clearly a 360 controller.
Overall this little pre-conference conference was just a series of teases and vague discussions. It featured a terribly acted and horribly scripted scene of “real-life use” of the Wii U that hinted at mobile phone integration, the ability to video chat with people, feeds for gamers to post about games right from their controller, something called the Wiiverse that includes features very similar to Sony’s Near app on the Vita, and other types of social interactions.
The fact of the matter is that this showed no games, showed no online infrastructure, and was not too exciting. If anything, Nintendo is in more of an uphill battle now with the Wii U. Hopefully by the time Tuesday rolls around they have something better in store. A lot of these features are cool additions, and will be nifty to use, but an exciting conference they do not make. Most of this stuff should have stayed as bullet points on a press release, and streaming footage should be reserved for the things that actually excite fans.