Nintendo Sneaks Out Wii U And Its GamePad Controller In Pre-E3 Announcement

Nintendo has lifted the skirt of the curtain behind their upcoming home console, Wii U, offering a sneak preview of the Wii U GamePad controller during a Nintendo Direct address this morning.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata addressed viewers mainly highlighting the revamped Wii U controller with its new thumbsticks and added for user comfort, which were covered previously, but also revealed the mysterious additions to the controller including an NFC reader and its ability to use it as a universal remote for your TV, even when the Wii U is powered off. It also confirms the Wii U GamePad’s ability to function as a lag-free external display should the TV be occupied and an interactive display for users to interact with what’s on the TV screen using the GamePad itself.

A trailer shown during the announcement also reveals the Wii U’s role in being more social among users, including discussion forums on both the Wii and what appears to be a smartphone, as well as using the GamePad for video conferencing. Iwata then shows that the new Wii U also gathers your Miis, and the Miis of others and those who reside in your region or play the games you play, known as the “Miiverse” or Mii Universe.

Nintendo promises to make the Wii U as a more sociable experience amongst other players as well as expanding the Miiverse social gaming network over Nintendo 3DS, personal computers and mobile browsers. The company plans to dish out more Wii U buzz at their E3 keynote this week.

Nintendo Direct Pre E3 2012 []