Ahh, E3. It’s a time of magic for nerds and geeks all around the world. This is, essentially, a gamer’s holiday season. The festivities don’t officially start until June 5th, but Nintendo, whose press conference is that Tuesday morning, kicked things off early with a pre-show event. Not unlike a Dharma Initiative video, Mr. Iwata greeted users around the world on a special broadcast to highlight a few tidbits about the Wii-U. The presentation was a combination of things we saw from the 2011 E3 video, as well as a few new features. Taking special point, of course, was the centerpiece of the Nintendo Wii U: the tablet like Gamepad controllers.
Moving from last year’s prototype to this year’s final (?) product, there have been several improvements to the Wii U Gamepad tablet. Some ergonomic shaping, a wider profile, joysticks instead of 3DS-like circle sliders, and the relocation / enlarging of a few buttons. Also, noted in video form, the Gamepad tablet will be available in at least white and black.
The big N also showed off a “normal” looking controller, named the “Pro Controller”. Much like the Nintendo Wii’s Classic and Classic Pro controller, the Pro resembles a traditional Xbox-style look. However, this gamepad had a few enhancements over its predecessor, as well. In addition to a major streamlining overhaul of the shape (looks [i]a lot[/i] more hand-friendly) this controller features a more compact button layout – and perhaps best of all – it appears wireless! Judging by the lack of tucked wires, as well as the battery / player indicator lights on the bottom, this controller looks like it can be used without tethering to the Wii U Gamepad tablet or the Wii remotes; a much-needed improvement over the older model.
So, it’s still early in the game, but… what do you think so far?