News from Nintendo Direct

June 4, 2012

Nintendo held a “Nintendo Direct” pre-E3 special (this isn’t their E3 presser, that’s happening later in the week) to focus on the hardware aspects of the Wii U.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that the theme of the Wii U is “Uniting, rather than dividing” and that this will be accomplished through both local play and online social play with a new feature called “Miiverse”. Iwata says that the design of the Wii U was informed by the book Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other by Sherry Turkle, promising that, when playing the Wii U, “you won’t feel alone”.

The “Miiverse” is a unique new feature that combines video chat, text chat, in-game chat and various other functionality into a single application. The interesting part of this is that it will not just be available for the Wii U, but also for the 3DS and PC. Miis will also be front and centre on the Wii U’s main menu screen, which is called Mii Wara Wara. In this mode, Miis from your friends and people you have interacted with online will gravitate towards the games they’ve been playing, giving you something of an indicator of what’s currently hot in the Wii U universe.

Finally, Nintendo unveiled a new “Pro” controller, which is a fully-fledged twin-stick controller for the Wii U.

You can watch the entire half-hour presentation below:

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