LOS ANGELESWhile games were the focus of Nintendo’s Tuesday press conference here, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime highlighted a few non-gaming features and titles coming to the Wii U.
Nintendo showed off the Wii U’s potential for asymmetric gameplay with one Wii U Gamepad and several Wiimotes, but Fils-Aime also announced during the presentation that the Wii U will actually support two of Nintendo’s “Nintablets,” an unexpected feature. Each Wii U Gamepad has a color touch screen, dual analog sticks, front- and back-facing cameras, stereo speakers, a microphone, and the same face buttons and triggers found on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamepads.
Fils-Aime showed off the Miiverse, the Wii U’s new social gaming service. Different players’ avatars congregate around different games’ and services’ icons to show what games are popular among friends and other players. The service is browser-based, and Fils-Aime noted that Miiverse will eventually be made available on the Nintendo 3DS and on Web browsers and mobile devices. Details regarding Miiverse and connectivity for game matchmaking have not yet been released.
Fils-Aime also teased that the Wii U will integrate into home entertainment besides games, with Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video. He hinted that the Wii U will have other ways to integrate the Wii U into TV watching, but quickly moved on to the Wii U’s more game-oriented details.
Wii Fit U will bring the Nintendo Balance Board to the Wii U, integrating the Wii U Gamepad into the fitness game series. The demonstration video showed new minigames involving trampoline, luge, and other activities selected and controlled through the gamepad. The game will also let players work out using the gamepad screen while other users watch television.
The Wii U with Miiverse will ship this holiday season. Nintendo has not yet announced a release date for Wii Fit U.
For more, see PCMag’s Hands On With the Nintendo Wii U.