YouTube Preview Image

Oh boy, the Wii U. Nintendo has decided to fill us in on some of the features of the console a little early and some interesting things have surfaced. But just to get this out of the way, all of these important features for the Wii U are inclined towards social networking through an internet connection or social activity between friends and family in a single room together. The only news that tries to appeal to non-casual gamers is the revelation of a new “hardcore” or “pro” controller that looks strikingly familiar. In fact, it looks like an Xbox 360 controller, only with the buttons and the right control stick swapped, which may or may not be a comfortable way to control games (as opposed to doing so with a 360 controller).

The tablet controller, officially coined the “Wii U GamePad” is dubbed so as a means to hearken back to the NES days of old, apparently. The gamepad will feature a number of features that I actually find pretty cool, but that don’t really do very much for video games necessarily. One example would be the ability to actually use the Wii U GamePad as a TV remote, it has a button that lets it connect to a TV and control it directly. You can also stream video directly to the TV using the controller, and there’s a ‘theater-curtain’ option that lets you hide what you’re seeing on your gamepad screen so you can surprise your grandma with a video of S&M kittens cuddling with puppies.

One of the many features of this ‘connectivity’ theme is the ability to see input from other players on things, such as comments floating above levels on a Mario level select screen. This feature may or may not be intrusive to the experience, and they even said that they’re taking precautions to filter out comments and messages that contain spoilers, which is cool. I do appreciate that they’re willing to keep up maintenance of these social features to at least some extent, especially since this community (Miiverse) can be accessed through “any internet-enabled device”. Nothing good can come of online communities without moderation, after all.

Also another feature of the GamePad that did actually grab my attention was the ability to draw on it with a stylus, in the same way as with the 3DS, only the screen is larger. That’s a great feature and it would be cool to see 3rd party titles utilize the ability to draw. Imagine something like Okami or the little-known Graffiti Kingdom (which allows you to manually draw monsters and transform into them to fight other monsters) with this control feature. It’s awesome, and not to mention, just based on the fact that I’ve seen some pretty amazing artwork drawn on the 3DS already, I expect to see some cool stuff from the Wii U GamePad as well.

Source: Nintendo Direct