Nintendo unveils new Wii U Gamepad at E3 with social/video apps

4 Jun 2012

Video-game giant Nintendo has unveiled the finished version of its Wii U Gamepad, which will come with a gyroscope, NFC capabilities, and infrared TV capabilities.

Available black and white, the Nintendo Wii U’s thumbsliders have been replaced by analogue thumbsticks.

The device features a 6.2-inch sensitive screen and can be used as a TV remote.

The NFC technology contained in the device will allow users to both read and write in NFC applications.

Nintendo has also unveiled a new social network to accompany the new console tablet called Miiverse. It is clear Nintendo is prepping the new Wii ecosystem to cater for apps and social networks through on-device functionality and a wider on-screen TV experience.

This could be a lucrative move for the company considering the explosion in the apps economy and the strong brand quality associated with traditional Nintendo games, such as Mario Bros.

Wii U

Another bonus for Miiverse users include new video chat capabilities that could compete with any Microsoft/Skype Xbox 360/Kinect plans.

Gamers who want a more traditional experience will be also able to purchase the Wii U Pro, which is more akin to traditional console controllers like the Xbox 360 controller. A Pro sports version will be akin to the Wii’s traditional set of joysticks.

Prices and availability are likely to be revealed during the course of E3 this week.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years