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

4 Jun 2012

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Available black and white, the Nintendo Wii U’s thumbsliders have been replaced by analogue thumbsticks.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

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com