Nintendo said it will launch a social and content
network dubbed Miiverse for its new Wii U games console,
along with a new gamepad controller with left and right
joysticks replacing the original touch-sensitive circle
The Japanese company, which plays catch-up with rivals
such as Sony and Microsoft, hopes an online strategy
will bolster hardware sales.
"Some people may wonder if Wii U is a simple evolution
of Wii or something completely different. I think maybe
the best answer is both," Nintendo President Satoru
Iwata said in his webcast ahead of the E3 videogame
industry trade show in Los Angeles, where he will unveil
the launch version of the Wii U.
Iwata showed off a video chat function and functions to
allow users to message and share pictures and other
content. "Not only can it connect people in a better way
within the same living room, but it also connects people
(from) living room to living room in a much more
compelling way," he said.
He added that Miiverse in the future would be made
available to subscribers on smartphones and other mobile
Iwata also unveiled that Wii U's tablet touchscreen
controller would come with a built-in joystick, called a
GamePad, which comes with a 6.2-inch LCD display and
would double as a TV remote. Also added: contours on
the rear of the pad for comfortable resting in the
hands, "even if you are playing for a long time."
Iwata also introduced a Wii U Pro Controller that will
be available, which "may be more attractive for longer,
more intense forms of gaming," he says.
Nintendo's latest console will be in focus at this
week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).