At E3 this week, Nintendo unveiled many new details about the upcoming Wii U system. One of the presentations focused on the controller, which they are calling the “Wii U GamePad.” My initial thoughts upon seeing the GamePad and what it can do is that the Wii U is a cross between the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Vita, only with better hardware than both.
The most prominent feature of the controller is the Personal Second Screen, which will interact with the TV to provide a more interactive gaming experience. The screen will be able to show maps, inventory, and other supplementary information to the game. The PSS is also a touch-screen, usable with your finger or the included stylus. In addition to game-play features, the screen will allow you to write notes or draw pictures.
The GamePad is similar to the PS Vita by enabling the user to continue playing some games on the controller that you were previously playing on the television through the Wii U console. The GamePad includes nearly every control setup imaginable including two analog sticks, a control pad, the familiar ABXY buttons, and four triggers/bumpers on the back. Nintendo has already confirmed that all of your Virtual Console games purchased for the Wii will be transferable to the Wii U, making the GamePad the only controller you’ll need for the system, unlike the multiple controllers I have for my Wii.
The GamePad will also include the rumble feature as well as gyro and motion sensors to track player movement. Also, in case being able to continue game play on your controller wasn’t enough, the Wii U GamePad will also include functionality as your TV remote control. I’m pretty excited to see how this all works and feels later this year when I can get my hands on a demo.