At E3 2012, the focus seems to be ranging far beyond gaming. Each console is competing to gain dominance as the premier entertainment system in living rooms around the globe, with a different approach from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
At Nintendo's press conference Tuesday, President Satoru Iwata and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime demonstrated what the Wii U can do in gaming, entertainment, and beyond.
The primary point emphasized in the Wii U demonstration was that the GamePad controller, which was unveiled Monday, will be able to act independently of television screens.
With the Wii U GamePad, we have the first dedicated personal screen in the long history of video games, Iwata said in the showcase's introduction. [The Wii U] changes the history of gaming machines, which have always relied on TV screens.
Fils-Aime introduced the idea of asymmetric gameplay, which means that one player will be using the GamePad in a solitary role, competing and playing in the same game displayed on the TV in a different way. He continued to say that it is vital to understand what the Wii U means to both games and non-gamers, and how it can change your life.
The new Miiverse social network was also explained and gamers got to see the interface for the first time. The Mii avatars of friends and family are gathered around individual titles, which act as billboards in the main street of the Miiverse. These titles reflect the user's personal taste as well as games that are trending in popularity on a global scale.
But just as important as the new console itself is the games that will be available for gamers to play. The entire list of games unveiled during the keynote is as follows:
- Pikmin 3
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
- Darksiders II
- Tank! Tank! Tank!
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2
- Trine 2: Director's Cut
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Wii Fit U
- Sing (working title)
- New Super Mario Bros. 2
- Lego City: Undercover
- Just Dance 4
- Assassin's Creed III
- Your Shape
- Welcome to NintendoLand
- Luigi's Mansion mini-game
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Although a list of 22 games have been unveiled for the Wii U, there seems to be something missing. Nintendo aimed to target fans of classic titles with Pikmin 3 and a revamped Super Mario Bros. title, but iconic titles such as Zelda, Metroid Prime and Super Smash Bros. were nowhere to be seen. This is something of a shock, since a new Super Smash Bros. title has been launched on each console since the Nintendo 64. With the unveiling of Sony's PlayStation All-Stars Battle-Royale, which takes the same concept done in PlayStation style, Nintendo may be creating something to step up its game and integrate the new GamePad into combat. However, there was no word on the development of a new Super Smash Bros. title at the keynote.
Fans gained insight into the way the Wii U and GamePad will function, but there are still some questions unanswered. There is still no word on what the price of the console and the GamePad will be, the range of the GamePad's signal, and how the streaming media services will work. Perhaps more information will be slowly released throughout the rest of the E3 week, but Nintendo is set to make some 3DS announcements as well.