New Nintendo pre-E3 video shows off Wii U GamePad, Miiverse, Wii compatibility and more

wii u

wii uLast night, Nintendo surprised us all by releasing a new Nintendo Direct video that confirmed a few new details of the Wii U including the controller, some of the online functionality and even Wii backwards compatibility.

The video it definitely worth checking out, since the Nintendo Global President, Satoru Iwata, walks everyone through a bit of these new announcements in person.

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If you’re too lazy to sit through the presentation… the “WiiPad” is know known as the Wii U GamePad, and yes, it has been redesigned with dual analog sticks (which are clickable), NFC capabilities and built in universal TV remote functions. There is no word on if multiple Wii GamePads will work with a single Wii U at this point.

The Miiverse is the newly expanded Nintendo Network and Mii world that will expand on the social and communication aspects of the Mii experience, and will even feature functionality between a Wii U and 3DS. There will also be achievements of some sort, messaging and more.

Lastly, as many expected, the Wii U itself will be backwards compaible with the Wii and the Wii controllers.  There’s also a new Xbox 360-like classic controller in the works, and apparently the Wii U will be offered in both black and white at some point.

Read on for the announcement, and stay tuned for the 9am PT / 12pm EST E3 conference tomorrow for the full Wii U blowout.

New ways to play: With the television and the Wii U GamePad working as two integrated screens, Wii U creates unique possibilities for gaming, allowing ?asymmetric? game play where each player can have different goals, challenges and views within the same shared gaming experience.

  • Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
  • Wii U GamePad controls: In addition to the previously announced touch-screen and motion controls, the Wii U GamePad was redesigned and improved from its reveal in 2011. The new form factor offers players dual analog stick controls and can be used as a remote control for users? TVs, even while the Wii U console is turned off. Nintendo also announced availability of the Wii U Pro Controller as a separate peripheral.
  • Wii compatibility: All game discs for the Wii system are compatible with Wii U, and the system will support controllers for the Wii system.

Additional information about Wii U will be revealed at the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, June 5. To follow all of Nintendo?s news and announcements from the E3 Expo, visit, and watch for updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.