This morning, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata held a special Nintendo Direct Wii U Preview. It was, as you might expect, conducted entirely in Japanese. With this in mind, we're here to provide a comprehensive rundown on everything that was revealed during the broadcast, as well as an idea of the message that Iwata was giving to viewers. Enjoy!
At the start of the presentation, Iwata was mostly talking about the graphics specifications and explaining that before this time, Nintendo hadn't done an HD system before; this will be a big first for the company.
Nintendo's focus for the Wii U was for a smooth transition between games and the menu, and to be able to bring the player close to the world of the games. Nintendo wants to build games with high density and detail. It also wants to greatly shorten the time that it takes for the system to read the discs, to aid in creating a smooth transition.
Nintendo plans full backwards compatibility with all Wii hardware and accessories, so that the full library of games can be playable on Wii U. WiiWare and Virtual Console games are also meant to be transferred, so as to make for a convenient and fun transition from the previous system.
Built into the GamePad are an acceleration sensor, a gyro-sensor, a geomagnetic sensor, an NFC (Near Field Communication) sensor, microphone, camera, and two stereo speakers. Also, the sensor bar on the touch screen can serve as a sensor for the Wii remote.
The GamePad and the system are meant to have constant wireless back-and-forth communication. Iwata also stated that the problem of a delay between what is displayed on the GamePad and what is on the television screen will not be present on Wii U.
Wii was meant to be a system that could bring friends and family together in the living room. The strong point of Wii was that it could be fun for everyone at the same time. He also stated here that 80% of Wii systems are set in living rooms. The one thing that Nintendo noticed that Wii couldn't do was cater to people who at some times wanted to have fun on the system, while others in the family wanted to use the television for other purposes. With Wii U, family and friends can still enjoy time together, even if they are using the television for different purposes at the same time.
Whereas the Wii's catchphrase was 集まればＷｉｉ(If we come together, Wii), the Wii U's catchphase will be 集まればWiiU, ひとりでもWiiU (If we come together, Wii U, but even alone, Wii U).
Iwata stated that also as a first, the Wii U GamePad can display a different image than the television screen when playing games, so that even while others in the room are playing a game, the user with the GamePad can have their own individual game happening at the same time.
There are two main functions with the GamePad. One, that it can be used in tandem with that is happening on the screen as a sub-menu, and relay information back and forth both offline and with wireless internet communication. Two, that it can be used separately from what is happening on the screen once the initial information has been relayed and in that instance be used as its own main game screen. He did state here that in a world where smartphone games are becoming the norm, this is a concept that is unique. It is meant to promote an individual style for each family in their own living room.
Also, to promote not only in-house communication, but worldwide communication, Miiverse has been created so that players can come together over the internet through the world of Nintendo and enjoy the games together. Through this concept, the catchphrase has now become 集まればWiiU,ひとりでもみんなでWiiU (If we come together, Wii U. Even playing alone, with everyone Wii U).
Nintendo Land is meant to convey the ideal of the catchphrase "With everyone Wii U", by focusing on both multiplayer and playing across the internet.
Both titles will be sold at the same time as the system. He also gave new prices for the Wii Remote Motion Plus and controllers.
Iwata also explained that there will be "Premium" and "Basic" sets for the Wii U. Both contain the system, GamePad, AC Adapter, AC Adapter for the GamePad, and an HDMI cable. The Basic will be white and come with 8GB of flash memory, and the Premium will be black, and come with 32GB of flash memory. Premium set buyers will also have access to Nintendo Network premium, where their purchases on first and third-party titles will have a 10% discount on Nintendo Network titles. Nintendo Network Premium will be available until the end of December, 2014. The premium set also comes with stands for the system and GamePad.
The sets will not contain the Motion Control Plus, the nunchuk or sensor bar. Through research and much debate, Nintendo came to the conclusion that since many people already have these items (or even more than one), they decided to bundle these together in their own set separate from the system, which will be called the Wii Remote Plus Supplement Pack, which will also be sold at the same time as the system.
The Wii U will be sold from December 8, 2012.
Iwata thanked you for your time.