E3 2012: New Wii U tablet controller info revealed

Two days before Nintendo is scheduled to hold its E3 2012 press conference in Los Angeles, the company presented a streaming video presentation on its Facebook page where it revealed quite a bit of new information on the Wii U. Specifically, the video, hosted by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, not only confirmed that its Wii U tablet controller had gotten a redesign since it was shown at E3 2011 but also revealed some social networking features and yet another Wii U controller.

Iwata's presentation confirmed what had been previously leaked about the tablet controller; namely that the circle pads on top are now sporting true analog sticks. Also, the rather odd looking square indentation with rounded edges on the left side of the new controller is an NFC reader. The controller will use this to read information from cards and other NFC devices that can be sent to the Wii U.

There's also a new TV remote button on the bottom of the Wii U controller which turns the touch screen into a full remote control for your television set.

Nintendo also revealed that it will sell a more conventional Wii U Pro controller for those folks who just want to play games. It should be a bit more comfortable to use for long gaming sessions.

However, the tablet controller will have quite a bit of social networking features built in. During an actor-based demo of a generic zombie game, the Wii U player used the touch screen of the  tablet controller to send messages to find out how to beat a zombie boss. The messages go out to other social networking sites.

The Wii U can also be used as a video camera to chat with others, as in the example above.

Nintendo also showed the next generation of its Mii avatar support, announcing Miiverse. When you turn on your Wii U, you will see lots of Miis on screen, surrounding icons of games they like to play. The Miis can come from your system, your friends' Wii U or any other people who have similar interests.

The tablet controller can also be used as a touch screen paint program, using your fingers or a stylus. The controller was also shown surfing the net and that content can also be displayed on a big screen TV.

Nintendo is saving its game announcements for its E3 press conference on Tuesday. However, the new information about the tablet controller and its social networking features are certainly interesting.

Source: Nintendo Facebook page | Images via Nintendo

NeoGamr and Neowin's coverage of E3 2012 is sponsored by War Inc. Battle Zone.

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