Wii U controller revamp confirmed, hardware details and more announced

The Nintendo Wii U's controller is called the "Gamepad" and the system will feature a social network called the Miiverse. These are the two biggest details unveiled by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today in a surprise webcast. Watch it here.

With Miiverse, Wii U gamers will be able to post questions and comments relating to their gaming experience, which will show up in a Twitter-like feed. Users will be able to join the conversation from the Wii U, as well as smart phones and computers. Miiverse will also feature video chat support.

Iwata also confirmed the recent redesigns to the Wii U's touch controller, which has now been officially titled the "Gamepad." The Gamepad will feature twin analog sticks that click, and NFC functionality for games like Skylander: Spyro's Adventure. Players will be able to interact with it using a stylus or their fingers. Additionally, the Gamepad will serve as a fully functional, infrared TV remote. The Nintendo President also showed off the Wii U Pro Controller, which resembles a traditional 4-button, dual analog stick controller.

According to the webcast, Nintendo's E3 presentation will focus on games coming to the Wii U, so the industry giant took this opportunity to to highlight the features and philosophy of the Wii U. Iwata explained that most technology has people "alone together." According to Nintendo, the Wii U will solve this problem by getting friends and family playing together.

That's all Nintendo has said for now! Be sure to tune into our Nintendo E3 2012 press conference livestream on Tuesday, June 5 at 9am PST. Until then, be sure to check out our predictions for Nintendo at E3, as well as a full breakdown of our full E3 schedule.


E3 2012 Wii U


  • Smash_Bro - June 4, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    It'd be cool if you could do live Wii U broadcasting with your friends while you play online co-op together. ...But then you couldn't use the game pad to actually play the game. So I guess it would be a bit silly :/
  • Z-man427 - June 4, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    I'm happy for the Pro controller. Even though I still disagree with the right side mapping, this looks a bit more user friendly.
  • evilpacman18 - June 4, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    I actually think the controller makes a lot of sense. Having the right joystick below the buttons is a result of time when game controls were mapped mostly to the left joystick and the 4 buttons. It's comfortable to play like that in a game like that, but now that controls are more frequently being mapped to the joysticks and the back triggers and bumpers, it makes sense to have the joystick closer to the back buttons.
  • talleyXIV - June 4, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    That controller looks boss.
  • ParagonT - June 4, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    I understand they're trying to be "innovative" and change it up with the Pro controller, but lets be real here. Buttons on most console controllers have always been on top. People will get used it no doubt, but I find it a little disheartening that they did not think that after many years of buttons in the top format has not become somewhat of a standard for many reasons, but here's a few: 1. It allows easy transition from one console controller to the next, thus also making you familiar with the scheme without jumping a controller hurdle. 2. Your thumb has a natural wider range of motion upwards, not downwards. Not saying I dislike it or anything, it exists and that's the bottom line, but I don't think it's as effective as it could be. To each there own I suppose.
  • brickman409 - June 4, 2012 8 p.m.

    i think putting the joystick on top is more of an evolution than anything else. I always thought that having the joysticks on the bottom just made them seem like an after thought, giving more prominence to the buttons and left stick (or in sony's case) buttons and d-pad. I always liked that on the dualshock the sticks are at the same height, but i always thought they were too low. But really we have to try it before we can judge it.
  • J-Fid - June 4, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    A legit controller!!! I'm so happy, this just made my day! I just wish the face buttons were on top, but i guess that would make it too similar to the Gamecube controller. Everyone thinks it looks like a 360 controller, probably due to the similar shape, but I think it looks more like a PS3 controller. Oh well, a legit controller!!!
  • rob619 - June 4, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    Everything looks promising in my view. You get people complaining about controllers when there is obviously going to be third party products arounds. Im liking the Wii U.
  • fish94 - June 4, 2012 5:55 a.m.

    I have to say, that controller is abysmal. Not because it's like the 360, but because it's bulky as fuck like the 360 and yet the sticks are at the top, so it'll be a nightmare to use... Let's just hope it's not as unreliable as the Ps3 dualshocks for breaking, or it'll be the worst controller in human history.
  • BottleBank - June 4, 2012 3:55 a.m.

    After all the talk of creating something unique, they unveil the Pro Controller, which looks exactly like the 360 pad but with the buttons arbitrarily moved so that it isn't an exact copy. Wow, unique. I really want to like Nintendo but they just seem to have their head in the sand. Wii was a massive sales success but a disappointment in terms of software quality. Maybe now they have actually learnt that they need the hardcore, but after that cringe-worthy zombie killing vid, i was nothing but unimpressed. Hopefully they will blow people away with software at their conference.
  • DecoyOctorok - June 4, 2012 6:08 a.m.

    I just don't understand this attitude toward the Wii's software library. I stuck with it from launch and I'm still have games in my backlog. If you think that the Wii didn't have a good software library, then you didn't give it enough of a chance. There are several fantastic games in its library.
  • FirLocke - June 4, 2012 3:27 a.m.

    Love the idea of the plazas. Really, really good idea. It's like Dark Souls except more open and for every game. :) The Pro looks great, definitely getting it if it's cheap enough. The redesign of the Wii U gamepad is great also, clickable sticks ftw!
  • CitizenWolfie - June 4, 2012 3:18 a.m.

    I like the look of the Pro Controller but one thing is bugging me about it - the right stick is above the face buttons. That seems like an odd placement if you're trying to regain some of the core audience with games like Arkham City, Assassin's Creed and the Call of Dutys. The proof is in the playing though. So maybe it'll be the best controller on the market.
  • Lolo - June 4, 2012 12:39 a.m.

    I thought the Iwata video had some serious taste. I was extremely impressed to the reference to "Alone Together" and the general concept. Nintendo isn't just making a home console, they are trying to help soceity and humanity. What wasn't so great about the video was the repulsive zombie video trying to appeal to the hardcore. When I think 360 I think Halo/COD teens jerking off to whatever, shovenist Western dogshit. Nintendo has always been above that. I hope they don't lose it, as shown in that very not tasteful video. Nintendo is awesome because they are from the East. It scares me, the people around, screaming over pads so they can jerk off harder to COD clones. Go back to you're killzone halo 360/Ps3. I really hope Nintendo makes bank on this. I'm really turned off by the West's idea of entertainment these days, that video was incredibly refreshing.
  • Lolo - June 4, 2012 1:04 a.m.

    That was a bit over the top. A bit too much jerking. 360 and PS3 have both produced excellent quality games as has the Wii. I just feel some people just want a pad so they can COD on the Wii U, which turns me off a bit. However, I'd love a pad too, for say Borderlands II if it controlled better that way. Allow more options. Apologies. It might just be excitement. Again, hail Iwata and his Japanese genius.
  • Person5 - June 3, 2012 11:56 p.m.

    its like they took a 360 controller and crossed it with a Sony controller by making the sticks symmetrical, but they put them on the wrong part of the controller... Don't get me wrong, this suddenly makes me interested in the Wii U because it means I have a real controller to play games with, which is what always stopped me from enjoying the Wii. The stick placement looks extremely uncomfortable being on top of the buttons but I won't judge until I have the controller in my hands
  • Fuzunga - June 3, 2012 11:10 p.m.

    Anybody else think that button placement looks uncomfortable? Then again, Iwata said they moved them to the left because it was more comfortable...
  • Nikku7 - June 3, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    The controller looks quite comfy and seems to have a place on top to plug in and charge it so I'm good with it. Yeah, it looks like an Xbox controller but only fanboys would really care about that. Hopefully the buttons aren't quite as bulging-out as the Xbox's.
  • gmcb2011 - June 3, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    I'll finally be able to play Nintendo games with a real controller again? With no waggle or having to hold the controller sideways? I never really abandoned the Wii, but it has been getting less attention from me as of late. It looks like Nintendo is actually putting the focus back on gamers, or at least acknowledging their importance.
  • shawksta - June 3, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    Yo guys, they showed a New Super Mario Bros. Wii U on the conference while showing Miiverse. you guys need to put an article about it because the way the game itself looks is VERY interesting, Very dense and detailed backgrounds, THAT OVER-WORLD MAP THATS HUGE AND OVERHEAD, and THOSE COMMENTS Baby Yoshi!?!? Flying Squirrel!?!?(possibly Tanooki but Think how a flying squirrel glides) THAT RETRO OVER-WORLD!?!? I think were looking at a Super Mario World inspired game here!

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