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.

Alex Roth