Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 Wii-U Video

Nintendo have this evening previewed some key elements of what to expect at their E3 conference on Tuesday at 9am PDT/5pm GMT.

Of course, a lot of the emphasis was on the controller itself – its design looks sleek and surprisingly comfortable for what it is. There was also an emphasis on what Nintendo are calling “Miiverse”, an online social and gaming network akin to X-Box Live. Nintendo demonstrated that this isn’t just text messages though – they showed examples of video conferencing via the Wii-U controller, of hints and tips and others leaving messages at points in the game they are struggling with (in case you want to co-op? That’s an insanely good idea!) and generally interacting with each other. This will cover mobile devices and your PC too, showing that Nintendo has no issues with extending the hand of friendship to others in these times.

There was a lack of games news – but this isn’t a shock. Nor was the newly redesigned Pro Controller, looking suspiciously like an X-Box 360 controller (although it must be said, Sony and Microsoft borrowed heavily from Nintendo and Sega respectively so this is sort of payback, and besides, it could be worse!).

Satoru Iwata does struggle with his English at times – it’s okay, we understand and forgive – so getting him to sit down in front of a camera for a good half an hour and just talk probably wasn’t Nintendo’s smartest decision. He also has a quite straight delivery. But it’s a teaser, a tantalising taste before Tuesday’s more complete focus. The reasons for this were with UbiSoft doing so much for the Wii-U, and their conference being tomorrow, it would kind of suck if they couldn’t have their own reveals.

That said, Nintendo have been known to demand delays to avoid schedule conflicts with their own plans. That Nintendo are doing this and letting UbiSoft have their moment in the sun, alongside a more social network design, suggests Nintendo may not merely be making up for lost time – it’s actively trying to please the very people they once alienated.

That’s a good start. Tuesday – 3DS and Wii-U and all the games please. Better Together indeed Iwata-san. An apt catchphrase for your new direction.

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