(USA TODAY) - Nintendo did not wait for the Electronic Entertainment Expo to begin dropping details about the upcoming Wii U console system, two days in advance of its press event on Tuesday.
The game company posted a 30-minute video on YouTube hosted by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata (embedded above and on YouTube). He unveiled the new gamepad controller with left and right joysticks replacing the original touch-sensitive circle pads.
Also added: contours on the rear of the pad for comfortable resting in the hands, "even if you are playing for a long time," he says.
Iwata also introduced a Wii U Pro Controller that will be available, which "may be more attractive for longer, more intense forms of gaming," he says.
Current Wii remotes, nunchuks and the Wii balance board will be compatible with the new Wii U console, which is expected to be released for this holiday season.
Social features were demonstrated in a produced video that showed a frustrated gamer turning to an online Mii-populated chat room for hints on how to beat a troublesome boss in a zombie game. Elsewhere, a gaming buddy notes on his smartphone activity feed that Todd needs help and promises to come over and help.
But as they are chatting on the phone, Todd gets some advice online in the chat room. He tries that and it doesn't work, so he puts the gamepad in a docking station and calls the gamer for a video chat. After getting his guidance via the live chat he succeeds in progressing in the game.
Online chatting and smartphone access won't be available immediately, Iwata says. But a social "Miiverse" will be available on all types of Web-based devices including Nintendo 3DS.
Mike Snider, USA TODAY