Nintendo has unveiled a new Wii U GamePad that sports a near-field communication (NFC) reader and can be used as a TV remote.
The new Wii U GamePad
The new game console tablet features a 6.2-inch touch-sensitive screen and a fully independent infrared TV remote, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed during a streamed presentation in advance of this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) game conference. Known mostly for use in electronic wallets, the NFC in the GamePad will be able to read and write data from cards and figures.
"Some people will wonder if Wii U is a simple evolution of Wii or something entirely different," Iwata said. "I think maybe the correct answer is both."
The GamePad also senses movement with motion and gyro sensors. By using more intuitive motions to control a game, players of all skill levels can better play together, he said.
The GamePad also features two stick-type devices instead of the 3DS-like circle pads. Iwata called the circle pads more appropriate for portable devices where players need a low profile for the hardware.
Iwata also highlighted the Wii U's social-interaction features. While the screen will show a familiar line-up of games and applications, the TV screen will show a list of games and the players' Mii avatars playing those games at that moment. This creates a "Miiverse" for users, which is a combination of Mii and universe, he explained.
Communication between Miis can happen with simple text messages, but players can also write with their hands.
The new GamePad will be available in black and in white.