June 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM ET
Nintendo is on amission to get gamers excited about the Wii U — the successor to the groundbreaking Wiiconsole and a machine that has been met with skepticism.
And so on Tuesday — — during a press conference marking the first day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo -- the Japanese gamegiant showed off 23 games for the forthcoming console, including “New SuperMario Bros. U," "Pikmin 3" and "Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition." Meanwhile executives vowed that the Wii U and its unique GamePad controller will "revolutionizeyour living room."
During the press conference Nintendo revealed that the Wii U will come in both black and white colors and, more importantly, will let two gamers play simultaneously with two of the Wii U's GamePad controllers. (For a blow-by-blow from the press conference check out our live blog of the event.)
The Wii U's GamePad has a screen built into it and Nintendo executives showed off its final build Tuesday. It comes not only with a 6.2-inch touch-screen, motion sensor, and rumble feature, but with two analog thumb sticks and two back-side triggers. And Nintendo vows that this GamePad and its second screen will drastically change the way games are played.
"With the Wii U GamePad we have the first dedicatedpersonal screen in the long history of game machines," famed Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto told the packed crowd at the press conference Tuesday.
“The GamePad doesn’t just introduce a new type of gameplay, it redefines an entire dynamic," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "Multiple experiences are possible in the same game at the same time. That’s transformative ... it stands to revolutionize yourliving room."
(Did Nintendo make you want a Wii U? Vote here)
By way of example, they showed off the forthcoming "New Super Mario Bros. U" which lets one player run Mario through various levels, while another uses the GamePad's touch screen to place helpful blocks along the way so the famed plumber can quickly navigate his environment.
In "Pikmin 3" players will control up to 100 tiny ant-like Pikmen on the main screen. Meanwhile, players will be able to keep an eye on an overall map as well as more smartly deploy their little Pikmen using the GamePad's smaller touch-screen.
On Tuesday, Warner Bros. Interactive executives took to the stage to show off "Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition" which lets players access all of Batman's gadgets on the GamPad controller. Players can also control Batman's flying Batarang by moving the GamePad around.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft showed off "ZombiU" — a game that lets you use the GamePad as a sniper rifle scope and a device for scanning the in-game environment. Check out the trailer for a look at how it works:
Speaking of Warner Bros. and Ubisoft, Nintendo needs to prove that third-party publishers are getting behind the Wii U and making good games for it (something the Wii lacked). And so among the other non-Nintendo-created Wii U titles teased Tuesday were "Aliens: Colonial Marines," "Darksiders2," "Mass Effect 3," "Tekken Tag Tournament 2," and "Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge."
The E3 trade show is the place where many of the biggest games and most important gaming news is revealed by those in the business. E3 gets under way today and has already filled the L.A. Convention Center with massive displays showing off new games, gadgets and other innovations from more than 200 industry representatives.
Nintendo jump-started this year's E3 early with a surprise video presentation on Sunday in which they revealed their redesigned Wii U controller, officially named the GamePad, took the wraps off an Xbox-like controller that will also be available for the machine and unveiled the Wii U's Miiverse online social features.
Nintendo first unveiled the Wii U at last year's E3 and though we liked what we saw, many were unimpressed or, at the very least, confused. In fact, Nintendo's shares took a massive nose dive after the initial introduction. At this year's E3, Nintendo is trying hard to make sure consumers understand what the Wii U is all about and why they should want this game console with a screen in its controller.
(Did Nintendo make you want a Wii U? Vote here)
Interestingly, Microsoft seems to be echoing some of what Nintendo is doing with the Wii U's GamePad by introducing its Xbox SmartGlass app designed to make phones and tablets into a second gaming screen for the Xbox 360.
But whether Nintendo has won over those skeptical of the Wii U remains to be seen. The press conference was met with mixed reactions on Twitter and out in the gaming blogosphere. Meanwhile Nintendo has further presentations scheduled throughout E3 to help continue wooing gamers to the new machine (which is due to launch this holiday).
It's certainly worth remembering that the Wii and its motion-sensing Wii Remote controller were met with a whole lot of skepticism upon introduction. And that game machine went on to break all sales records.
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In-Game has a team on the ground at E3 in Los Angeles. Stay tuned here to In-Game to catch our breaking game coverage. And for even more fast and furious news also be sure to check out our In-Game Facebook page as well as our Twitter feeds: @ToddKenreck and @WindaBenedetti.
In-Game editor Todd Kenreck will also bring you ongoing snapshots from the E3 floor via his @ToddKenreck Instagram account. And don't miss the E3 experiences from video producer Matt Rivera who will be posting via his Twitter and Instagram accounts here: @MattMRivera.