Entries in E3 (2)


Nintendo‚Äôs Wii U GamePad to Play Old Wii Games, Company Says

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Have a ton of Wii Virtual Console games? No need to purchase new versions for the new Wii U.

Nintendo’s Wii U, successor to the groundbreaking Wii, has been confirmed for release this holiday season, with plenty of bells and whistles -- both to set it apart from the competition and attempt to change the world of gaming all over again. More information has been revealed after Tuesday’s Nintendo E3 conference in Los Angeles.

In an interview with ABC News, Scott Moffitt, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo, said that in addition to Wii discs being backwards compatible on the new Wii U, digital game collections purchased over the Wii Virtual Console will also be transferable over to the Wii U, likely remaining at standard definition.

Fans who have purchased libraries of old games will not lose their downloaded game titles when they decide to upgrade to the new system, a decision in line with how Apple’s iTunes store operates regarding digital downloads of game apps. Moffitt said that there will be a bit of restructuring of how their login IDs/accounts work with the Wii U; he says, “You will have an individual account based system. Each member of your family might have their own account.”

Each player will have saved gaming preferences, but it is unclear how Wii Virtual Console collections will be assigned to an account for ownership transfers on the Wii U eShop at this point.  If this backwards compatibility continues through the next generation of systems, fans may never have to repurchase old games again. That may change if games are reintroduced in high definition (Wii, unlike its competitors, produced standard-definition video), but Nintendo has said nothing on that yet.

Also announced Tuesday: The Wii U will feature stereo sound and allow up to two controllers to connect to and interact with the console at once for a dual GamePad experience.

ABC News has learned that there are no brightness controls for the touch screen Wii U GamePad controller, which might have been a good option for saving batteries. This is in line with how other Nintendo handhelds operate; the Nintendo 3DS offers no control over screen brightness. Players will have the ability to charge their wireless GamePad controllers using a GamePad cradle that will come with the system, according to Moffitt, so anyone worried about running low on juice during extended gameplay can rest easy.

ABC News has not confirmed the camera quality on the Wii U, so whether it is HD capable or standard definition like the cameras aboard the Nintendo 3DS remains to be seen.

Of the 23 upcoming game titles featured in Tuesday’s presentation, some standouts included the very high definition “Pikmin 3,” “New Super Mario Bros. U” with a focus on co-op improvements, and third-party franchises long missing from Nintendo systems, including “Mass Effect 3,” “Batman: Arkham City” and “Assassin’s Creed 3.”

Nintendo also introduced “Nintendo Land,” a mini-game theme park of Nintendo properties that will be a “Wii Sports” style introduction to the new Wii U system.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Microsoft Announces XBox SmartGlass for Tablets, Phones at E3

Microsoft(LOS ANGELES) -- Microsoft’s XBox is jumping into this year’s big gaming shift, using touch screen devices to interact with and control media through your game console and then display content on your TV, Windows 8 PC or portable device. The announcement was made Monday in advance of E3, the giant Electronic Entertainment Expo.

But don’t expect to pick up an Xbox-branded tablet controller for the experience…yet. The new functionality, dubbed “XBox SmartGlass,” is being touted as an app for existing smartphones and tablets.  This is in sharp contrast to Nintendo’s move forward this week, reintroducing its new gamepad controller, which will feature a touch screen display right in the center of the device.

XBox also plans to use the app to foray into Web browsing on your television, hoping that touch screens can make for a smooth and enjoyable navigation experience.

Many were hoping to see the announcement of an XBox 360 successor at E3 this year, but as the machine is currently the No. 1-selling console worldwide, Microsoft seems in no hurry to usher in a 720. Instead we’ve seen tweaks to Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system, as well as user interface and now apps, improving and adding to the existing experience. No word on when the apps will begin to roll out just yet.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio