Nintendo Brings Social Networking to Your Games, TV With Wii U

(Courtesy of Nintendo)

During a Direct Pre E3 Presentation today, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced a number of ground breaking new features for the upcoming successor to the Wii, the Nintendo Wii U.

Since last year's E3 conference it's been known that the new system, which has been in the works since 2008, would feature a controller with a touchscreen pad. Today we learned that Nintendo is calling the device the Wii U GamePad.

The GamePad will register both stylus and finger-touch interaction, serve as a universal infrared television remote and allow players to conduct video chats over their TV sets using the controller's built in webcam. The device will also have a sensor that can read codes and feed information into games.

Along with  new touchscreen controller, Iwata made a clear move at also catering to hardcore gamers, introducing a second, very XBox-looking "pro" controller stripped of  touch controls. He went on to tout the Wii U's anicipated high definition graphics. These moves look to welcome third party developers back to Nintendo, who have long been focused on HD titles for PS3 and XBox 360.

In addition, Nintendo shared that the Wii U GamePad would serve as a "social window," allowing users to send text messages to a new social networking service designed around Nintendo gameplay. The network allows gamers to post on boards and chat with friends before, during and after gameplay.  Nintendo assured that this network will also be made available on the 3DS, on PC and mobile devices.

Stay tuned to Tech This Out for more breaking game news as it is announced at this week's E3 conference in Los Angeles.