At first, I didn’t get where Nintendo was going with its new concept for the Wii U -- but now I’m hooked, and I have been up way too late since the Wii U arrived at my apartment.
For more insight on the Wii U, I turned to Scott Moffitt, EVP of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America, for a chat about what it means for sports fans and gamers alike. The system will be available to the public Nov. 18.
ESPN Playbook: Why should sports fans be excited for the Wii U?
Scott Moffitt: The Wii U offers completely new and unexpected game play and entertainment experiences. Its revolutionary controller, the Wii U GamePad, features a 6.2-inch touch screen that fundamentally changes the way we play, browse, share and communicate.
The launch lineup for Wii U is one of the strongest in Nintendo’s history. With more than 50 games in the launch window we truly have something for every type of gamer --including sports fans. Games like “Madden NFL 13” and “FIFA 13” will be available on launch day.
In addition to new ways to play, Wii U and the Wii U GamePad also revolutionize how we find, watch and interact with TV and video entertainment -- especially when it comes to watching sports. This is made possible by a groundbreaking new entertainment application called Nintendo TVii (available in December).
How does Nintendo TVii enhance Wii U for sports fans?
Nintendo TVii, a built-in Wii U application, will make watching TV simpler and more fun by bringing together what we watch and how we watch into one seamless second-screen experience on the GamePad.
Nintendo TVii makes live TV more fun by making it more social and more interactive. Users can engage with others as great moments in sporting events happen by commenting, voting in polls or emoting, and all this can be shared out to Miiverse, Facebook and Twitter. Say, for instance, you want to watch a football game. You might be asked to vote for the MVP or for the play of the game. If you come late to the action, Nintendo TVii might let you scroll back through a series of highlights so you can quickly get caught up on all the big plays you missed, and see what people are saying about those plays and how they affected the game. Now you’re not just watching the game passively, but you’ve become a part of the discussion.
How does the GamePad enhance Wii U for sports fans?
The Wii U GamePad offers new and compelling gaming and entertainment experiences made possible by the integrated second screen of the Wii U GamePad. So if you’re watching live sports, you might get all the enhanced content of Nintendo TVii. If you’re playing a sports game, you might be able to use the touch screen to draw up plays. Or you might have a different view of the field than the one shown on the TV. Some games might even let you avoid using a split-screen on the TV. One player looks at the TV while the other looks at the GamePad, and both get a full view of the action. Each developer will find different ways to incorporate the GamePad that are appropriate for their specific games.
Why should sports fans be excited about Wii U games?
Wii U delivers something that they’ve never seen before, both in terms of their games and the live sports action they watch on TV. And frankly, non-sports fans should also be excited. If one of the kids is playing video games on the TV but mom and dad want to watch a live sports event, some video games let you transfer your play directly to the GamePad. So everyone can stay in the living room together, even if they are enjoying different entertainment.
What is different about the Wii U that all fans can be excited about?
Our goal is that Wii U will be an “everyday” device – offering a combination games, entertainment and social interaction that will make people want to interact with Wii U on a daily basis. With the Wii, we were able to connect people within the living room. With Wii U our goal is to connect families across living rooms.
And of course, its revolutionary controller, the Wii U GamePad, features a 6.2-inch touch screen that fundamentally changes the way we play, browse, share and communicate. Wii U has something that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Stay tuned for more Wii U insights.