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Nintendo details Wii U GamePad

During today's pre-E3 presentation Nintendo detailed the intriguing Wii U tablet controller, now officially called "Wii U GamePad".

Aside from an official name, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata shared some changes from the original prototype.  One change in particular includes the Wii U GamePad's analog sticks which not only operate precisely in 360 degrees, but now also include the ability to be pushed down for an added method of control. The back of the Wii U GamePad has also been redesigned to "maximize comfort".

The presentation didn't only include new details, but also confirmed a few of the previously rumored features including an NFC Reader/Writer located to the lower left of the screen.  Here you can place cards and figures which will then be incorporated into the gameplay experience.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature about the Wii U GamePad is that it can work entirely independent of the Wii U console and television screen allowing a "more dynamic" relationship between the two.  This allows for a "symmetric diversity of gameplay" meaning what is being seen or done on the small GamePad screen can be different than what is on the big screen television.  What this means for gameplay will be shown at Nintendo's official E3 press conference, but we already have a good idea of what this will allow.

Two separate screens will now allow you to continue playing your game on the GamePad while the television screen is being used for something else.  The Wii U will virtually be free from the TV.  You will now have the high graphics seen on the television displayed on  the Wii U GamePad without delay.

Other features shown off in the presentation include touchscreen ability, motion sensor and gyro sensor, and built in functionality to use the Wii U GamePad as a webcam.

Pretty cool, huh?  If you prefer the more traditional controller, Nintendo also unveiled the Wii U Pro Controller which looks eerily similar to the Xbox 360 controller.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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