Nintendo Wii U walkthrough goes live

Nintendo has bet big on the Wii U at E3 this week – new games, new social network, new classic Pro controller - but it's the Wii U Gamepad itself that is still grabbing the most attention. The touchscreen-toting handheld is Nintendo's key differentiator between the Wii U, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3, and so the company has release a new walk-through showing just what makes it special.

Nintendo has already confirmed that each Wii U console will support up to two Gamepad controllers active simultaneously, though there's a price to pay for duality. Frame-rates are limited in those circumstances, brought down to around 30fps.

However, the Gamepad also functions as a standalone device, away from the primary console; it can be used as a web browser over WiFi, for instance, elbowing out your iPad or Android slate. Nintendo hasn't said how much each Gamepad will cost, though, so it's difficult to say whether it will be a cost-effective alternative or not.

If you've got 25 minutes spare, Nintendo also has a full Wii U showcase – shown below – which walks through all the latest game previews, the full hardware of the console itself, and some of the multi-screen support that the company is betting on.