This afternoon, Nintendo got a jump on the E3 news cycle by screening a surprise presentation at Nintendo Direct focused on their new system, the Wii U. The video starred Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata, who promised at the start that he’d be talking about the Wii U “in a more conceptual sense” — meaning there were no revelations about Wii U games. (Although there was a quick shot of a sidescrolling Mario game. About which: Breaking news, Nintendo is making a new Super Mario game!) The video focused on previously-revealed hardware and on Nintendo’s new social system, the “MiiVerse.” But the biggest revelation came when Iwata mentioned that in addition to the tablet-style GamePad, consumers could also play Wii U games using a device Iwata referred to as the “Wii U Pro Controller.” Here is what the Wii U Pro Controller looks like:

Looks a bit like the XBox controllers, right? (Albeit with right analog stick and the action buttons swapping location.) Iwata didn’t focus much attention on the Pro Controller, but its very existence feels like an outreach to hardcore gamers who never warmed to the Wii. I’m a bit disappointed that the Pro Controller looks so un-eccentric, though I will withhold final judgment until I hear for sure that it doesn’t come in purple.

Be sure to check back on regularly this week for E3 updates, including a deep dive into the Wii U.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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