It's all about the GamePad.
In an interview published by GamesBeat yesterday, Xavier Poix, the managing director of Ubisoft's three French studios, spoke about the company's dedication to the Wii U, its uses of the newly detailed GamePad controller, and its upcoming titles for the system.
On the topic of Zombi U, the first-person shooter born from the project formerly known and shown as Killer Freaks from Outer Space, Poix noted the game was, in part, designed around "what the second screen can bring to the experience of a zombie survival game." As detailed in a press release from Ubisoft yesterday, Zombi U uses the GamePad's touch screen to control the inventory, as an in-game scanner, and, according to Poix, "the tools for snipers for instance, it can be more accurate on the firing."
Poix also mentioned another mechanic ("It's a gimmick," he noted) of the game, which involves a tracking system that uses the GamePad's front-facing camera to watch the player's face, then applies a mask to it, "a zombie mask." He continued by illustrating an example of how players would use the game's scanner system: "So I hold [the GamePad] up to the TV [in a foggy situation], and the zombies will appear. It's the kind of scanner that you can use."
When asked if Zombi U is slated for release alongside the launch of the Wii U (the press release sent out later describes it as a launch game), Poix simply noted that the game would be shown at Ubisoft's E3 press conference, as well as Nintendo's.
In describing the Zombie Master mode in Zombi U, Poix explained that Rabbids Land and Just Dance 4 would include similar mechanics.
He noted that the former "is totally dedicated to [that gameplay style] as well, we have 20 mini-games dedicated [the] activity of asymmetrical gameplay [...] It's two kinds of gameplay in one. That's really what the Wii U can bring to players."
Poix illustrated how, in Just Dance 4, a fifth player using the GamePad can act as the "master of ceremonies" during a dance session.
"Now this [player] has the [GamePad] in his hand, he can select the next song, he can write on the screen, and that appears on the main screen [...] He can also use the [GamePad's] camera to film and send some video afterwards. We also have one mode that's really interesting, what we call the party master. The person on the GamePad can select, while you're dancing on the main screen, he can select new moves that are based on all the [Just] Dance games in the past. He can change the choreography in real time. Every 10 seconds you can choose new moves and send them to the other players.
"[The GamePad] adds a new layer to [gameplay]... which I think will be very interesting to hardcore gamers, because it really brings a new way of playing. But also, on the casual side, it brings some more depth to the game. It's a good move."