Following up on the recent EA Summer Showcase presentation
that confirmed that Bioware's Mass Effect 3 would be a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U, and pack several features unique to the console, some interviews after the event have clarified a couple of those.
An interview with GotGame
with BioWare's Melanie Faulknor explains that since Wii U owners won't be getting the first two games in the Mass Effect series, the interactive comic book that was published by Dark Horse will instead be used to give players the opportunity to forge their character's backstory, as it offers the reader diverging paths at key narrative points throughout the book.
The result of the choices players make through the comic then serve as a savegame foundation in the same way that players of Mass Effect 3 on other platforms could import their saves from Mass Effect 1 and 2.
Further, Faulknor reveals that the Wii U port is being handled by an external third party developer "that has a tonne of Nintendo experience", and explains and demonstrates some of interface enhancements afforded by the Wii U's touchscreen that mostly utilise a tactical map on the controller screen that shows enemy positions, and additional ability hotkey slots that can offer quicker access to more biotic and tech powers on the fly.
Although Mass Effect 3 has now bee confirmed as a Wii U launch title, an official release date has still not been revealed by Nintendo. The console is currently expected to launch in the 2012 holiday season, most likely in November.