At a small pre-E3 event, Nintendo icon Shigeru Miyamoto gave a demonstration of an early Wii U prototype of the next installment in the Star Fox series. While far from a complete game, the prototype showed how the Wii U’s GamePad will be used to control Fox’s Arwing fighter and a new helicopter.

Flying freely through an enclosed area, Fox and Co. blasted enemy ships and tanks, with a behind the ship view on the TV screen and a cockpit view on the GamePad. Miyamoto kept an eye on the big screen to pilot the ship with the left stick, and then switched to the GamePad for lining up shots. Tilting the GamePad moves the reticle, allowing for precise aiming. A click of the left stick transforms the Arwing into its tank configuration, allowing for ground-based combat.

The new helicopter was seen in a sequence pitting Fox against a giant boss-type character. Using a variation of the Arwing’s two-screen setup, players target enemies below the chopper with the GamePad while controlling elevation with the right stick. A small, tethered robot can be deployed from the chopper as well, switching the GamePad’s screen to a first-person view from the R.O.B.-like robot. This is presumably used for reconnaissance and recovery missions.

Joystiq spoke with Miyamoto after the demonstration, and the game’s lead revealed that the final game will include a full story broken up into smaller sections that can be played in any order. On-rails stages will also make an appearance.

What Miyamoto showed is probably no more than a proof of concept, with its content unlikely to make it into final product, but it does give us a look at how the creator of Nintendo’s most famous franchises  is planning to put us behind the stick of  Fox’s Arwing in the next Star Fox.  No developer has yet been announced, but Miyamoto stated that he is looking for a partner studio to help finish the game.