Nintendo surprised everyone at the June 2011 E3 press event. Rather than unveiling its next generation game console, as most expected, they chose to tease the gaming world with the Wii U Controller that will launch in 2012.
Calling this new device a controller does not quite do it justice nor does it capture all the interactive capabilities it possesses. More like a sidekick to the new console, it doubles as a controller for some games just as easily as it functions as a standalone device.
The Wii U (pronounced We-U) controller has:
- A 6.2” touchscreen
- Pinpoint stylus
- Control pads & circle pads on both sides
- Dual side shoulder buttons in the top corners
- Trigger buttons
- Rechargeable battery
- Sensor strip & gyroscope like other Wii controllers
- Microphone and
Although it was not designed as a portable gaming devise, it does share some of those characteristics. During an interview at the conference, Nintendo CEO Reggie Fils-Aimes said that he believes “it will change the way you game personally and change the way you interact with friends and family.”
What Benefits Does This Controller Offer over Others?
The Touchscreen offers console longevity. Touchscreen technology has become extremely popular with things like smartphone and other hand held devices. In today’s instant gratification demanding world, the touchscreen responses instantly. Easy cleaning ensures this next generation console will last a long time.
Different Views for Different Games means no more annoying split screens for multiple players! For team players, the gamers will be able to go on their own adventures and then come back to fight or cooperate with fellow team members. The different views open up a whole new world of tactics for the hardcore gamer. For individual gamers the additional screen allows an entirely different perspective of the game.
Play from your bed without disturbing your partner. Sometimes you just want to be able to play your game without turning on the lights or the television and having an argument with the person trying to sleep next to you. The new controller allows the gamer to do just that!
No more information overload. Many of today’s games have so much on-screen information that it is easy to get distracted from the game itself. The new Wii U controller transfers some of that data off the main screen and onto the controller, leaving you with more room on the big screen to focus on your game instead of all the excessive information streaming your screen.
The new Wii U controller was designed for creativity. The new stylist allows the gamer to draw their own characters, complete with shades and depth. The 6.2” touchscreen allows more creativity than a joystick. Of course it helps if you have a little bit of drawing capability but it definitely is not required.
Nintendo – Not Willing to Share the Technical Details
Although at the time of the conference, technical details were not revealed, there was enough information and demonstrations given to whet the appetite of Nintendo gamers as well as those who normally prefer other systems. Calling this new device a controller does not do it justice. Some say it’s more like a sidekick to the new console that can double as a controller in some games and yet works well as a standalone entertainment device in others.
The Wii U controller allows a second screen to the game on the television. This allows you to play digital hide and seek with other players. The player with the touchscreen console could see a bird’s eye view of all players, while the other player had only the traditional wii-mote and could only present one view on the television.
Currently in household’s across the country, there is a fight for the television (especially if it’s a big screen), because one person wants to play a game while another wants to watch a movie. The new controller allows the gamer to play even when other members of the family are watching television. Think of all the arguments this alone can resolve!
The touchscreen surface is the perfect place for a young or aspiring artist to hone their craft. The size, shape and detailing ability of the stylus allows you to create your own art. The touchscreen also offers video chat and browsing a web page, neither of which you can do with any other wii-mote to date.
Nintendo Stays True to Its Roots!
While other companies are turning their gaming systems into mini or hand held PC’s, Nintendo found a niche when they implemented physical activity into the gaming world. By sticking to their founding principles, Nintendo Wii U will move into the next generation of gaming without giving up their brand. After all, you just cannot play golf, baseball or bowl – without getting your backside up off the couch and move those limbs! Wii Zumba just would not work without getting physical.
Of course, whenever a new controller or device comes on the scene, arguments abound on Internet gaming sites. Already there are those arguing why the stylus and touchscreen combination cannot compete with the joysticks and triggers while others argue the opposite. But as in any gaming discussion, you have those who are true to one product over another. Some are willing to give the new products a chance and others just flat out will not. Until 2012 when the new Wii U controller hits the stores and more than a handful of people are able to try it out, we just won’t know what this new controller is capable of.
Another question that remains to be answered is how these handhelds will affect the Wii U price.
Nintendo will also need to break out some new games that can utilize the full capabilities of their newest controller. So until then, speculation will continue, the arguments will continue to be a moot point and gamers can only sit back and wait.