Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez has criticised the Wii U GamePad on Twitter. Rodriguez says that the controller is vastly underused by developers and is therefore a waste of money when looking at the total cost of the Wii U to consumers.
The Wii U GamePad will eventually feature a quick start menu function, enabling users to load one of the software titles they’ve recently played without being routed to the console menu. The quick start menu uses the same mechanism as the controller’s TV Button, which can be used without starting up the Wii U console. The new function will become available in the summer through a system update.
“We think that this function will make you feel that the time to start up a Wii U software title is cut by more than 50 percent, and that it will also lead to more Wii U users understanding the appealing nature of the GamePad,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said today.
Nintendo has revealed that it wants to enrich the value of the Wii U GamePad through a variety of methods. The company plans to offer games that take full advantage of the 6.2-inch touch-screen controller. It also wants to make full use of the controller’s NFC function by preparing multiple schemes, including the implementation of NFC payments. Nintendo DS software, which will eventually be added to the Wii U Virtual Console lineup, will be playable on the Wii U GamePad.
When Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is being played on the TV, the Wii U GamePad‘s 6.2-inch display remains blank. Similarly, when the platformer is being played on the controller – via its off-TV play feature – the TV screen shows nothing vital to gameplay. The game can also be played with a Wii Remote, Wii Classic Controller, Wii U Pro Controller, or Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze arrives February 21st for Wii U.
Hackers at this week at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress have managed to reverse engineer the Wii U GamePad controller to stream PC games. The team of professional hackers showed a drawing app streaming from a laptop to the Wii U GamePad and then managed to get a Gamecube emulated version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker up and running. The demonstration didn’t go without a hitch, as there were some crashes. The group wants to build user-friendly tools for Windows and OSX and also build an Android port which allows users to use their own tablets, streaming from the console to a tablet of choice.
An updated YouTube application for Wii U is now available. After performing a software update, users will be able to use the YouTube app to watch videos on the Wii U GamePad’s screen. Additionally, they will be able to search for YouTube content via the controller while another video is playing on the TV.
Advanced Gaming Innovations is working on a new gaming controller that looks similar to the Wii U GamePad. The “Cross Plane” will also have some of the same functions as Nintendo’s touch-screen controller, and is designed to support PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Ouya. It will allow users to play an entire game strictly on its screen, akin to the Wii U GamePad’s Off-TV Play feature. The Cross Plane is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. Read some of the project’s description below:
“The Cross Plane” is the worlds first multi-platform WVI (Wireless Video Interface) gaming controller that brings a new angle into the way we play modern video games. Designed to support gaming platforms like XBox 360, PlayStation 3, OUYA and PC, “The Cross Plane” puts your favorite games from your favorite platforms right to the palm of your hand, all in beautiful Hi-Def quality!
For the first time, PC users will have to opportunity to “Cut the cord” and take the full power of their machine anywhere in house. That means “Steam” can go with you to the couch or Crysis 3 can actually be played on a handheld.
The button layouts were carefully considered and based around what most console gamers would be used to. This layout went through many changes via 3D Printed case tests to make sure it felt comfortable and natural in your hands given the body style is flat out different from any controller (except the Wii U) on the market.
Platinum Games’ Hideki Kamiya was recently asked on Twitter to reveal whether there’s an element he would change in the Wii U hardware. The outspoken designer replied, “I want multi touch.” Rather than allowing for multi-touch gestures, the Wii U GamePad has a resistive touch screen that only supports single-touch input. Kamiya is currently working on the Wii U-exclusive The Wonderful 101, in which players draw shapes on the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen to deliver attacks on enemies. The game is due for release in Europe on August 23rd and in North America on September 15th.
If you’re not happy with the Wii U GamePad‘s three to five-hour battery life, you’ll be pleased to know that Nintendo is making a new larger capacity battery for the Wii U’s 6.2-inch touch-screen controller. The new battery, which launches on July 25th in Japan, promises five to eight hours of battery life, will cost 3,000 yen – about $39 – and it will need to be manually installed by the user. There’s no word yet on international availability, but would you purchase a bigger battery for your Wii U GamePad? Or are you happy with the controller’s originally-installed battery?
Respected tech analysis site Digital Foundry has written an interesting article titled The Secrets of the Wii U GamePad. The Wii U GamePad has been reverse-engineered by the developers behind Dolphin. The team contacted developer Pierre Bourdon to find out more about the innovative device. The conclusion that the team came to is that the Wii U GamePad isn’t anywhere near as complex as the most basic Android powered tablet.
The GamePad itself isn’t anywhere near as complex as even the most basic Android tablet – essentially it’s a standard game controller, with a touch-screen and a WiFi card, paired up with a decoder chip for the incoming video stream. Controller inputs themselves are beamed back to the Wii U via the same WiFi channel (180 times per second no less), in contrast to the Bluetooth employed by the Wiimote.