Nintendo Wii U

A while back I was invited to Los Angeles by Nintendo for a Wii U preview. If you didn”t catch wind of this over the summer at E3 or missed the?big announcement, Wii U is the next gaming console from Nintendo and is the successor to the Wii. Since the holiday season is a time for giving and many people might have the new Wii U console on their lists I wanted to share some insight about the event.

The biggest innovations of the Wii U is the new which still has the traditional input methods, but also incorporates a 6.2-inch touch screen. As you can imagine, this increases the size of the controller considerably. I was worried this would make the controller beastly heavy and uncomfortable to use, but I was surprised. The controller weighs about a pound, which seems like a lot, but it was actually quite comfortable to hold and ergonomically designed to comfortably fit in my hands.

It will be interesting to see, in this time of rapid tablet adoption by the mainstream, how well the Wii U does in the marketplace. Tablets and touch screens are popular right now. Is this a truly groundbreaking design by Nintendo or is it just riding on a wave of what”s hot now? Nintendo”s last handheld included 3D and performed very poorly.


The difference, I think, is that 3D was a bit of a flash in the pan as far as its popularity goes, and touch screens and tablets are here to stay. I think Nintendo really is innovating and pushing boundaries with this new controller. One potential drawback is that the Wii U GamePad now includes two analog sticks, a directional pad, four face buttons, two trigger buttons, plus a touch screen. I”ll be the first to admit that first-person shooter games aren”t my favorite, but I when I played Batman Arkham City with the new controller, I was a bit lost and needed a lot of coaching. Each game uses the controller in a different way, and not all games were as complicated as the Batman game, but it is still a lot of inputs on one device. I think what will be interesting to see is if gamers can really pick up on how to use all of the input devices available on the controller.

At Roundarch Isobar we develop a lot of applications for touch interfaces, from gaming applications on a phone or military tracking services on a tablet, or a Touch Screen Command Center for the NY Jets. With Nintendo creating this new gaming controller, they”re putting a touch screen in so many people”s hands? people who may have never felt the need to get a fancy tablet but want the latest gaming consol. Kids are growing up with these touch interfaces and instinctively learn to touch something to interact. Going forward most of Roundarch Isobar?s projects will include a multi-channel strategy that will not just be web applications, but will also include plans for mobile, touch-screen versions.

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