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Wii U GamePad can do a lot of things that a tablet can't - Reggie

Nintendo's US boss on the differences between the Wii U and a tablet

Don't call the Wii U a tablet. That's the message from Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime who was keen to point out the differences between Nintendo's new controller and tablet devices in an interview with the New York Times.

Nintendo's new console may have a controller with a touchscreen which can be used to browse the internet but comparisons with tablets don't appear to sit well with Reggie.

"The Wii U is not a tablet. It's a two-screen experience," said Fils-Aime. "And so you have this unique GamePad that gives you a different way to have a gaming experience."

Reggie used Nintendo Land to explain what the Wii U can do.

"We've got a range of different examples that we can show you. It's everything from the three of us can be playing the game, and I'm using the GamePad to maybe try and attack you with a space ship.

"We've got an attraction called Metroid [Blast] where literally I'm playing against the two of you, using a space ship trying to shoot you, you're shooting up on the ground, so we're playing the same game but having a fundamentally different experience and that all happens with the GamePad. So it's a controller with this screen built in that allows us to create content that shows different ways to play together but have fundamentally different experiences."

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Despite arguing that the Wii U isn't a tablet, Fils-Aime highlighted that the controller is more than something with which you can play your games.

"Through our GamePad you'll be able to surf the Internet - it comes with an Internet browser. You'll be able to watch video content on it. So it will do many things that a stand-alone tablet can do, but in addition, because it's connected and it's integrated, our second screen can do a lot of things that a tablet can't do.

"So as an example with our Nintendo TV service, imagine we're watching a sports game. The sports game is on the main screen. On my GamePad I've got all the up-to-date stats, scores - something happens immediately. It's immediately on my GamePad. I can tap into social networks, comment on it. I can go further back into the game. All of this is done because my GamePad is seamlessly connected to my TV experience.

"That's not something you can do with a smartphone or a tablet - there's a lag. There's latency built in because the systems aren't talking to each other and they're not connected."

So when you buy Wii U on 30 November, it seems you're getting much more than a games device. And, according to Reggie, more than a tablet.


6 comments so far...
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  1. NSMB23DS Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 10:58

    I always believed in Reggie to put up a fight against tablets.

  2. ledreppe Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 12:31

    Something tells me that Nintendo are fighting an up hill battle, trying to get across their point that the gamepad isn't a tablet.

  3. K-tet Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 13:44

    Technically, it's not a tablet. It doesn't feature any of the core computational components that a tablet does. The guts of the Game Pad does not feature a processor you'd find in tablet devices, any form of solid state storage, its own OS, etc etc etc.

    Visually, it looks like a tablet. It looks like a tablet and the screen has touch-control. It has speakers, a headphone jack, a microphone and a camera, plus a Near Field Communicator that'll be used for various applications in the near future. You can stream content to it, and it interacts with your home console.

    However, we know it can't run any Android or iOS environment, nor does it look like an iPad. However, we keep referring to the Game Pad as the 'tablet controller' for the layman so that they don't get confused between what they perceive a Game Pad is (which is a standard controller) and what the Wii U's Game Pad actually is.

    Nintendo might as well just say "it's like a tablet, but has slightly different features from your everyday tablet machines."

  4. inuyashaDS Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 14:53

    I think ill still call it a tablet.

  5. CyberGW Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 15:06

    I love all the two screen gameplay and then I also love the idea of being able to play a full on powerful console game on what's similar to a handheld screen. It's great!

  6. LewiiG Monday 17th Sep 2012 at 16:09

    Umm... I thought this was obvious... Who the hell compares the Wii U with a tablet... For a start the Wii U pad can actually play decent games, there being buttons, control pads and all...

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