What is an iPad doing in my game control? was the first reaction of majority of the gamers who previewed the latest offering from Nintendo. Initial reviews on the new console from Nintendo, the Wii U, poured in after the company unveiled it at E3 conference in Los Angeles, with industry analysts and gamers thinking loud: The new tablet-like controller is the strangest piece ever in gaming innovations.
The Wii U controller has a massive 6.2 inch touch-screen guarded by all the buttons you would generally expect in a gamepad. It also has two analogue sticks, a camera pointing at you and a tiny speaker. It motion-senses like a Wiimote and has a gyro-sensor like the 3DS. It is definitely not a thing to be used in abandon and calls for its own share of attention while playing, which is exactly what confused the gamers. Do I look at the controller or do I look at the TV? Or do I have to look at both, to catch of a glimpse of the gaming experience that Nintendo is promising? In that case who is going to take care of a bad neck that I will most likely develop in a day?
While a section of industry enthusiasts say that Nintendo was not able to present a compelling case on why the controller can be a game-changing experience. Even though, having a secondary screen can have its own advantages, it Nintendo might not be able to cash in on the experimental controller, by not conveying the message across properly.
What are the ways to milk the new innovation? The controller can be used, without a TV, for a whole new experience, which wouldn't be that bad, given the size and sophistication of the touch-screen. The traditional gameplay, using both the controller and the TV, will work fine, if you are aware of the nuances. For instance in a role-playing game (RPG), having your inventory and spell lists right on the touch-screen would sound wonderful. So instead of following some dumb combination of buttons and instructions, you can simply tap the spell icons to fire them off. There's a LOT they could do with this, if developers have both imagination (to think of neat new approaches) and sensibility (to make it more than an intrusive gimmick, like 'Rub the screen to shake off enemy attacks!', a gamer wrote on a discussion board on Wii U.
The majority is still unconvinced about the potential of multi-screens. How is holding up another, smaller screen in front of your big TV screen any better than simply overlaying a HUD or pressing 'select' to access the map or inventory like we've been doing for decades now?, a user wrote on the web mirroring the displeasure of gamers.
The price of the controller remains a mystery. It is not known how many controllers will come with the console or how many the Wii U will support, though it has been made clear that up to four Wii Remote Plus controllers will sync up with it.