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The Wii U GamePad is not a gimmick, you're just overthinking it

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gamepad, Nintendo, Wii U

The Wii U GamePad is not a gimmick, you're just overthinking it

Are developers overlooking the obvious?

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard the Wii U GamePad referred to as a "gimmick," whether by gamers, pundits and even a few developers, and it's hard to argue with the logic at face value. Expensive to manufacture, difficult to market and nowhere near as disruptive as a WiiMote and Nunchuck, the Wii U's headline peripheral often looks like a hard sell on paper, especially when so few games use it to any great extent beyond off-TV play. Even Nintendo seems to be aware of this argument, as they've tasked none other than Shigeru Miyamoto with a swathe of imaginative new games designed around new ways to use the device, not to mention the new Amiibo NFC initiative, in an effort to demonstrate the GamePad's worth to third-party studios.

And yet, having owned a Wii U and its chunky plastic slate for the best part of two years, I'm not convinced by this logic at all. The problem isn't that the GamePad is somehow a useless gimmick, it's that any number of studios and publishers just aren't using their common sense when it comes to touchscreen applications. Whether overthinking the whole situation, pressed for time or just plain lazy, it's a crying shame, because the GamePad can greatly improve the user experience and add meaningful value to a game with a bare minimum of effort.

The Wii U GamePad is not a gimmick, you're just overthinking it

I'm not for a moment suggesting that every Wii U game needs to purpose-built around the GamePad in radical and innovative ways. I love it when they are, examples being ZombiU's inventory system, Project Giant Robot and some of Nintendo Land's better minigames, but the fact is that player convenience is an oft-overlooked yet unbelievably simple and effective use of the GamePad. No matter the genre, no matter the port or premise, using the GamePad effectively is child's play.

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High Capacity Wii U GamePad Battery Finally Available In UK

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Gamepad, Nintendo, Slow news day, Wii U

High Capacity Wii U GamePad Battery Finally Available In UK

The Wii U GamePad may be a surprisingly nifty bit of kit, but its 2.5-5 hour battery life is on the embarrassing side of hopeless. Thankfully Nintendo have released their high capacity version in the UK - available from Amazon - which increases active play time to 5-8 hours. It will run you £25.

The 2550mAh battery was previously announced for Japan back in May, and comes just in time for getting stuck into Wind Waker again.

 

High-Capacity Wii U GamePad Battery Announced For Japan

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Gamepad, Nintendo, Slow news day, Wii U

High-Capacity Wii U GamePad Battery Announced For Japan

Nintendo has announced some new Wii U accessories for Japan, including a white premium model (which is otherwise only available in black), alongside a Nintendo Land and Wii Remote Plus bundle. More excitingly, though, they've also revealed a new larger-capacity GamePad battery that boasts double the power of the original. This 2,550mAh battery has to be manually installed, using a bundled Phillips screwdriver, but provides up to eight hours on a single charge. A vast improvement on the 2-4 hour original.

Hopefully we'll be able to pick this up in Europe at some point, along with some more lengthy, involving games to make it worthwhile. We may find out more during the global E3 Nintendo direct presentation.

Rayman Creator: Wii U Gamepad Latency Is "1/60th Of A Second"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Gamepad, Michel Ancel, Nintendo, Rayman Legends, Wii U

Rayman Creator: Wii U Gamepad Latency Is "1/60th Of A Second"

"The Response Time Is Crazy"

Perhaps in an effort to make us even more excited for the recently-delayed Rayman Legends, series creator Michel Ancel has spoken out to suggest that the Wii U Gamepad is a seriously responsive bit of kit.

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ZombiU Hands-On Preview | Wii U's Hardcore Hero!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, Gamepad, Games previews, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montpellier, Wii U, Wii U games, ZombiU
Discuss:
Wii U

ZombiU Hands-On Preview | Wii U's Hardcore Hero!

I freely admit to approaching ZombiU with a healthy (read: rampant) degree of cynicism. The Wii U's first - and so far only - violent title is none other than a zombie shooter, which we're currently swimming in to the extent where shambling undead are met with groans of exasperation rather than screams and panic fire. Ubisoft's mixed performance with delivering decent launch titles for new platforms (Splinter Cell 3D still leaves a nasty taste in our mouths) and their promise to focus on Gamepad control also start ringing alarm bells, indeed, you've got a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

Or, potentially, a recipe for absolute brilliance. Ubisoft's star is in ascendancy, and since Zombi was the very first game the French developer ever released, it's clear that Ubisoft Montpellier (From Dust, BG&E, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter) don't want the remake to disappoint. From what I was able to gather from my time in both campaign and multiplayer, this Wii U launch title actually delivers a masterclass in innovation and console-specific design flourishes, not to mention a sadistic streak a mile wide.

I'm as surprised as you are.

ZombiU Hands-On Preview | Wii U's Hardcore Hero!

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Wii U Dual-Gamepad Support To Happen "Well After Launch"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Gamepad, Nintendo, Wii U

Wii U Dual-Gamepad Support To Happen "Well After Launch"

Despite announcing support for two Wii U Gamepads per console during their E3 Media Briefing, Nintendo reckons that compatible games won't arrive until "well after launch," as developers will need time to integrate them properly.

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