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I think the killer feature of the WiiU is something which all have overlooked. I say ‘all’ because I’ve not read any article, column, blog, or seen any vids really about this functionality. And its not totally surprising, it seems very ‘ho-hum’ on the surface.
What is it? The WiiU controller (the tablet) can be used as a TV remote. ‘Pish posh’ I hear you say, ‘why would that be a killer feature?’… Well, I think its one of those kinda mundane additions which more people will end up using even without thinking much about it as a feature.
Most tech interested people, gadget guys, whatever, would love to have a universal remote for their entertainment system but they are dedicated remotes and cost probably as much as the WiiU will launch at. Touchscreen remotes are expensive and they do one thing, the turn your entertainment system on and off. And they don’t control your video game console… or your lights for that matter.
Now you put that into the WiiU controller, all the sudden you have a device which kinda hangs around the living room anyways, has a touchscreen already, is infinitely upgradable for codes of new devices and already has wifi functionality to stay up to date. It could possibly auto program itself too.
On top of this, other devices can’t compete. The biggest ‘competitor’ is ipad and i have that in quotes because unlike the rest of the analysts, I really don’t believe apple is direct competition for gaming. You can’t compare the games on a console to handheld / mobile gaming. Having said that, ipad doesn’t have an IR sender so it can’t work as a remote without some 30pin add on, and the rest of apples devices don’t either. Now some android devices have it but would anyone do a quality job of creating a remote for it? really? Even if they did i don’t think android users would start using it like that as its not a device that hangs around the living room.
I also think a single touch device is better for tv remote functions. People made fun of the choice in screens, it was likely done due to cost and the truth that you need to be holding the thing too so you likely will find it harder to get more than one finger on at a time, especially when there is a full slate of regular buttons on it. Single touch would simplify the implementation of a TV remote and the simpler it is the more would adopt it as their go to remote.
No, I think Nintendo has a corner on the advanced tv remote market and though seemingly low tech, its super convenient and gives people another reason to pick up a Nintendo controller and therefore play with it more.
I really think if people actually end up using this functionality it will become one of those ‘need to have’ devices to control ALL your entertainment system, TVs, DVD players and your gaming console!
Sure its a touchscreen, but its in a whole different ballpark for apps than Apple has setup. different uses, different things that wiiU might just be the more natural product.
Key things? Nintendo needs to make this interface work, be cool and manage ALL your devices and consumers need to know the feature is there and be intrigued enough to get it setup once. I think once they do, it will be the GOTO remote in your living room.
What do you think? Awesome feature or useless tack on? I can tell you this, if they didn’t add this as one of their swiss army features, I’m sure there would be bellyaching about it. I’m excited and interested to use this as a universal remote, I think its the perfect tool to use.
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