Wii U Forum

Topic: Sensor bar built in to the Wii U controller?

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Despair1087

1. Posted:

i dont think i've read anything about this, but i could be wrong. i read that the Wii U will be backwards compatible with wii games, and that regular wiimotes will be able to connect to as well. with the ability to play games on the Wii U controller instead of the tv, i was wondering if you could play regular wii games on the controller. i know it seems kind of stupid because of the pointer stuff, but as soon as i saw the controller i noticed the black bar at the top with the camera in the center. could the rest of the black stripe be a sensor bar for wiimotes?

if this has already been confirmed or denied i will feel really stupid, as this is the first tread ive ever started.

Edited on by Unca_Lz

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Xiao_Pai

2. Posted:

I noticed another bar on top of the TV...so...two of them?

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Despair1087

3. Posted:

idk. the tv needs a sensor bar if you are going to play on it, but i was thinking turning off the tv and playing a normal wii game like mario galaxy 2 using only the Wii U controller (like a tiny nintendo tv lol) and normal wiimote and nunchuck

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irken004

4. Posted:

Makes sense, actually. Though I think they would have announced the sensor bar integration during their speech about the controller.

Edited on by irken004

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skywake

5. Posted:

If you look at the videos of people playing it there is a sensor bar on the Wii U controller (although nobody uses it) and an IR camera on the front of the controller. At the end of the controller there is clearly an IR camera window like there is on a Wii Remote. There is also a sensor bar on the TV for use with the Wii U controller and Wii Remotes. If you look at this "shield pose" video you can see that it tells the player to point the Wii U controller at sensor bar between sections of action (so it can calibrate) just like you do with Wii Motion Plus.

The Sensor Bar on the Wii U controller is, like you said, so that people can play Wii/Wii U games using the Wii U controller as a screen. For that it needs a sensor bar.

Edited on by skywake

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Xiao_Pai

6. Posted:

Yeah, look at the Wii U's picture on Nintendo's site....the Wii's bar is still there, so...yeah, lol.

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Despair1087

7. Posted:

so i'll be able to set the wii u controller on my lap and play donkey kong country returns using a normal wiimote WHILE watching a movie on my tv at the same time?!?!? O.O that would be soooooooooooooooo awesome

edit: dkc doesnt have pointer controls whoops. i meant something like mario galaxy or metroid prime

Edited on by Despair1087

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skywake

8. Posted:

@Flameking1087 Well yeah. I don't see why not!

I mean, they showed someone "playing" Wii Fit on the Wii U controller so I don't see why you couldn't. I'd imagine it would be pretty stupid to do that with four player Mario Kart Wii but... why not give people the option? Seriously, this is one of the things I assumed to be true after the trailer was shown and it's one of the things I'm MOST hyped about. :D

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yoyogamer

9. Posted:

How about playing wii games on the controller using the controller? That way I don't need to worry about holding a wii remote in front of the screen.

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romulux

10. Posted:

the sensor bar is just a couple of infared LEDs used as a reference point by the IR camera in your remote so it can tell where it's pointing. you couldn't have one in the controller because it wouldn't make sense trying to point a remote at that little screen while holding the controller up with the other. the sensor bar will still be on top of the tv and you'll still point the remote at the tv to play, even if the tv is off and you're using wiiu controller screen (that'd still be a little awkward though, unless the controller has stand so you don't have to hold it up while you play).

what other people have said sounds cool, that the wiiu has an IR camera just like the remote. it means maybe you'll be able to play shooting games with the same interface as the remote while actually having buttons to press, although i can't help think some comfort is lost without your hands separate from each other.

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skywake

11. Posted:

romulux wrote:

the sensor bar is just a couple of infared LEDs used as a reference point by the IR camera in your remote so it can tell where it's pointing. you couldn't have one in the controller because it wouldn't make sense trying to point a remote at that little screen while holding the controller up with the other.

Why not? I don't see what the big issue is. How is the Wii U controller having a sensor bar more awkward than your example? In that Iwata Asks about the Wii U they talked about possibly using the camera in the Wii U controller in an "Eye Toy" sort of way so I wouldn't be surprised if it DID have a stand. If you had a stand for it why would having a sensor bar in the Wii U controller be awkward? How would it not having a stand be not-awkward either way? It is, as you said, just a couple of IR LEDs so... why not?

I mean seriously, why do they have a long shiny bit of black transparentish plastic across the top of the Wii U controller if it isn't covering something like, say, two sets of IR LEDs?
Untitled

Edited on by skywake

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skywake

12. Posted:

side note: if they start selling stands for it separately I'm going to "borrow" one of my Mum's plate stands................

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ImDiggerDan

13. Posted:

I'd be surprised if that is a sensor bar, despite how much it may look like it. There may be a sensor bar built in for compatibility reasons, but it'd be really awkward to use the Wii remote with the tablet like that, particularly if you are holding the tablet. I think it is more likely that you will use touch to emulate pointing at the screen. This is still not going to be a great solution, because the touch point would only simulate where you are pointing at, you'd then still have to press buttons to simulate pressing the buttons on the Wii remote.

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skywake

14. Posted:

I'd be surprised if it wasn't a sensor bar considering how much it looks like it and how much sense it makes. It makes sense for compatibility reasons and other ways of getting the job done are much more awkward than sitting the Wii U controller on a stand of some kind and using it like a tiny TV with a sensor bar built in. It's much better than the not-great solution of using touch to simulate the pointer, especially in shooters where your hand would constantly be over the screen. It's also a very, very cheap thing to include considering that IR LEDs cost in the order of cents even when not brought in bulk.

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HolyMackerel

15. Posted:

The black bar at the top seems to house just a normal camera (for video chat and gaming).

Somehow I don't think Wii games are going to be playable on the Wii U controller alone. They may not include that functionality because of the issues with using the Wii remote on such a small screen. Transferring may only be possible with Wii U games.

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skywake

16. Posted:

Why would there be issues with the Wii remote on such a small screen? How is using the Wii remote far away from the sensor bar any different from using it close to a smaller sensor bar? If Wii games can't be shown on the Wii U controller, which would be a huge negative, why did they put effort into showing how Wii Fit can be used?

(edit: I don't know if it has a sensor bar built in, I haven't seen anything about it post the announcement of the Wii U. IGN said that it included a sensor bar BEFORE the announcement (along with everything else that turned out to be true) and I literally don't see any reason at all why it wouldn't. I'm going to continue to say that it definitely has a sensor bar in it, because it makes soooo much sense, until someone confirms otherwise)

Edited on by skywake

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romulux

17. Posted:

skywake wrote:

Why would there be issues with the Wii remote on such a small screen? How is using the Wii remote far away from the sensor bar any different from using it close to a smaller sensor bar?

go ahead and get 3 inches from your sensor bar and see how well your remote works. that close all it takes is about one inch of movement before the LEDs are totally out of the camera's view. you need to be far enough away so that the IR camera can see every LED clearly and has room for movement before the LEDs fall out of it's sight.

then there's the aforementioned awkwardness of holding a remote with one hand and a controller in the other and trying to make that work (you wouldn't be able to hold a nunchuk for one). no stand has been shown for the controller and it doesn't look like there's any place for one to hook in.

i don't know why you're intent on believing that's a sensor bar when it would be much more practical to use the one on the tv. even when you're only using the controller, the console still has to be on since it generates the video, not the controller itself, so the sensor bar on the tv is going to be on anyway. why not use it instead of trying to cram your remote right in the controller's face?

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skywake

18. Posted:

romulux wrote:

go ahead and get 3 inches from your sensor bar and see how well your remote works. that close all it takes is about one inch of movement before the LEDs are totally out of the camera's view. you need to be far enough away so that the IR camera can see every LED clearly and has room for movement before the LEDs fall out of it's sight.

Yes, it's called FOV. Which is why the "space" for IR LEDs on the Wii U (highlighted bellow by me in red) have the IR LEDs a lot closer than they are on the Wii sensor bar. This wouldn't be an issue at all.
Untitled

romulux wrote:

then there's the aforementioned awkwardness of holding a remote with one hand and a controller in the other and trying to make that work (you wouldn't be able to hold a nunchuk for one). no stand has been shown for the controller and it doesn't look like there's any place for one to hook in.

I still don't understand at all how using the "TV" Sensor Bar solves this issue at all. If you are using the Wii U controller to play a Wii game while using a Wii Remote and Nunchuck then surely you'd face the same problem but also have the added hastle of having to face and point the controller at a screen you're not using. Your solution to the awkwardness of your "it uses the TV sensor bar" conclusion was to give the Wii U controller a stand.........

romulux wrote:

i don't know why you're intent on believing that's a sensor bar when it would be much more practical to use the one on the tv. even when you're only using the controller, the console still has to be on since it generates the video, not the controller itself, so the sensor bar on the tv is going to be on anyway. why not use it instead of trying to cram your remote right in the controller's face?

because pointing at a screen that isn't the screen you're playing on is ridiculous.

Edited on by skywake

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HolyMackerel

19. Posted:

Just my impression, but the black strip at the top doesn't look transparent in any of the photos I've seen. This is all just speculation of course. :P

I agree using the TV sensor bar is ridiculous if you're playing it on a separate screen. I wonder how Nintendo will solve this, or if they'll just leave Wii games off the small screen.

The Wii remotes and the Wii are configured to expect the infrared beams being a particular distance apart from one another (which allows it to determine your distance from the TV) and the TV being a rough percentage wider than that distance. The ratio would be something like this for a widescreen TV, although it is approximate since every TV is a different size:

Untitled

If the beams were at the positions you highlighted on the controller, you'd be aiming way off the sides of the controller in order to point at the edges of the screen.

Then there's the principle of naming it "Wii U". Wii was about groups, while Wii U is about individuals. Many Wii games are built for local multiplayer and 4 people crowding around that little screen doesn't make much sense from that perspective.

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warioswoods

20. Posted:

I'm pretty sure that it is a sensor bar, actually.

One useful application of it might be the golf example in the concept video; having the sensor on the floor like that would give a much more accurate read of the details of your swing and rotation as you passed the point of the ball.

EDIT: also, here's the offical details from Nintendo's E3 page.

The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.

Edited on by warioswoods

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