News Article

Rumour: Wii U and 3DS to Get E-Reader Capabilities

Posted by James Newton

Don't read too much into it

Nintendo showed off the Wii U's new controller reading the web, but surely it's got far greater potential when it comes to giving you something to read. According to Forget the Box, Nintendo is prepping full-on e-reader software for its new console.

The site's anonymous developer source claims Nintendo is getting ready to add books, magazines, newspapers, comics and strategy guides to Wii U's abilities, all streamed to the console's new controller. According to the source, Nintendo wants all past issues of Nintendo Power to be available, as well as its official Player's Guides for older Virtual Console games, the idea being to flick through a strategy guide on your Wii U controller while playing your VC game on the TV.

The source also claims 3DS will be updated to receive the same service, with Nintendo aiming to unify some services between both consoles.

This all sounds good, but what do you make of it?

[via forgetthebox.net]

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User Comments (65)

GameLord08

#1

GameLord08 said:

Looks like that Wii U app store rumour is coming to life. :O

But yeah, I kinda like this. Magazines, comics, books, guides... Hope we get some kind of subscription option for the relevant reading material.

NX01Trekkie1992

#2

NX01Trekkie1992 said:

would... this mean that the 3DS would have full access to the Wii VC library? I doubt it does... but that'd be awesome, also, having an e-reader on the Wii U controller would be awesome, however, I think the biggest thing I'd request from Big N with the Wii U would be the ability to switch which screen has the VC game, and which screen has the strategy guide, I play a lot of games on my bed, and it'd be easier on my neck if I could just turn my head and glance at the TV once in a while rather than stare at the TV the whole time (actually that might explain my current neck pain problem)

eviLaTtenDant

#3

eviLaTtenDant said:

Why not. The idea 'bout the strategy guides is a very clever one. Here's to hoping they'll only cost a fraction of what you have to pay for the VC game.
Shared services between 3DS and WiiU sounds promising too. :)


What's great about the book collections on the DS is that you can confortably read the book by holding it in just one of your hands and turn pages with the D-Pad (preferably the C-Pad on the 3DS). I'm not sure if that will be possible with the seemingly huge WiiU controller.

kyuubikid213

#4

kyuubikid213 said:

I think an e-reader on the 3DS would be kind of neat. You buy a book and read it with your system... But I probably wouldn't get it simply because of the 3DS's battery life. I could just get a real book and conserve all battery life.

The Wii U having this feature seems cool, but slightly pointless. If it is just Nintendo Power type stuff that goes into it, then that would be cool, but if it is real books, that means that you would have to turn on your Wii U, turn on your controller, and read the book. You would most likely have pretty good range in your house, but then you might as well get a Kindle...

If the systems have shared services...COOL! I mean, if the same games came out for both of them, I would have to decide between getting it on the U or my 3DS, but COOL!

James

#5

James said:

@battLeToaD According to the original site, the Player's Guides would be free, but let's face it — not gonna happen ;)

nick_gc

#7

nick_gc said:

Untitled

I can't have been the first who thought of this when I read the headline?

Terra

#9

Terra said:

The GBA E-Reader was also the first thing that came to mind when I read that.

Highwinter

#11

Highwinter said:

It would be an interesting addition, and definitely a good sign that Nintendo is taken the modern times a bit more seriously. It wouldn't replace my kindle though, it's e-ink or nothing when it comes to e-books.

eviLaTtenDant

#12

eviLaTtenDant said:

@James (5.): No let's not ! Let's just say it will be welcome as an apology for months without Wii VC games. ;)
If they come more or less directly with the game i just hope that they won't make it more expensive.

JJtheTexan

#13

JJtheTexan said:

Seriously folks? What use would a printed card-based e-reader have in 2012, with wi-fi everything and DLC?

SLiM

#16

SLiM said:

I would have killed for the ability to look at a strategy guide on my controller as a kid. Sounds like a great feature to me.

md1500

#18

md1500 said:

They've dabbled in this area before.
Remember the 100 Classic Book Collection for the DS?!

motang

#19

motang said:

I might not use it as I don't really read much, but I know a lot of people who do, this is the whole expanded audience that Nintendo is going after.

Rapadash6

#20

Rapadash6 said:

Of course Nintendo is going to do this. That kind of diversity is the whole idea behind the streaming controller with large screen concept. Obviously Nintendo want's to merge the convenience of mobile devices into an HD home console experience. I'm very anxious to see more.

Aqueous

#21

Aqueous said:

I'm still looking forward to this. So that's the e-reader? Huh, I've got two cards for it.

Hardy83

#24

Hardy83 said:

If they do let you read books, Nintendo would be smart to just let Kobo, Amazon and Barnes'n'Noble make their own apps with in app purchases and just give Nintendo a small cut.

But, since Nintendo likes to do it the "Nintendo way". It'll be their own market, overpriced and never promoted with next to not enough content for a good year.

rjejr

#25

rjejr said:

If the 3DS e-reader works anything like the Wii or 3DS web browsers then just forget it, you would get 3 words per page with the option to zoom in to 1 big word at a time. The WiiU controller screen may be big enough though and probably a better match than the 3DS screens. Swapnote does not make me want to read books on the 3DS.

OldBoy

#29

OldBoy said:

I'll still be sticking to the paper variety but its a nice feature to be sure!

FOREST_RANGER

#30

FOREST_RANGER said:

Yum! Books for my brain! Wait, if the WiiU controller lacks a processor, will I be able to carry them to my bedroom and still be able to leave my Wii U in the living room? o_O

AVahne

#31

AVahne said:

When I read the headline, I thought they were bringing back the GBA e-Reader, but as a new feature that lets you scan cards (like Pokemon cards) and add them to games. Or like using QR codes for putting in new content into games, the same way the e-Reader used cards for extra content for certain games.

wanderlustwarrior

#32

wanderlustwarrior said:

Sounds very good to me, especially the VC guides and unified service.

What do we know about the console's ability to multitask? And how far away would a reader (the controller in general, really) work from the console?

Also, if anyone at NLife has used the demo, would it feel comfortable this way?

AlphaLink

#34

AlphaLink said:

Hmmm... yeah. First thing I thought was the GameBoy Advance software too. It IS Nintendo after all!

drumsandperc92

#35

drumsandperc92 said:

interesting. i think the best use for this as gamers is the digital strategy guide. perhaps if in a game such as zelda the controller was used as the inventory or map or something, it would be easy enough to put that function back to a pause button or an on screen mini map or something, and then be able to bring up a strategy guide that can use some sort of smart search type feature to find out where you are in the game and bring you directly to the appropriate page in the guide? that would be cool.
not too excited for any other use of it as an e-reader. especially since the controller is a streaming device and the console is where all the computing happens. means you can't take it with you or anything, you're going to have to be within some sort of close proximity to the console. using nintendo's own example from e3, if you're reading something, say a comic, on the tv screen and someone wants to watch TV, you switch it to the controller. ok...but that person is now watching tv...you probably want a quiet place to read your comic...how far is the controller going to be able to travel? just saying...sounds good in theory, but, how useful is it really? and this doesn't really mean much, it's just going to be a function of the console, not the controller, and simply like everything else we already knew about the wii u, you'll be able to stream it to the controller screen.

KingMike

#36

KingMike said:

I see I'm also not the first person that thinks of the GBA when hearing "e-reader".

JJGenesis

#37

JJGenesis said:

Why the hell not, pretty much everything comes with E-reader nowadays, I would welcome this if the price is right.

shinesprite

#38

shinesprite said:

Very logical and unified. . . I like it!

Now all they need is to merge the home, hand-held, and Club accounts into one massive shop. Think about it, you could buy a Wii U game on your 3DS, and it would be downloaded and waiting for you when you got home! . . . and if you don't own a Wii U, you could browse the titles, but they would appear greyed-out until you linked a Wii U to your Nintendo account. (and vice-versa)

;)

Blue_Yoshi

#39

Blue_Yoshi said:

Hmm this can potentially turn the 3DS into a digital must have and actually compete against smartphones.

Hokori

#40

Hokori said:

@7 I thought that meant more GBA games on VC with the touch screen being an eReader

Peznaze

#42

Peznaze said:

Doubt it'll be a full fledged eReader, more likely just Nintendo comics and strategy guides, not plugging a .mobi into the SD slot and reading..,,

Sapo

#44

Sapo said:

I'd totally love to have the possibility to subscribe to a manga thing..
Well that would be good if you pay monthly and every week you have new chapters on it.
Like the jap magazines, so we would have them too.
'sides oh well, playing VC games w/some great strategy guides would be so good.
I hope this rumor to be true!

pntjr

#45

pntjr said:

I hate reading. I'd rather sleep naked in the middle of a blizzard. The only books I've read were The Bible, Twilight Saga, and The Hunger Games Trilogy. That's it. I'm not getting this.

wanderlustwarrior

#46

wanderlustwarrior said:

I daresay if you've fully read the bible, you're a pretty accomplished reader.

That said, if you're going to pass on the Wii U because it's giving you the option to read, that's pretty ridiculous.

Knuckles

#48

Knuckles said:

@md1500 its 101 classic books. Funny nintendo should revive the e-reader just for nostalgia. Then again, can u imagine the eshop price for that. Also, could the 3DS support a FREE online mag service? It might, but FREE nintendo powers, that asks should we cancel our NP Crew subscriptions?

Bigrat

#52

Bigrat said:

I already have Barnes and Noble Nook. I do like the idea thpugh. Nintendo is truly taking advantage of the 3DS. I still hope for a YouTube app.

lalalalalalal

#53

lalalalalalal said:

Would be cool....
If I liked to read, and not like to game.
@John-John
That would be great (to have NP+guide books)...........but if the e reader would be an application, you would have to close the game your playing, check the e-guide book, and then go back to the game you were playing before hand. (unless you were playing a wii game or whatever, and was using an e-guide book for that)
Unless of course this could be a future 3DS system update, in which the e reader would be in the same place as the 3DS browser/friend list/notifications/game notes, so you could close software, and jump right in to reading a book.
Yeah.

lalalalalalal

#54

lalalalalalal said:

OR (sorry if one of you guys all ready said this),
Each book could have it's OWN APP- like the videos...

Coolio2480

#55

Coolio2480 said:

sounds great and stuff but i dont think it will be that poular becuz the wii u isnt that portable and i think people would rather use a kindle or ipad or ipodtouch

MachineLaw

#57

MachineLaw said:

I am genuinely excited about this news, because not only will this be tremendously convenient but it may also encourage kids to read a little more. I hope they offer some Paulo Cohelo books for my region and I will totally buy a subscription for Nintendo Power the moment the service is live, since the publication is US only.

For the people complaining about having to be in the living room, I'm sure that at least the Wii U will support enough distance from the living room to you bedroom, and if not, what's wrong with sitting comfy on your sofa while reading a book?

eviLaTtenDant

#58

eviLaTtenDant said:

Imagine if for normal books it worked like netflix. One subscription, one monthly fee but access from nearly all platforms ever made. Or so i've heard. :)

Sabrewing

#59

Sabrewing said:

I'll admit, the article title made me think of the Game Boy Advance's e-Reader at first. I'd be appalled if they considered bringing that back.

Ducutzu

#60

Ducutzu said:

Some publication somewhere writes a fantasy piece called "What would it be like if Apple buys Nintendo?"... then other web sites find it on Google News and the news becomes "Rumour: Apple to buy Nintendo".

This phenomenon happens all the time...

B-Ray97

#61

B-Ray97 said:

The 3DS is giving us more abbilities to do on the 3DS e-books come on, wait a year and we can call with it!

StarDust4Ever

#62

StarDust4Ever said:

These are awesome news. I must admit though, strategy guides become a little less useful when you have to quit playing the game to read them. Hopefully, they make it like the Internet Channel on 3DS where you don't have to quit the game to access the strategy guide channel. They could bundle strategy guides and full color manuals, along with old commercials, promotional artwork, etc, with certain Hot-Tiket Virtual Console Games, kinda like how studios cram bonus content on DVD and BluRay movies.

PJRandall

#64

PJRandall said:

This is sort of a neat thing, I guess... The only way I'd really use it is if I could sync my Kindle library onto my WiiU. I'm not enamored with the idea of buying a book on a (non-portable) console.

Progamer

#65

Progamer said:

3ds an ereader? Its made for gaming, not reading, the screen is dang too small

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