News Article

Nintendo Considered a 3D Screen on Wii U

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A tablet-sized 3DS?

Nintendo's next home console, which may or may not be called Wii U, is due before the end of the year. While Nintendo is gradually unveiling details about the console and its tablet controller, the recent appearance of the console's patent filings has provided an interesting insight into what the machine could potentially deliver.

As with all patent documents, and with these particular papers being dated September 2011, the inclusion of functionality in the filings doesn't mean that it will be included in the final product. With that in mind, Kotaku has been working through the paperwork to find some interesting information on Nintendo's potential plans.

Some details have already been teased by Nintendo in its E3 2011 unveiling video, such as the ability for the tablet controller to allow video communication: services such as Skype aren't mentioned, but this could be an area utilised in the Nintendo Network. There is also potential for the camera and microphone in the controller to provide facial recognition, which could certainly be used in a Mii Maker similar to 3DS, and also for voice recognition software, which could be used for voice-commands in games or perhaps even for Xbox 360 Kinect-style navigation through the console's menus.

The tablet screen itself, which hands-on reports confirm is a resistive touch screen — similar to DS/3DS technology — and has a standard-definition resolution, has been an area where Nintendo has considered more advanced technology. The patent filings raise the possibility of a 3D or HD screen on the tablet controller, with the 3D screen having the option of being stereoscopic glasses-free technology, like 3DS, or potentially just capable of outputting 3D images that are viewed through glasses. That would certainly give the controller an extra edge, though would also undoubtedly add to the cost of the console.

Unless Nintendo surprises us all at E3 with an updated, more advanced tablet screen, it seems unlikely that 3D or even HD resolutions will be possible on the controller. It's interesting to see that it was considered and we can certainly dream, can't we? As a reminder of what Wii U could achieve, below is the E3 2011 unveiling video for your enjoyment.

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User Comments (49)



Squashie said:

Hmm, I think giving the Wii U a 3D screen would potentially ruin the 3DS! Pitting two Nintendo consoles against each other...



Haxonberik said:

I love how nintendolife recycles the same images and videos and I end up watching them every time.



ScreamoPichu said:

I hope the Wii U tablet screen will at LEAST be 720p. Having a 3D screen would render the 3DS slightly useless.



drumsandperc92 said:

if 3ds costs $250 (if nintendo were to profit on each device sold) for Wii level power, 3d output, and a combined screen size of about 7 inches thats not anywhere near HD, than for the Wii U to feature next gen, 1080p tech in the actual system (putting OEM costs alone around $450), plus a 6-point-something inch screen, in HD, with the same 3D as on the 3ds, than i'm scared of what the wii U will cost consumers.
If it cost $400, I'd still get it. But even at that price, Nintendo will be losing money on each system. Furthermore, a second controller (should the system support it) would cost well over $100, maybe $150, and perhaps even as high as $200 (if HD and 3d) for Nintendo to profit....
It's also unlike Nintendo to release such an expensive piece of equipment.
I am guessing that they'll try to sell the Wii U at or around $300 - $350, and take a decent loss.
The controller already looks great, it doesn't necessarily need to be 1080p. 720p would be more than enough on a screen that small. And the 3D is a no-no. If they really want to output 3D they should do it through the system on the TV for those who have a 3D tv, similarly to how Ps3/360 support 3d.
If they cut out DVD support to save a few bucks, than they should definitely not include a 3d screen, or even the HD screen. Not worth it.



sillygostly said:

3D isn't necessary for the tablet, and it would only add to the cost of the system. I'd much rather that they supported 3D TVs instead.



Ryno said:

Yes, to putting out 3D images on the controller if I am already playing the game in 3D on my TV.

To those who want 720P, you don't need it for that screen size.



MrKenta said:

I don't think a touchscreen would work well with 3D, touching the screen and moving your hand over it would probably ruin the immersion. I'm all for HD though.



DarkKirby said:

I don't care about 3D on the Wii U's controller. I'm already concerned about the battery life of this controller. And as said, that's what the 3DS is for.



Kyloctopus said:

Eh I wouldn't care. The 3D on the 3DS is barely a feature to me. Let's just hope the controller isn't powered by heat.



Audacity said:

I don't think it'd work very well. Maintaining a steady angle and eyeline is important for 3DS's 3d effect to work. I don't think that'd be so easy with a controller.

My feeling is that you're only going to glance at the tablet screen occasionally and it'd probably just look flickery with 3ds type screen.



seronja said:

rumor is that the next xbox is the same tablet gaming, like the wii-u and they said that tablet would run on 1080p... if nintendo would be smart they would have the tablet on minimum 720p but support 3D that way the competition would be 50/50 for the consumers... but with a litlle extra money they could have a tablet that would have 1080p and the 3D, that way when sony comes with it's own tablet they can't just rip off nintendo again and make it all better... and for a wii-u like that 350€ is just a perfect price if they include a game inside like the wii sports or in this case "wii-u sports" =)



New_3DaSh_XL said:

Make 3D content for if the 3DS is a controller, nice add-on. Maybe a few more 3DS buys. As for the U Remote, HD is fine.... but dont make the controller cost more than the system!!!!!!!!!!



FluttershyGuy said:

Facial recognition? I like that. If some BLEEP ever stole my Wii U, seeing his/her worthless mug, the tablet would refuse to work, then it would tell the system that this is a thieving BLEEP. Or anyone else I don't want messing with my stuff.

Also, has anybody wondered about big screen DS/3DS gaming, by having the tablet to use for the touch screen? Forget Super Game Boy. SUPER DS/SUPER 3DS!



alLabouTandroiD said:

I'm glad i could read @Audacity(#18)'s comment before answering. Could have gotten pretty embarassing otherwise.
It really seems like glasses-free 3D wouldn't be practical if they use the exact same technology of the 3DS. If it was more advanced it could be interesting though. Especially if the what you get on your TV has to be 2D. (Which i would hate though.) That only goes for non-touch games though.
And it's not like the difficulties would end there. It doesn't seem like home3D with glasses is a hit with the masses. On the other hand Ninty could rue not supporting 3D at all if glasses free 3D TV's become popular and affordable in maybe three years.
I'd love to see 3D on the WiiU but the controller really seems to be out of question here.

Also what @motang(#12) said.



Smooth27 said:

I hope It has skype as for.the 3ds, and maybe you can download plat on the wii u ffrom the 3ds too. My wishes rite now is for ninyendos wii u to boast amazing tech such the wii u high everything DX 11, the controller with more sleeker look with more traditional analog triggers and the back triggers lever like, and also 3D and like someone said, at least 720p or like the vita 920something p. As for 3ds apps like skype and facebook, a new 3ds lite... Thats rite I went their this one can be for the hard core famers with two analogs included and a trigger grip,.so I can be converted into a wii u controller, at least 540p (720p preferable) sleeker and with a better battery life. Heck even if they make two 3DS Lite for the casual which would just be sleeker and longer battery amd the other ond fpr.the hardcore that dont mind spending extra cash on the ''3DS Pro'' which is what I explained before 3ds lite.



andrew1998 said:

the 3d on the 3ds isn't that great... I mean it gives me a head ache. just make the controller will also be bad 3d because the wii u involves a lot of motion action. if u move the 3ds around in 3d mode it screws everything up. it will be a bad idea. nobody appreciates the 3d crap.



TheRegginator said:

Games would amazing if that controller had a 1080p screen. My TV has a weird resolution below 1080p. I would probably be better of by playing the games with the controller only.



SKTTR said:

I support the idea of the Wii U controller having a 3D screen. Maybe not this generation, but definately next (or an updated 3D controller sold separately). This gen it´s Nintendo´s jump to HD, so I hope it´s at least HD resolution on the controller´s screen.



StarDust4Ever said:

Like all console games, people will sit next to each other and watch each other play. The 3D effect would ruin that, as well as make gyroscopic controls much more difficult. I hope Nintendo decides to incorporate an inductive charger for the pad.



bro2dragons said:

Considering you'd go from staring at the TV to moving your head all the way down to glance at the controller and HOPE your eyes hit the "sweet spot," 3D would be a HORRIBLE idea...



runeacer74 said:

i thought satoru iwata said a touchscreen and a 3D screen don't get along when he unveiled the 3ds



DarkEdi said:

My only wish is to tranfer all my saves and downloaded games and content from my Wii to Wii U (because wifi games are imposible to transfer to a SD card).



AltDotNerd said:

Nintendo, DON'T DO IT. 3D is what makes the 3DS special. Besides, people will be spending most of their time looking at the TV, not the controller.



RonF said:

I am glad they decided to go without 3D or HD. Because of the small screen, there is no reason to go 720p, as a lower resolution will provide enough density to satisfy most costumers. Regarding 3D, I never cared but it seems to be a fad anyway, considering it is not doing so well at the movies nowadays. They need to keep the cost down and concentrate to support two controllers per console. That will be more useful.



Kitty_hime1 said:

man the wii u looks soooo cool i just hope it will work without the HD tv cause i don't think my parents want to spend thousands of moneys just for a little awesomo consle



NintenHero said:

I don't think the Wii U tablet should have stereoscopic 3D, HD yes but 3D no.
If they did give it 3D like Thomas said, it would cost more money which is not an option... n' also the 3DS wouldn't seem "special" anymore.

NO extreme Nintendo fan (I'm one) can deny the FACT that the 3DS is just a DS with 3D, a circle pad n' enhanced features... so givin' the tablet 3D isn't a good idea

@MetalDragonZero's / #37's comment makes a lot of sense yo.



shinesprite said:

@sillygostly This.

Essentially, you would hold a touch screen with buttons and motion controls and (depending on your TV) and a 3D (upper) screen. . . Looks to me like the makings for a 3DS player.
Perhaps there could be a Wii U--3DS dock peripheral which allowing players to enjoy everything from their portable (yes, including the Menu) on the big screen, while charging.



shinesprite said:

@Nintenderp That would be like asking, "What was the point of having a Gameboy, if I allready had a NES + Game Boy Player?" The portability factor is key!



famestephy09 said:

Nintendo should make the 3DS have compatibility with the Wii U simular to the PsVita and the PS3. The thought of the Wii U controller being 3D to me bothers. Nintendo should just make an HD screen.



Ren said:

come on, people. Does anyone here know what HD means? A screen that small doesn't need anything like HD resolution, It's way overkill.
When you shrink the resolution of any SD screen down that small it already looks like HD as-is. To squeeze '1920x1080' pixels into a tiny screen or even close to it means trying to resolve detail that human eyes could never make out unless maybe you held the thing right against your eyeballs. It's just dumb, I would never pay for such a thing. As long as the Console renders HD images to play with, the controller display only needs to be as sharp as tablets are now.
Would you pay $5,000 to have a 1000 pound hamburger when you couldn't possibly eat it all before it went bad? Of course not.
We all want the coolest stuff to be in this but around the $300 range, right? That means no mini-HD or 3d controller screen then, it's just not possible and you know they won't release this at a loss, Nintendon't play that game. They don't sell computer stuff or stereos like the other guys, so they don't take losses on this stuff, it's a huge part of their entire profit model.



Gioku said:

Man, if the controller has a camera, we have the potential for Kinect or Playstation Move type control! you would just need to place the controller in a similar position to the way the Kinect camera thing works, and then you could have Kinect-type control for Wii U!



Mryokokurama1 said:

Nintendo said it could be played on a 3d tv. they said it could be possible but i wouldnt want 3d on a touchscreen though it would probaly keep on waring off the 3d effect i really dont even car about it having 3d or not theres more important things to worry about. But i hope it does have a camera and mic that would be great but the price for the system would probaly be 350 or 300 at the max.



Mryokokurama1 said:

and also i think selling this a 300 or 350 max is quite a great price for a system like this i wouldnt mine paying that much considering i have a 500 dollar gamestop card that im saving for the wii u and a game for it.

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