Ever since the GamePad was revealed people have wondered just how far away from your TV you can go with it. Can you get to the next room? The kitchen? The bathroom? The garden shed? So far Nintendo have only confirmed that you can definitely play it within the same room and the official Wii U specs declare a maximum range of up to 26 feet, but it appears that with the right variables you can go much further than that.
It all depends on where you live and what radio frequencies you’re surrounded by. For example, in small towns that have a distinct lack of radio frequencies - leaving people unable to listen to the radio or get phone signal - it appears chances of getting way over that 26 foot recommendation are much greater.
Speaking to Polygon, Dino Bekis, senior director of Wireless Connectivity at Broadcom - the company who developed the technology that connects the Wii U with the GamePad - said he wouldn't be surprised if some people can get to a distance over four times the figure given by Nintendo, but understood why the creator of the Wii U was being conservative in its recommendation:
They have to make sure that it will operate in all of these different environments. If you're in an environment that has a lot of different (WI-FI routers) running simultaneously or other interference, you won't get the same range. We've done many multiples of (Nintendo's suggested range), but Nintendo's perspective is that they want to guarantee a flawless user experience.
The distance you can go to depends on many other variables as well - such as the material your house and furniture is made of - so if you're the little pig who built his house from straw you may now point and laugh at your foolish bricklaying friend from down the street.
Bekis also mentioned that the Near Field Communication technology his company implemented into the GamePad is something that could bring a huge amount of opportunities to Wii U. At the moment he appears to be as in the dark as the rest of us as to what ideas Nintendo are cooking up for the technology but he expects them to announce more details about NFC after the console launches, saying everyone should “watch this space”.
Would you be disappointed if you couldn't make it into the next room with your GamePad without hindering performance, or are you fine sat in the same room as the Wii U console? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.