News Article

Wii U Browser to Use Multiple GamePad Control Options

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Gyro sensor, touch screen and buttons

Nintendo hasn't always enjoyed the most success with its console web browsers, often due to modest specifications or a lack of system memory. Nintendo's now released a new Iwata Asks transcript where the team discuss the development of the Wii U Browser, and why it'll be a pleasant surprise for gamers.

Part of the conversation revolved around implementing a request from Shigeru Miyamoto, namely using the GamePad screen to view enlarged text from the TV. Meeting that challenge meant imposing some limitations, such as setting the browser so that, apart from adjusting zoom, scrolling was limited to vertical movement only. That change, however, brought the gyroscope into play.

Tsuda: Once we set it to vertical scrolling, there was a dramatic improvement in functionality, and we created the gyro scroll mode, which allows you to scroll by pointing the Wii U GamePad up or down. I think the ability to not just use a touch screen, but to use the actual console for a simpler experience is very suited to the Wii U, and it turned out quite well.

Iwata: If you can only use the touch screen, you have to keep moving your fingers, but in taking that step away and just tilting the Wii U GamePad, it's much more direct. I like that.

Tsuda: That part was changed several times during development.

Iwata: When it comes to things like that, there are a lot of advantages with using Wii U as a browser.

Tsuda: That's true. There's a screen you can manipulate in your hands, and a screen made just for viewing things that's set a bit farther away from you, and I think the compatibility is a perfect match.

To round out the control options, it was also explained that conventional gaming controls can also be used to navigate the browser.

Iwata: What functions have you assigned to the buttons like the +Control Pad?

Tsuda: It's made so you can navigate it as if it was a video game. The +Control Pad toggles the focus, the L and R Sticks will adjust the zoom on the entire website, and the A Button is the confirm button.

Of all the built-in applications, I think the Internet Browser is the only one with this much buttons that can be used with it. Like pressing the L Stick will hide the tool bar, which will give more room to display the website.

Finally, part of the user account system on Wii U will be to store individual browser histories and favourites, but the Mii character will also make a fun appearance within the app itself.

Iwata: Wii U supports multiple user accounts, so it displays the Mii of the current user, right?

Tsuda: Right. We also made it so that the Mii would represent the user's feelings, like when a website would take a while to load the Mii would nod its head, and if it takes a really long time to load it would fall asleep! The Mii would sometimes also tell you about some hidden features. And, if you take a closer look at the Mii, you can tell that it's holding a book. By touching the Mii, the bookmark will open. The bookmark is designed like an actual book, so I'd like people to keep a collection of their favourite websites.

We suggest that you read the full Iwata Asks if you want to know more. The Wii U Browser sounds full of promise, and could be ideal for looking up tips when playing a game, for example. Will it run smoothly and out-perform its predecessors? There's not long until we find out.

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (27)

Wonder_Ideal

#1

Wonder_Ideal said:

Sounds like the use of so many control schemes for the Internet Browser will make the experience enjoyable for everyone. I like it.

True_Hero

#2

True_Hero said:

I think this sounds much better than Wii's internet browser. It's great that Nintendo can make something as simple as using the internet an enjoyable new experience.

TOMBOY25

#5

TOMBOY25 said:

off topic question guys i have 3 wii remotes and will have the wiiu on nov30th i was thinking in NSMBU can the wii u gamepad user play with the 3 wii-motes as in controlling a character or is the gamepad permanently an assist role unless in single player looked around cant find any info on it

MrWalkieTalkie

#6

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Great games AND Internet connection? On one console? From Nintendo!? I may never leave the Wii U when I get it...

eviLaTtenDant

#10

eviLaTtenDant said:

It sounds really great and thoughtful. I think it could be the most comfy browser ever made.
I wonder if you can share your bookmarks with other users on your system.

rjejr

#11

rjejr said:

Gyro sounds weird and annoying. I'm typing this on my Galaxy Tab 2 7" and I usually turn off rotation because that annoys me. Does the Gameplay rotate? It might be a bit awkward to hold but I think most people used to Kindles, 7" tablets and other ereader's will be more accustomed to web browsing in portrait mode.
Glad to read they are putting so much effort into the web browser, if it works I'll be using it a lot during football season along with TVii.

Magnet_Man018

#13

Magnet_Man018 said:

@TOMBOY25 I really think you can use the Gamepad like a Wii Remote. I remember reading that the assist thing is an optinal mode. Not sure though, but it would also make a lot of sense, since you can play as a character only on the Gamepad. :)

SMW

#14

SMW said:

I love the part about how websites can take advantage of the GamePad's controls. I must try it out!

Also this part is so cool:

Right. We also made it so that the Mii would represent the user's feelings, like when a website would take a while to load the Mii would nod its head, and if it takes a really long time to load it would fall asleep! The Mii would sometimes also tell you about some hidden features. And, if you take a closer look at the Mii, you can tell that it's holding a book. By touching the Mii, the bookmark will open. The bookmark is designed like an actual book, so I'd like people to keep a collection of their favorite websites.

goldgin

#15

goldgin said:

If the browser loads fast then this could be interesting. Jurging from the 3ds browser though, I'm fairly pessimistic.

GameLord08

#17

GameLord08 said:

@goldgin: The Wii U browser's performance is miles better than the 3DS's. It even outperforms Internet Explorer 10 on PC in some respects.

@123akis: It supports up to six tabs.


I like how with most integrations, the Wii U is proving itself to be advanced using intuition, not expense. Smart indeed.

EDIT: Also just found out that there's a feature you can use to use curtains to hide what you're browsing on the TV while on the GamePad. :O

Charizard1995

#22

Charizard1995 said:

I wish the Wii U supported Flash because I would love to play flash games on the Wii U.Oh well, HTMI 5 is good enough I guess.

FonistofCruxis

#24

FonistofCruxis said:

The Wii U browser sounds far better than Nintendo's other browsers. I like the sound of having your Mii in the corner reacting the page load times. It would be cool if you could use Mii emoticons on forums.

JuanitoShet

#26

JuanitoShet said:

Here's to hoping that it really IS alot better than any of the previous/current browsers!

kyuubikid213

#27

kyuubikid213 said:

I think it's kind of funny...watching the Mii do all this random stuff.

But how do I use these features? I've been on the Internet Browser twice and still nothing.

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