Article 003: Wii U Rumor Roundup

Greetings, Friends! Doctor X here. I have now interfaced JR (the "JoystickRobot") into an internet main-frame, programmed to extract and compile all the latest and most credible scoops on the upcoming "Wii U" system. This is an amalgamation of this info, but at this point, nothing is certain until launch, so keep in mind that much of this is still falsifiable.

 Overall, it is looking more and more that the Wii U is turning into an all-purpose device. With the versatility of the touchscreen controller, and the fact that it is hooked up to your TV, the possibilities are endless. Lets go one-by-one through the latest scoops:

The Wii U will be multi-functional: This is old news. The first announcement at E3 showed the Wii U as a drawing device, video chat device, and of course play video games.
Drawing directly on the controller. Old news, but still cool. 
 The Wii U will be an e-reader: Rumor has it, that the Wii U will be able to download books, magazines and comic books and the like, viewable on either the tablet-style controller or possibly the TV itself. This makes total sense, especially given the back catalog of old Nintendo Power magazines that Nintendo has control over. Plus, all the video game guide books for all the countless games that will be sold through the system. It would make sense for the distribution of e-comic books on the system too, given the probably substantial overlap between comic book readers and game players. There is probably room for general books to be sold through the system. Why not? The demographics for the Wii is broad and deep, so the audience is diverse. Perhaps Nintendo can score a similarly broad audience for the Wii U and get solid distribution deals for a similarly broad assortment of magazines and books.
Wii U an e-book reader? Image from SlashGear
The Wii U will be have tons of TV shows, movies, and other videos: Rumor has it, Nintendo has been seeking distribution deals with many content providers. Other rumors suggest that the Wii U will plug directly into your cable outlet (and TV) and work as a cable distribution system. Now, couple that news with the fact that Nintendo announced the end of their current Video service, and then turned around and purchased video codec company Mobiclip (From Cubed3 translated from inside-games). Mobiclip has expertise in creating video players for various mobile devices. Moreover, it is well known that the Wii already has Netflix and Hulu Plus apps, and Wii U almost certainly will too. Combine this all together, and it seems like the Wii U will be a powerful video system, serving up all kinds of TV shows, movies, and video content.

The Wii U will feature a true app store: Rumor has it, Nintendo is planning to launch with a full fledged app store. This could mean that it will allow you to play some of the more basic games like Angry Birds with the tablet style controller in between power-sessions of an HD Zelda game. Others say that Nintendo has approached various iOS app developers. So you could probably imagine that this system will have a Facebook app, Youtube app, Yelp app etc. The possibilities are endless. The combination of tablet controller and TV connection will give a new twist to the usual app. The rumored plan is that Nintendo will keeps the apps simple, and has high standards of quality.

The Wii U will feature NFC functionality: Nintendo is reporting that the Wii U will feature "near field communication" that will allow it to interact with game cards and figurines. It is kind of hard to imagine how this will work, but probably something similar to the new 3DS game Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. Only time will tell what Nintendo has in mind for this. Possibly, it could allow one to place their iPhone or Android smartphone on the Wii U controller, and buy games with the payment systems on the phone (like Google Wallet).

The Wii U may not be called the Wii U: Rumor has it, Nintendo is exploring other name possibilities for the new system. Now, this isn't terribly surprising, considering the Wii was introduced as the Revolution. So perhaps the "Wii U" was just the initial code name. Given the above numerous possibilities for the system, it isn't terribly surprising that they would look to expand the image of the system. On the flip side, the name "Wii" is one of  the most successful brand names in video game history, so it will be tough to abandon it completely. To be honest, I was never big on the name "Wii U". It was always kind of a frustrating name to say for me. It is kind of an oxymoron, and still wasn't a great one. Either way, you know I will buy one on the first day it is available. I still think Nintendo can come up with a completely new, amazingly original, creative name.

All in all, the Wii U will do quite a bit. It will quite possibly be an all pupose set-top-box. However, this will put Nintendo in some stiff competition. Both the Playstation3 and the Xbox360 are big in this space (although they lack a touchscreen controller, which arguably adds more functionality). In addition, Apple has the Apple TV, which could interface with the iPad. That combination could do all that the Wii U could do and likely more, but at a much higher price. It turns out Google is getting in on the action, and has a set-top-box in the works as well. Images of this device cropped up weeks ago, and have since disapeared from the internet. In the end, competition is good for consumers. Hopefully Nintendo can pull all this together and give us an amazing system.

Thanks for reading!
Doctor X and the JoystickRobot


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