Article 007: Wii U Rumor Roundup 2

Greetings, friends. Doctor X is here to consolidate and contemplate the latest batch of Wii U rumors, and let me tell you they are coming fast and from left field as we approach the E3 in about a month. Once again, I have plugged in the JoystickRobot to an internet mainframe to download and parse all the rumors from every which/where.  I for one am very excited about the Wii U, and I really think that if the rumors are true, it is shaping out to be a fantastic system. Let's get started...

The first rumor out there is that the Wii U will be built on some version of the Android OS, or at least Android OS will run on top of it. The first instance of this rumor is vague and short here at nintendo-town (a french site). However, it has spread throughout the interwebs landing here, here, and here. Put simply, this would be brilliant. Imagine for a minute the possibilities. A universe of Android apps being able to run on the Wii U. A library of 3rd party casual games in addition to the HD games that we already expected. We have heard before that the Wii U will have a bona fide app store. Maybe this is because the Wii U will be going the route of the Amazon Kindle Fire, and be built on a version of Android. I think that, like the Kindle Fire, the Wii U will be such a derived version of Android that it will essentially be a fork, and as such will require it to have its own app store operated by Nintendo. Why you ask? Because the Wii U will require a much more specific version of the OS--specific interface, specific proprietary apps built by Nintendo, and Nintendo would most likely want to have a firmer control over what apps can make it into their app store.

Another facet of this rumor is the fact that the Wii U is rumored to function as a set-top cable box, and the Android rumor raises the possibility of Google TV being somesome factshow integrated into it, since Google TV is also built on Android. This avenue might require a more vanilla version of Android to run the standard version of Google TV, or perhaps it will run it as an app, or perhaps it will run a special Nintendo supported TV app. This last possibility isn't unheard of especially now that Nintendo recently bought Mobiclip--a company that builds apps to make videos run on Android, among other platforms, and will likely use the Wii U as a system geared toward watching TV/movies/videos as well as play games.

Is the Android rumor plausible? I actually think so. While many other sites have filed this one under unlikely, I file this under brilliant. Nintendo would take on the mobile industry head-on, and provide a system that costs less than a smartphone or tablet (without a contract) that can play all the games and apps of as smartphone or tablet, as well as all the HD games of this generation like Darksiders II and Arkham City, as well as Nintendo-exclusives like Mario, Metroid and Zelda, all in one system. Add in the funtionality as a cable box that also plays Netflix and Hulu videos, and we have a winner. People have said time and again that the biggest challenge that Nintendo faces is the mobile industry. So why not build a system that can do everything that the mobile industry can do and more? What better way to grab that bull by the horns and show it who is boss? I really hope this rumor is true, for it would re-instill a lot of confidence in me for the future of the big N.

Another rumor that I want to touch on is a resurfaced rumor about haptic technology. Haptic technology is not the same thing as "haptic feedback". Haptic screens allow you to really "feel" textures as if they were real. We first heard this rumor way back when, and rumors of the name "Nintendo feel" started cropping up before the last E3. Since then, we have heard nothing about this. Recently, the exhibitor list for the E3 has confirmed that Vivitouch, a company that specializes in haptic screen technology will be at the E3. Another site has alledged that the layout of the booths positions Vivitouch right next to Nintendo. We couldn't confirm that due to a non-responsive site provide as the source, but we could confirm that indeed Vivitouch will be there. Whether this is indeed a peripheral or part of the main system of the Wii U, only time will tell. But we are intrigued. Haven't heard of haptic technology? Check the video below:
Another recent rumor is about the name of the system. Now while we have previously reported that the name of the system may not be the "Wii U", it is still unconfirmed what the new name would be. However given that many people thought that the Wii U was a peripheral for the Wii, and that the 3DS confused people as to whether it is a new system or not, it isn't completely surprising that this rumor would crop up. The latest suggestion is that the new system will in fact be called "Nintendo Entertainment System 6". That's right the NES6. That would mean Super Nintendo was really NES2, N64 was really NES3, GameCube was really NES4, and the Wii was really NES5. We don't really believe this source, nor do we believe their image as legit, however this rumor has to intrigue us. It wouldn't be such a bad name, after all. It would highlight the fact that the system is shaping out to be kind of an all-purpose device that can do almost everything--an "entertainment system" as it were. Maybe the Big N is going all retro on us, and that is why they recently reserved the domain name "" because they are in fact going to release a super mario game on this system called "Super Mario Bros 4". That would be pure retro awesomeness.

Finally, we should touch on details of the controller. For starters, we have a confirmed patent from Nintendo. There are recent patents on peripherals for gun like devices that look really cool. Add-ons like this will really make first person shooters excel on this system. There are other recent patents like the image found deep in the bowels of NeoGaf, pictured below, of a base station charger, perhaps similar to the one for the 3DS. This only makes sense considering nobody wants to have to go out and buy batteries every few weeks. Another patent suggests that the circle pads will be clickable. I would say this is not necessary, but who knows, I guess to be completely compatible with Xbox360 and PS3 so that games can be easily ported over, this might be necessary. The ultimate source here are the NeoGAF forums, and other than a schematic that didn't actually confirm a clickable button, we couldn't find confirmation. So take that last one with a grain of salt, even though it is entirely plausible.

Well, that is all I can manage at this point. I hope you have had fun reading and thinking about the possibilities. It is easy to get carried away in the rumors, but it sure is fun.

Until next time,
Doctor X and JR