Microsoft’s latest dashboard update for the Xbox 360 introduced the ability to browse the web via Internet Explorer, but web browsing on games consoles isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Nintendo’s Wii, for example, offered this facility over five years ago via The Internet Channel (essentially a customised version of the Opera browser), and the company’s next-generation console, the Wii U, will also offer access to websites.
Nintendo has revealed a few details about the console’s browser, which is based on the NetFront Browser engine, used for embedded browsing in a vast range of devices such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, public information terminals and gaming devices, including Nintendo’s own 3DS handheld.
Unsurprisingly, the Wii U’s browser won’t support Adobe Flash – or any other plug-ins for that matter – but it does support current HTML5 standards. The browser achieved a reputable, if not remarkable, score of 323+8 (out of a possible 500 points) via HTML5Test.com; by comparison, the Xbox 360’s Internet Explorer 9 browser achieved a comparatively poor score of 120+8.
However, while the Xbox 360 includes multitouch browsing support via the new Xbox SmartGlass apps – allowing users to navigate and browse the web on the console using gestures such as pinch-to-zoom on a compatible smartphone or tablet – the Wii U gamepad does not support multitouch inputs.
The Wii U will launch across North America on 18 November, and in Europe on 30 November.
Shareholders are unimpressed
Nintendo’s E3 press conference prompted a mixed reaction from the attendees and viewers around the internet, with the Wii U-focused presentation apparently failing to gain widespread support and praise. That same reaction has been reflected in the Japanese stock market since it opened today, with the company’s shares falling: at the time of writing they have fallen around 2.68 percent.
Falling share prices are a hazard of the business that Nintendo knows well; it experienced similar issues after previous E3 press conferences, in addition to dropping shareholder confidence after recent financial issues. The fall in share value could be attributed to a number of issues, with the announced launch titles — particularly those that are first-party — perhaps failing to grab the imagination as expected.
It’s disappointing news for Nintendo, but as we’ve seen with its efforts in improving the fortunes of 3DS, you should never write it off.
Nintendo’s Wii U Gamepad controller will last anywhere between three and five hours on a full charge, the company has confirmed, paying a runtime penalty for its 6.2-inch touchscreen. The distinctive tablet controller is the all-singing, all-dancing hub of Nintendo’s next-gen console strategy – not only allowing for primary game control, but independent use and even replacing your TV remote – but the limitations of battery technology mean gamers can’t expect to go wireless all day.
Nintendo hasn’t confirmed battery life times until now, having revealed the slightly redesigned Wii U Gamepad earlier this week at E3 2012. The equally important figure is recharge time, with the Japanese firm suggesting the slate will take around 2.5hrs to juice back up to full power.
In the meantime, though, gaming can continue, albeit over a wired connection. The Wii U supports a direct, cable hook-up between console and tablet, at the cost of some flexibility but meaning players will still at least be able to use their systems while they wait.
The gamepad also supports reading and writing of data via NFC, and measures in at 41mm x 255.4mm x 133.4mm. It weighs roughly 500g. Nintendo has reconfirmed that it’s due to hit shelves in time for the holidays, though pricing is unknown.
During the Nintendo Direct Wii U special they revealed a brand new controller for the system.
Iwata explained that the Wii U Pro Controller is intended for multiplatform games. This controller appears to be best used for more hardcore games (Shooters perhaps). An Ideal choice for playing the new Super Smash Bros. game they announced last year!
Upon first glance it looks an awful lot like the Xbox 360 Controller.
Today at 23:00 GMT a very special Nintendo pre E3 presentation is going to be taking place. This will kick off a fantastic week of gaming announcements. The presentation cannot be viewed live but i will be posted on Nintendo’s site later.
Nintendo stated that the presentation will focus on the “concept” of the will U. This will help us understand the main concept of the Wii U and provide us with some new information about the Wii U. Nintendos offical press conference is set for the 5th of June and Nintendo said they will not reveal the price or the release date. We believe this presentation will help build all of the hype behind the Wii U and Nintendo products.