Just rethinking the demonstrations that Nintendo put on yesterday when they unveiled the Wii U. Well what they admittedly did was unveil the New Controller (some video footage they’ve acknowledged to have use Xbox and PlayStation images for because the Wii U is a year off). It’s a somewhat novel idea to have a touchscreen controller that at times is controller but it can also be used to be an alternative controller or show different views of information other than what’s on the tv. It’s not merely an iPad with a controller as there’s still a central console that the controllers interact with. Then it reminded me of what Microsoft already showed us. I mean we all wanted the Xbox and Windows Phone integration to be live come Mango and Microsoft hasn’t announced it so presumably it’s not ready yet. But if you recall they did show us this video about 4 months ago:

So because it’s an Xbox the primary controller is actually the person moving via Kinect and yup, the Windows Phone acts like the Wii U’s New Controller. It’s a secondary device that links to the Xbox in real time and has secondary interactions. Now except from this brief demo we weren’t shown off how far that will go but it’s pretty easy to imagine that the ways the Wii U uses the controller can also be mimicked with an Xbox and Windows Phone. And remember, in the video the controller is not getting a straight feed of what’s on the tv. You’ll notice the screen image is different from the stick figures to the layout so they already contemplated that the controller and the TV would show different images.

And being that the Wii U is a year off, Microsoft now has a deadline to get this out to the market in a polished form and give devs the ability to tap into this. If they preempt the Wii U then it may just prove to be DOA.


  1. I almost instantly tought about this demo when I saw Nintendo’s demo. I was shaking my head thinking about how Xbox has the leg up because their controller is a phone and can leave the house too. Combined with Kinect & Windows Phone plus Bing audio now firmly being integrated that is a powerful combination to match.

  2. @Sean:

    Yes, after they got rid of their restrictions (12.may?) they sure do seem to bring it all together beautifully in a way that seems so logical and yet so fantastic. We really can’t wait for the “Win8 – WP7 – Live – SkyDrive – Xbox(/Zune) – Bing – Office” combination, can we? :-)

    And please show me just one other company that can do that with such a big impact!

  3. Nintendo still has the lion’s share of the gaming market, so what they do is very influential. I’d argue that the Nintendo Wii U has a major advantage in this comparison. The Wii U does all of the processing. A phone, while a powerful device in its own right, pales in comparison to modern desktop and console processor power. The Wii U specs haven’t been disclosed at all, but based on hands on reports that I’ve read about the system, we’re going to be getting graphics that are at LEAST as good as PS3/Xbox graphics. While it’s strange to think that a console coming out so many years after the PS3 and 360 will have such ‘current gen’ graphics, it’s smart on Nintendo’s part in my opinion. They have the ability to sell a machine that is much smaller, cheaper and will be able to compete with ‘the big boys’. Nintendo is reported to have an online community more like PSN or XBL in line for this system, and the unique gaming features offered by a new controller like this make it very intriguing.
    As a LONG time gamer, I’m super interested to see what developers like DICE (Battlefield series), Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda, etc), and even SEGA can do with the tech. Having an interactive screen in your hands that can interact with the action on the big screen can have so many new and interesting implications.

    I’m just shooting from the hip here, but hear me out:

    Imagine Battlefield 3 on Wii U.

    You’re in a squad with 3 of your best gaming buds. You guys play all the time. As you’re assaulting the enemy position, one of your teammates yells out that he is taking fire from the right flank. You glance down at the controller to see the 3D map. As you do so, a micro-view from his perspective pops up on the map and shows you where he is and what direction he’s talking about. This all happens because he simply picks up the conroller from normal gaming position to a position where he’s pointing the rear of it towards the TV.

    That same motion would also allow you to bring up a sniper scope, artillery call, etc..

    Another game mode where you’re playing co-op on the story mode would allow you to have voice and video chat with your friends at the same time you’re playing the game.

    Or maybe you run up to a wall, pull out that gun that can shoot around corners (it bends in the frame and has a camera) and your remote has the camera view.

    or you have a gun attachment and you play on both the TV and the remote..

    there’s so many options for devs, and I’m not very creative.

  4. I’m a fan of both the xbox and wp7 but I have to say – just showing a video like this shows me nothing. They still haven’t come remotely close to fufilling the smoothness of the 3 screens demo gates did years ago which is, frankly, shameful given all their resources and all the infrastructure the have in place to do it. There is almost nothing interesting about Wii U to me but I would not be surprised if it was out before MS has the interaction noted in this video really working.

    They have tons of great stuff but move much much, much too slowly – they have been working on tablet pc for 10 years and apple comes in sells more ipads in a year than ms sold tablet pc’s in a decade. That’s crazy and even still their competing product won’t be in the wild until at least 40 – 50 Million ipads are out there assuring again that they are in the in a market segment that they been working on longer than See smartphones.) They have been talking about iptv for 5 years and yet at e3 the still only had three providers lined up and none in the US. Don’t even get me started on what second-rate experience wp7/zune is most of the world outside the us, another perplexing shortcoming from one the world’s most global brands.I mean, get it together.

    I actually like MS’s vison more than anyone’s in the game and they’ve understood what they need to do, at least conceptually, for some time but it just doesn’t happen or is happening so slowly that it is hard to see. The video is great – makes all kind of sense but I just not convinced that it is really happening fast enough (hope I’m wrong) and I’m getting tired of waiting.

    >They have the ability to sell a machine that is much smaller, cheaper and will be able to compete with ‘the big boys’

    Actually no. They have already admitted that the Wii U cannot compete on price the way the Wii did. Nothing official but $299 was the lowest price being batted around by the lead designer and by 2012 both the ps3 and xbox will be able to easily undercut it. I would not be surprised apple had a phone controlled tv gaming experience by that time either

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