Nintendo’s Wii U GamePad Transforms The Tablet, Doubles The Gaming Stakes

by Kevin Ohannessian   September 13, 2012

The Wii U starts at $299 with 8GB of flash storage and is available Nov. 18. It also comes with the GamePad, a hybrid joystick-tablet that radically changes gameplay–and maybe even the way you watch shows and movies.

At a press event in New York today, Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime announced that the Wii U will launch on Sunday Nov. 18. A Basic set (white finish) system with 8GB of flash storage will cost $299. A Deluxe set (black) system with 32GB storage, a controller charging cradle, and a stand will cost $349. The deluxe package also comes with Deluxe Digital Promotion, a subscription service that serves as an exchange for digital credit.

But the standout feature is the new tablet-like controller called the GamePad. The Wii U plus the GamePad create a unique second screen experience to enhance games or create new kinds of play. The controller also gives users a way to comment on Facebook, Twitter, or Nintendo’s Miiverse while playing or even watching shows or sporting events. GamePad will show stats and extra info about shows, too–cast and credit info from IMDB, reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, or overviews from Wikipedia. Users can also use the GamePad to see what shows friends on Wii U and Facebook have marked as favorites.

“Wii U is the only game console with a seamlessly connected, fully integrated second screen,” Fils-Aime said.

Read the full article at Fast Company.

About Me

Kevin Ohannessian is a freelance writer covering gaming and tech for Tom's Guide, Kill Screen, and Fast Company. His work has also been published by MTV Geek, GameSpot, Gamasutra, Laptop Mag, Co.Create, and Co.Labs. Focusing on the creativity and business of gaming, he is always up for a good interview or an intriguing feature.