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First, the negative news, in case you haven’t been complying with it: The Wii U’s first year-plus top top the sector was nice lousy, selling fewer than three million units global between April 2013 and March 2014. Life to date, the latest Nintendo console’s sales are higher than the Xbox One’s yet less than the game stations 4’s, follow to Nintendo that America chairman Reggie Fils-Aime — however those consoles are a full year younger, and at $300, the Wii U is $100 cheaper.

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Now, the good news: Slowly yet surely, Nintendo seems to be figuring out just how to get over the Wii U’s best drawback, the murky worth of the GamePad, its mandatory tablet-controller hybrid. The GamePad is not sold separately, yet reportedly prices $140 come replace, and critics have actually likened it to the Xbox One’s now-optional Kinect, as an accessory that boosted the price of the console without greatly increasing gameplay quality.

I’m not a reviewer, and also am not going to try to answer the game quality concern in this space. But at a hand-operated demo conference of upcoming games with various other members of the press yesterday, a clear design template emerged: The next year of Wii U titles will usage the GamePad more aggressively, in countless different ways.

A few examples:

In Project gigantic Robot, a sumo-wrestling game starring gigantic robots, the GamePad is used to style your robot and then becomes the robot. Tilting that affects the wrestler’s balance, and looking in ~ the controller’s screen rather 보다 the TV’s is the only method to acquire a first-person watch of what the robot sees. An additional robot-oriented game, job Guard, turns the GamePad right into a hub for controlling 12 protection cameras roughly a fortress together evil robots surround it. Tapping on a camera allows players relocate it around and also fire lasers at every little thing it sees.

Both Project huge Robot and also Project guard were developed by longtime Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator the Mario, v the explicit score in psychic of finding brand-new ways to usage the GamePad. Although no in a final polished phase yet, both are scheduled for release in 2015. Kirby is likewise coming in 2015, when Hyrule warriors is scheduled to come the end in so late September that this year.

Whether Nintendo will have the ability to convince people to pat these gamings is an open up question. One potential roadblock: The large tentpole gamings that are most likely to relocate the many Wii us this year, Mario Kart 8 (already out) and Super stop Bros. (slated because that a vacation release), aren’t as GamePad-dependent.

Mario Kart mostly uses the second screen to display a gigantic touchscreen horn, v the capacity to rotate the GamePad to turn available but turned turn off by default. Super Smash Bros., meanwhile, will use the GamePad to read data turn off Nintendo’s Amiibo interaction toys, back it’s not yet clean if or exactly how that’s preferable to the different toy-scanning equipment favored by Skylanders and also Disney Infinity.

If these new experiments salary off, though, they will validate Nintendo’s insistence on just making games for its very own hardware, and also its hipstery tendency to do things in different ways from the competition, also when talking about hypothetical products. For anyone that thinks the firm ought come make games for smartphones or tablets, this is together close together you’re going to gain for now.

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This short article originally showed up on Recode.net.

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