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Monday, November 12, 2012

Engadget: Nintendo's Wii U tablet controller and the death of your TV's remote control

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Engadget
Engadget
Nintendo's Wii U tablet controller and the death of your TV's remote control
Nov 12th 2012, 15:19

Nintendo's Wii U tablet controller and the death of your TV's remote control

Turning on an Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 / Nintendo Wii:

  1. Walk to living room, pick up television controller.
  2. Turn on television, select input / applicable volume / etc.
  3. Put down television controller.
  4. Pick up gamepad. Turn on power.
  5. Select profile.

Five steps. Let's compare this to Nintendo's new console, the Wii U.

  1. Walk to living room, pick up Wii U tablet controller.
  2. Press TV button on controller, power on television, select input / applicable volume / etc., power on console.
  3. Select profile.

Just three! At the risk of sounding like late-night TV pitchmen, we must emphasize how important this is. It remains impressive after days of using the console at home. Ever since we (as a society) first plugged computers called "gaming consoles" into our televisions, we've been following an archaic process of swapping remotes and pushing buttons and all sorts of needless busywork. Nintendo's Wii U tablet controller thankfully streamlines that process in a small, but tremendously meaningful way: during initial console setup, you're prompted to sync your television and the tablet controller, allowing the tablet itself to control the TV's power, volume, channels, and input directly.

And let's pause to emphasize the importance of this step as part of the initial console setup, rather than background functionality to be sussed out later on -- this fundamentally transforms how the vast majority of soon-to-be Wii U owners will interact with their Wii U. The console instantly becomes the de facto media unit, interacting with your cable box, DVR, and various digital streaming offerings, as well as directly controlling your television.

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Nintendo's Wii U tablet controller and the death of your TV's remote control originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 12 Nov 2012 11:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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