When Nintendo launched the original Wii, it came with a controller like no other; the slim, light Wiimote was designed for simplicity, with a focus on motion-based gaming. With the Wii U GamePad, Nintendo goes in a completely different direction, with a large tablet-like controller with a 6-inch touchscreen at its center. Depending on the game, the screen can be used to control certain gaming functions, or mirror the action taking place on your TV, letting you play while using the TV for something else. The controller can also be used as a universal remote, and has a camera to let you insert your face into games. The GamePad, which includes a full-range of standard game controls in addition to the touchscreen, "feels at once futuristic and comfortable, less like an ersatz tablet and more like a really comfortable (but big) game controller with a helpful screen," according to Joystiq. Although the screen is low-resolution, Joystiq says that "Wii U games running on the GamePad screen look almost as good as they do on the TV, and playing exclusively on the GamePad feels perfectly natural." Time likes the GamePad's ability to work as a secondary display, or mirror game action directly, and says that the Wii U "is about what you can do if you make one of the screens your TV, then snap off the other and let it wander around a room." The biggest issue facing the GamePad may be battery life. With just 3 1/2 hours between charges, the GamePad may not be the best option for marathon gaming sessions, though it can be used while it's charging.
How It Stacks Up
Xbox One Kinect
PlayStation Control Pad
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