Dec 162012

A tablet or a controller? Whatever it is, the Wii U GamePad is indeed wonderful.

The revolutionary GamePad has a LCD touch screen that works with your fingertip or a stylus. The stylus allows you to write notes or draw pictures with precision. The fact that you can use your fingertips if you don’t feel like finding your stylus makes things more convenient for you. Either way you choose to use it, it’s fun!

The device also features stereo speakers, a headphone jack, volume control, and an accessory jack that will possibly allow for more features depending on your accessories.

Sounds like a serious piece of equipment, right? Something this powerful seems like it might be too big for cuteness or comfort, but it weighs in at a reasonable 1.1 pounds and looks surprisingly polished. The GamePad fits comfortably in your hands and is sturdy enough that it won’t break if you happen to drop it.

It’s powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, so there’s no need to constantly buy and dump batteries that are harsh on our planet’s health.

It also makes your gaming habits less of a problem in the eyes of your family or your roommates. If grandma has that show that she just needs to watch every Tuesday on the family TV set, that doesn’t stop you from playing, as you’ll see that many games can be pulled from the console to the pad.

The GamePad’s left keypad is reminiscent of many older gaming systems, so you’ll find that there’s no adjustment period. The joysticks and right button array are also familiar to all gamers. ZL and ZR buttons are perfect for shooting games, and you’ll find them on the back below the L and R buttons. You can rotate the pad, playing on it vertically, which is something I’m sure many smartphone users will appreciate.

Let’s talk about how Nintendo has designed their GamePad to make your life as easy as you could reasonably expect. The home button makes navigation smoother, easier and faster than the previously acceptable (yet time consuming) acts of pausing and navigating. No more dealing with menus when they’re not necessary – the home button located conveniently on the device takes care of that stuff for you.

One of the coolest things about this remote is how they employ an infared transceiver to allow you the option to control your television set, right from the GamePad’s touch screen. You can even turn down the volume on your TV with this device, and the TV control buttons work whether your Wii U is on or not!

The transceiver means you can use your web browser on the GamePad to turn your TV into a monitor of sorts. You can search Google without even having to get up and grab your laptop or sit at the computer, because your search results will show up right on your TV.

Let’s not forget the built in front-facing camera and microphone. These features not only makes game playing better, but also allows you to connect with friends using Nintendo’s new Miiverse – a new social network for Wii U users.

There was a 4 player limit with the previous version of the Wii, but with the Wii U, you can now use your GamePad while other players are using remotes. This increases the possible number of players to 5. And we all know that games somehow become much more enjoyable when more people participate.

The screen on the pad can display a different view from your TV screen. It allows you to view the game from different angles (such as birds eyes view), allowing for a different and more complete perspective.

The GamePad is without a doubt the best part of the entire Wii U system. It allows you to play better than you ever have before, and also makes your life easier by being able to control your TV right from the device’s touch screen. The Wii U GamePad is a gamechanger, and a damn good one, too.

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