Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Handheld Controller With Screen

By now every gaming site is a buzz with news of the Wii U, or Project Cafe, or whatever the code
name for the next generation Nintendo console is and what it's controller looks like. For those of you who haven't seen it, it is currently looking like this:

Nintendo is once again leading the way in thinking outside the box of their competition and is making a controller with a built in screen. Really, with the way they own the handheld market,
I'm surprised they haven't made efforts to do something like this sooner.

There has been plenty of handheld/console crossovers and various degrees of compatibility before. Take the PSP and the Playstation 3, or the Gamecube and the Gameboy, both being able to use the handheld as a controller for the console.

While these allow minimum interaction, letting you to play a handheld game on the console screen, play a console game with the handheld controller, or access new features, they are the forerunners for this new controller design.

Taking a look at the handheld portable systems and the controllers for the home console systems, there's obviously a lot of similarities. Common button layouts, from size, placement, and number, are the
same nearly across the board. You have your START, SELECT, A, B, X, Y buttons, as well as your D-pad, thumb stick and triggers. The real main difference besides the screen on the handheld is the shape. The console controllers are designed for a comfortable grip while the portables are design to be sleek and fit into pockets on the go.

Almost all the home consoles now have wireless controllers, narrowing the difference between console controller and portable handheld even more. The Nintendo Wii has been reviewed as having, "Game Cube level graphics" (see comparison below), while the NGP (PSP2) boasts of having "PS3 level graphics" So having controllers with powerful graphics on their screens is more than possible.

Gamecube game Mario Sunshine


Wii game Mario Galaxy

My next post will discuss the uses of such technology in a controller, and what it may go from here. Thanks for reading with your eyes.