Right, so I'm just going to dive straight into this and make a list of what console controllers with a screens on them could be used for. I had mentioned the Wii U will currently only be using one screened controller, so remember that when reading the following they are just ideas for what it could be used for, whether with one or multiple screened controllers.
- Ever had to change your options/controls in the middle of a multiplayer game? Usually this brings up a menu that blocks the whole screen much to everyone's annoyance, or at the very least make it so you can't see what's going on your section of the split screen. With player's having their own mini screen, during split screen games you could pull up a menu without covering up anyone else's.
- The Wii U's touch screen could allow for hot keys and quick commands. Imagine instead of navigating complex menus to pull off a spell or action command, you could just simply tap the screen and KAZAM! Your attack is executed, your command is given, and your weapon has been swapped.
- Recent games have tried to pull away from displaying all of your health bars, radars and other character stats for a less cluttered screen to play on. The problem is as a player you still need to see those things, though pulling a menu up all the time can distract from the game flow. If all that information was on your controller screen, a simple look down would give you everything you need to know. You could have your health and energy bar, your current weapon, ammo count, radar, objective point, and objectives all right there out of the way of the main screen.
- Screened controllers could be used with split screen multiplayer games for private information inputs. Casting a vote for what map to play on? Need to pick your team for a Pokemon battle? Picking a card from your hand to play next? Select it on your own controller screen!
- Instead of being confined to the standard controller set up, game developers could add their own buttons and features. Using the touch screen unlimited combinations of buttons would be allowed outside the normal controls.
- With the stylus and touch screen features, user art would be greatly improved. Now instead of controlling a paint brush awkwardly with two thumb sticks, players would be able to draw directly on their screen.
These are just a few of the many possibilities that a screened controller could be used for. Really the way the Wii U's controller is involved in future gameplay is up to the game designers and developers themselves. While many of these are more for multiple screened controllers, they could still be used in some way with just one screened controller in play.
As you can see I'm excited for where this will branch off to in the future of gaming. Next time I'll post about the next evolutionary step for this technology as I call it.