The WiiU: Nintendo Have Revolutionised Multiplayer Gaming Again

There’s something inherently dated about splitting a TV screen in half in order to share an immersive virtual experience. Fortunately however, Nintendo, Wii U and Activision may have finally found a solution.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
There’s something inherently dated about splitting a TV screen in half in order to share an immersive virtual experience. Fortunately however, Nintendo, Wii U and Activision may have finally found a solution.

404

As much as I’m a fan of local gaming, even I realise there’s something inherently dated about splitting a TV screen in half in order to share an immersive virtual experience. It still feels indicative of a 16 bit age that, while novel, isn’t where gaming systems need to be heading going into the next-generation. For the longest time, however, this question has been starved of an answer. The technology simply hasn’t been in place in order to push past this rather cumbersome barrier.

Fortunately however, Nintendo, Wii U and Activision may have finally found a solution.

One of the flagship titles in 2012 is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Many doubted Wii U’s third-party intentions and openly stated that, without this game, the system may as well curl up in a corner and die quietly. Well not only did Nintendo confirm the game as a launch title for their revolutionary new system; they’ve completely changed the way it is played, rocking the hardcore to their deeply-rooted foundations.

There’s something inherently dated about splitting a TV screen in half in order to share an immersive virtual experience

Due to the streaming capabilities of Nintendo’s tablet-come-controller, not only will the single-player campaign and online element benefit, the entire Black Ops 2 multiplayer experience can be played, in full, on the gamepad’s screen. While one player uses the Pro-Controller or any other compatible Wii accessory, the other can use the unique gamepad like a handheld console. Sure, they get a smaller screen than a 42” plasma, but it’s better than having a big, thick line struck through the middle, surely?

It doesn’t end there, though. Many of the mini-games in Nintendo Land offer local experiences which have never been successfully attempted on a home console. In one game, the person with the Wii U Gamepad plays as a ghost hidden from the view of other players interacting with the TV screen. However, the person using the gamepad can see everything and it’s their goal to catch other players, using only a torch as defence, who are in a bid to become last-man standing. As a ghost, the gamepad player is tasked with scaring his/her ‘opponents’, eliminating them from the competition. It’s like Pac-Man, but taking advantage of modern technology and designed for a brand new generation. Almost like tennis in Wii Sports was a spiritual successor (in terms of impact and design) to Pong.

Regardless of what happens over the next few years, nobody can take anything away from Nintendo. They’re the ones setting this trend. They’re the ones who may have finally moved away from a twenty year split-screen culture.

Yet there are still major limitations with the hardware. Players on the Wii U gamepad won’t be able to leave their living room and stay in the action due to the limited reach of the system, and it’s entirely possible there could be some lag and latency issues while developers learn how to use the technology effectively. One can’t deny however, that this is a mind-blowing prospect that could become as important to gaming as an active connection to the internet. If this takes off, every major single and multi-player title will be fully playable in a semi-portable way, and with no restrictions or cut-backs.

If a franchise as globally significant as Call of Duty is adopting technology in this way, it will undoubtedly set trends within the industry. Will Sony be encouraging developers to make better use of PS3/Vita Cross Play? Will Microsoft ram Smartglass technology down everyone’s throats? If this all works out, inevitably. Will a form of this technology become an essential feature in the next-generation of gaming systems? Almost definitely.

Regardless of what happens over the next few years, nobody can take anything away from Nintendo. They’re the ones setting this trend. They’re the ones who may have finally moved away from a twenty year split-screen culture.

One thing is for certain, living room gaming is about to be reborn, and we’re only now scratching the surface.

Like this? Here are some other stories you should read

10 Ways To Make Videogames Great Again

Metal Gear Solid The Movie: Can It Break The Videogame Adaptation Curse

Uncanny X-Force: The Breaking Bad Of Comics

Click here for more articles about Video Games On The Sabotage Times

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook