There has been a lot written about the Wii U since it was announced 18 months ago at E3. Lots of people have covered the new features that it will have, including the variety of ways the second screen will change the way gamers play, but now that there are Wii U units out in the wild, we can finally take a look at some of the smaller surprises that the system includes. While some of these things may seem obvious, its still reassuring to know that they were included as part of the system, that's helping to move Nintendo's stake in the console market forward. There are still so many features yet to be revealed in the day one update, but here are a few of the small surprises that we already know about the system.
One thing Nintendo got right with the Wii remotes was that they offered the option to switch out batteries as they died. While the Wii U's control pad goes one step further, offering a rechargeable battery, it deviates from a practice that is becoming more and more common in electronics, and allows for that battery to be removed and replaced. For anyone out there that owns a PS3 controller that no longer retains a charge, they'll attest to just how important it is to be able to change a dead battery.
While almost every demo unit of the Wii U has been shown off in a horizontal position, the console does offer the option to be stored it vertically. Included inside the Wii U's Deluxe Set box are two tiny plastic stands that attach to the side/bottom of the unit, allowing it to stand upright. If you're short on space, and upright storage is your only option, fear not, Nintendo has you covered this time around. Oh, and these little guys are way better than the Wii's angled stand.
Universal TV Remote
Nintendo has talked about how important Nintendo TVii will be to the Wii U as a console, but what they glossed over was the fact that hidden inside of the control pad is a universal TV remote control. Nintendo is clearly making an attempt to take over your living room, but they're doing it by helping you eliminate some of the clutter on your coffee table. While the full extend of what the controller can control is yet to be seen, anyone that was looking to consolidate remotes might want to consider just how the Wii U can help them out.
Anyone that has bought a game recently is likely to have noticed that game manuals are quickly going the way of the Dodo bird. What were once great and mighty tomes that outlined a game's story, controls, and developer credits amongst other things have all made the shift to a digital only format, which just so happens to be ideal for the Wii U controller. Instead of searching to find a box, and then fumbling page by page for the information you're looking for, the Wii U will include digital manuals all at the touch of a button. This small addition will make it easier for gamers to be better informed, and that's a good thing no matter how you look at it.
Learning from one of the few hardware mistakes of the Wiimote, the Wii U and its control pad makes syncing so much easier. Placing the buttons on … now get this… the outside of the hardware means that Wii U owners will no longer having to open any doors, or remove any battery covers to get your controllers all in line. It's a simple, but pleasant upgrade.