Five unanswered questions about Wii U

Nintendo showed off a huge number of Wii U games, but still left us in the dark on some basic details.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Nintendo showed off nearly two dozen games for the Wii U at its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012 press conference. That's a deep software bench, but with all the emphasis on games, many important questions about the Wii U hardware and user experience have been left unanswered.

How will streaming media work?

Nintendo said that Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and other video sources will be made available, but there were no further details. Is Nintendo going to have its own video store? Unlikely. But will there be any significant exclusive video content that other consoles don't have? How about live TV, the new holy grail of consoles? Also, note that none of the services mentioned are available outside of the US; how is Nintendo intending to service international customers?

How will two-tablet gameplay work?

Even though it was not confirmed until today, everyone knew that the Wii U would have to eventually support dual GamePad tablets. But the company said that only single-tablet gameplay is ready to show at E3. This adds to the mix of different ways you can play, combining GamePads, the Xbox-like Wii U controller and Wii wands.

What is the range of the GamePad signal?

Does it use common network tech, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi? We hear that the answer is no. Using the GamePad without having to turn on your TV sounds interesting. But can you take it into the next room? Even to the far side of a large living room? Otherwise, the ability to play a game while someone else is watching your big TV may be limited.

How similar will Miiverse be to Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network?

At first glance, the new Miiverse social network looks a lot like your collection of Miis on the Wii (try saying that five times, fast). There is text-bubble communication, and even video chat via GamePad, but will your Miiverse Mii act as a true single avatar for the player across games, media and other features? Will there be a premium version, like what Microsoft and Sony have?

How much will the Wii U and the GamePad cost?

We already suspected that Nintendo would not reveal this information at E3, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be asking for it. With a release no more than five or six months away, it's time to start thinking seriously about how the Wii U is going to position itself.

What are your most burning Wii U questions? Let us know in the comments section, below.


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