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New details on the Wii U Internet browser

Nintendo has released some details on the web browser bundled with the Wii U operating system. The web browser is based on WebKit — the same framework that powers Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome browsers — and includes HTML5 support, with tabbed browsing, HTML5 video, and more. The Wii U brings some additional features to the web browsing experience. For example, when using YouTube, players will be able to watch videos on the TV, while continuing to browse videos on the GamePad controller.

Wii U browserThere are even more advanced features. When you pause a game to do some Internet browsing, the Wii U will remember what game you played and automatically copy the title of the game, making it easier to search for the game online (when looking for tips, cheats, etc.). To scroll up or down pages, users simply tilt the GamePad up or down.

However, the Wii U Internet browser will not support Flash. The reason not to include Flash support is pretty obvious: it would allow users to play Flash-based games online for free, which wouldn’t be good business for Nintendo (or any console maker, for that matter). Nintendo doesn’t support Flash in the Wii nor the 3DS. However, there some HTML5-based games out there, although they’re not as advanced as their Flash-based counterparts.

You can watch a video presentation of the Wii U browser below, taken from the Japanese Nintendo Direct Wii U event. While it’s in Japanese, it’s easy to see what’s going on and how the browser will work.

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  • NoPUNintendo

    I love the YouTube idea though.

  • JumpMan

    as i would say in person, “GUEEEEEEEE!!!!”

  • lan

    I hope this browser turns out to be useful. The one on the Wii was not very good. From the looks of his demonstration, looks fine, I just hope for a good working browser.

    • darkfox

      does anyone actually use a browser on a system? if I have my system hooked up online I have a computer with the internet. Its not just the Wii browser that is useless the PS3′s is crap too soooo slow and looks like im using windows 95

      • Ibiexplorer4

        I used the browser on my ps3 a lot.

        • AwesomeNES

          One of the best way to use the internet is on Touchscreen.
          Like the Wii U, Vita, Tablet, ect.

          It’s unfortunate that flash is not supported.

          And, the maker of the Wii U’s browser is the same one that did the 3Ds, Vita and PS3. Naturally, the Vita is far superior to the PS3 since it’s more recent.

          It is, even if it’s smaller. So the Wii U must be even better, even if it’s slightly.

      • Gregory

        …I’ve got about 600 hours on my 3DS browser…

        • smashninja22

          I find the 3DS plays videos from the nes (O_O Nintendo Eshop= NES) very well so I think a youtube app would work

      • Macarony64

        Even though slow ppl use the consoles to save in energie bills why turn on the pc just to check who the fuck like the pic of what you got for lunch

      • Anubis

        I use it for game hints as in how to play as luigi in NSMB2, and sometimes go on bloging sites such as Mynintendonews, wiiudaily etc.

    • Alienfish

      It looks great for a console browser, but alas, it doesn’t support Flash, and that means that some web sites won’t even work. That said, Flash is actually a dying program thanks to Apple. So this browser should actually get better and better as the internet moves more completely into HTML5.

    • a uk guy

      from the looks of it IN OTHER WORDS U DONT KNOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      iv used wii net almost daily for 6 years and its great youtubes and all of that plays forums display and porn sites videos played untill about a year back wen a lot got flash updated etc

      iv watched whole movies on wii browser and played long music lists from sites and youtube thru a 7.1 top of the range surround sound amp

      if you never used it please dont pretend you know

      your doing what hardly cores do never ever touched a wii remote then swear its rubbish never play fpos with 1 and declasre its rubbish

      wiis net was actually very good but sites are getting very ram greedy now all the pop up crap

      • Kirbymon123

        …. :P Porn sites….. XP

  • Vic

    Sounds great

  • Ginja Ninja

    Who loved the video? Despite it being in Japanese :D

  • Shankovich

    Smart move going to WebKit, so much more efficient.

  • Nintendofreak

    Damn each day i want a wiiu more dan d day before

  • LyingTuna

    I love the part with the tilting GamePad! It’s all 2D! Wow… Is it really hard to make a 3D model Nintendo? If Ubisoft can do it in ZombiU trailers, what’s Nintendo’s excuse? This looks good, don’t get me wrong. I don’t care for the Wii browser, but this looks better.

    • Grodus

      …It’s the internet. AND most people dont have a 3d computer. Dont know what your’e talking about, but neither way makes sense.

    • Kirbymon123

      I Don’t like the tilting. If I put my gamepad on the sofa so i can watch a movie or something, the gyroscope would wack it up. Also, It would be hard to put it on a pinpoint location on the tv. I hope they have a slow scroll, and lock scrolling. Or just another way to scroll (like the sliding in the video)

  • Bob Singh

    i like how you can scroll by tilting the gamepad

  • Kahhhhyle

    Hopefully they keep up with it. Nintendo didn’t support the internet channel on the wii too well

    • Macarony64

      Im starting to think that you are pretendo

      • Kahhhhyle

        What is pretendo?

        • Macarony64

          Pretenting to love nintendo

          • Kahhhhyle

            Ah. I do love Nintendo. But I don’t kiss their butt when they mess up you gotta admit it or were just as the ps/Xbox fan boys.

  • TheHydra707

    I got rid of my PC/Laptop years ago simply because it wasnt useful. All I did on it was browse news on games, bands, and watch Youtube.

    I can do all of that on my phone. With that said. Having all of these features on the larger screen of the gamepad + headphones = perfect for me. I guess ill only be using my phone for text/calls now.

  • Alienfish

    This looks great. I wasn’t expecting Flash support so I’m finding it hard to be disappointed in any way right now. Being able to move between an FAQ pulled up on the gamepad and the game that it is for will be truly groundbreaking.

  • Macarony64

    If you are asking can i watch porn the answer is yes

    • Jetty

      lol

      • Game Master

        I bet everyone is going to be doing that lol

  • Spaceships

    I recently bought a tablet (Nexus 7) whose web browser doesn’t support Flash either. I’m sure I will still use it way more than the Wii U browser anyway though.

    “However, the Wii U Internet browser will not support Flash. The reason not to include Flash support is pretty obvious: it would allow users to play Flash-based games online for free, which wouldn’t be good business for Nintendo”
    The Wii had several web sites that allowed you to play flash games on them through your TV. I find it highly unlikely that they would be threatened enough by them (they were so crappy) to say that is why Flash isn’t supported.

  • yan

    no flash player? that’s a disappointment…

    • ThatBoingGuy

      Flash is dying anyways.

  • Amfortas

    Wii supports flash lite 3.1…

    • GJGJGJGJG

      That it did, and it’s hard to say if it was a good thing or not. The Wii’s browser was very sluggish.

      • Oscar

        It was because of Wii limited memory for channels and Opera browser with flash had like 32MB of RAM. Netflix required a DVD to use more RAM memory reserved for games to load, I guess.

  • SteampunkJedi

    I’m on Safari right now, and it’s pretty fast. My problem with the Wii and Nintendo DS browsers was their sluggishness. the 3DS improved slightly, but I really hope the Wii U’s is as quick-loading as Safari. Thankfully, it looks that way in the video. And I think it’s just convenient to look up hints without booting up the computer. (I know, it doesn’t take that long, but I’d like to not have to get up to get internet help.)

  • pach

    I’m glad they dropped flash, this technology is dying.

  • Jetty

    Technical details aren’t too important. All that matters is that it’s an upgraded Wii browser. Thank you Nintendo!!!

  • Cheezr

    I wonder if this means the wii u is running some variant of linux?

    • GJGJGJGJG

      No, it just means that Chrome, Safari, and the Wii U’s browser are based on the same foundation. This does not mean it is automatically good, it just means that it has the potential to be very good.

  • The Aquacharger

    the reason to not include flash isn;t due to flash games its because since Adobe took over they update the system every day and made it less resource friendly. Flash can eat up a lot of useless resources.

    • Wildman

      This is true. Flash wouldn’t allow the Wii U browser to operate as efficiently. HTML5 is way less resource heavy than flash.

  • PKUltima

    All I care about is if Youtube is better than ps3′s godawful version.

    • a uk guy

      wii plays youtube better than ps3 FACT never mind wiiu and wii vs ps3 for watching online flash etc wii was ahead way ahead of ps3 even with all that ram ps3 is likely a bit ahead now but my brother says it freezes constantly

    • MEJM

      From what I can glean from the information given, it sure will. :)
      I’m hoping that it will support HD in Youtube, but it remains to be seen.

  • Christopher

    Wait… Wii U uses a Google Chrome like framework for its browser?…. BY. THE. GODS!!

    Nintendo, you have all my money and my body is ready

  • Paul

    youtube is a must have

    • Jetty

      As long as it’s not that terrible, updated PS3 Youtube.

      • Grodus

        Yeah, thats a must NOT have.

  • TheImaj

    Wait.. What did he say?

  • skoruppa

    There is no support for flash coz is flash is just a bloatware… html5 can do all things that flash can do, and on the occasion will not burn you cpu.

  • Dan

    No wonder Wii U had 2 G ram!!! 1 for is 1 for gaming

    • Kahhhhyle

      That’s just what I was thinking. The second gig might allow true multitasking so we can switch between a website and a game on the fly… That would be awesome… Btw anybody else find it funny the Xbox doesn’t have a browser yet? Lol

      • Kyron

        I always thought about that. Xbox sitting there lonely in a corner, with no browser. lol

        But seriously, I pay all this money for a Xbox Live Gold membership and I don’t even have a simple internet browser. And must I remind everyone, this is from Microsoft, the kings of internet! What’s up with that?

        • Grodus

          Ironic, isn’t it?

        • Kahhhhyle

          Yeah and every year at E3 there’s a rumor they’ll announce Internet explorer for Xbox… I bet they’re saving it for the next one

  • TACOMAN

    I hope youtube has good quality, unlike the Wii.

  • Aces ‘n Eights

    “However, the Wii U Internet browser will not support Flash. The reason not to include Flash support is pretty obvious: it would allow users to play Flash-based games online for free, which wouldn’t be good business for Nintendo”

    Uh NO – I’m pretty sure this is NOT a big concern for game makers – flash games are a different animal. The main reason (IMHO) they are not supporting flash is because it’s a RAPIDLY dying technology. Browsers are moving more and more to the HTML5 standard which is much lighter and uses A LOT less resources.

    • GJGJGJGJG

      Exactly, it’s not about competition with free flash games (the Wii U supporting it or not doesn’t change this, people can play them on their computers and many other devices), it is that there are much better alternatives.

  • EPICGAMER111

    :D

  • Anon

    Not including Flash means limited viruses and hacking from outside sources, not because of “online games”.

  • DVE

    Wiiu use the browser xD because it’s great!

  • GirlGamer

    Good news :) I love the wonderful idea about Youtube Amazon Video and more, but a little bit dissapointed about Flash. But oh well. Thankyou god!

  • Xblade13

    Flash, a dying demon, tries to get in the palace named Wii U to take it down with him, but must cross a bridge to do it. Halfway across, Iwata appears and says “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” in Japanese. The bridge crumbles, and Flash falls to his death while Iwata laughs. Then HTML5, an angel, flies across the gap and is greeted by Iwata. They enter the palace together, and an age of peace begins.

    • Kyron

      Nice username…giving props to the awesome JRPG.

  • Nintendo Power of Canada/USA

    Whats behind the curtain?….. TADA!!! its Saturu Iwata!!!! (thats how you spell his name right?)

  • Dan7el(WiiU day one purchase)

    Ta-da…Bananas.

  • GirlGamer

    What kind of story is that? Xblade 13

  • indirect76

    Flash is a security concern above all else. Sure it’s an inefficient bloated piece of software, but it’s the security holes that are most troublesome.

  • GirlGamer

    call me maybe ;)

    • Kyron

      ???

    • Grodus

      IS THIS SOME KIND OF A JOKE!? I mean it. Is it a joke?

  • Marioravesto3d

    By the sounds of it only be using my ps3 for 3d gaming and the wii u for everything else.

  • Grodus

    Wait, hold on. How could you play Flash for free, besides free games on sites like Armor Games? Or do you just want to avoid that? Sorry that I’m missing the obvious, don’t know much about this stuff.

  • Nintyfan

    and thinking 3DS was already a pain in the ass….

    LOL Anyway good to see Nintendo jumping on with the HTML5 Browser instead of flash stuff. JOIN APPLE!!!!!!!!

  • samuDC

    Thumbs down if u’r gonna purchase the wii u on day one. :p

  • Paul

    wouldnt worry to much about flash as abode have stated it wont be on any gaming system, mobile phones or tablets in the future

  • Inuboy

    CHROME!!!!!!!! Just the mention of Chrome makes this browser a win, even if it doesn’t use Chrome, it still uses the same framework which is awesome. Definitely better than… Opera! -_-

    • tubagodd

      No Opera was fine, it was Nintendo that wouldn’t allow any updates of the web browser.

  • tubagodd

    Come on stick with opera, they do a damn good job and they are insanely innovative. if Nintendo would have let Opera upgrade the browser we would have had something amazing but for some unknown reason Nintendo refused to update the browser

  • GJGJGJGJG

    The lack of flash doesn’t have to do with them not wanting people to play free Flash games. In fact, if people could play them on the console it would sell more; having less functionality does not increase sales and Nintendo knows this. Otherwise, they’d take out HTML5 as well, or web browsing all together (it competes with NintendoTV).

    The reason they are not supporting Flash is because it is wildly inefficient for what it accomplishes (look at how much processing something like Ubiart, Java, or HTML5 use for comparison) and new versions of Flash player are buggy playing older games. They don’t want to support the standard. The longer they keep supporting it, the harder it will be to stop using it in the future. Same reason Apple doesn’t want to use it.