Nintendo of Japan CEO Satoru Iwata’s corporate management policy briefing Wednesday night revealed several juicy details regarding the company’s plan to turn the Wii U around —a key highlight being a renewed focus on the gamepad.
In addition to announcing a shift in company resources towards further development of the gamepad’s NFC capabilities, as well an increase in gamepad-focused marketing, Nintendo revealed that it plans to release a new software feature this summer dubbed the quick start menu.
Nintendo stressed that the idea behind developing the quick start menu was to simultaneously cut down on load times while reinforcing the off-TV play functionality of the gamepad. The following was taken directly from the company’s brief:
“…one of the major benefits of the GamePad is that we can easily play video games without using the TV, and this has been well received. Unfortunately, however, after starting up Wii U, there is a wait of over 20 seconds before we can select a video game title, and hence it is not an ideal situation for users now. …We think that this function will make you feel that the time to start up a Wii U software title is cut by more than 50 percent, and that it will also lead to more Wii U users understanding the appealing nature of the GamePad.”
As you can see in the video below, when the gamepad is first turned on the quick start menu allows users to choose from a list of recently played games (and possibly any software). Upon making a selection the Wii U menu is bypassed and the user is taken directly to the game.
These are the types of software innovations Nintendo desperately needs to prove it knows exactly what makes the gamepad worth while. There’s undoubtedly a lot of hidden potential for that second screen, though I don’t mind playing Mario Kart 8 while I wait for the summer update!
What do you guys think about the quick start menu? What ideas do you have for the gamepad?