Wii U sensor bar
The Wii U sensor bar is a bundled Wii U accessory that helps determine where the Wii U GamePad and Wiimotes are pointing, both in terms of side to side movement and position, but also in depth movement. The Wii U sensor bar is the same design that’s used in the Wii, and operates the same way. The sensor bar is 20 CM long (or 8 inches) and features 5 infrared LED lights on each side, which help the console to determine the relative position of the controller. The sensor bar can be placed above or below the television, and should always be placed in the center relative to the TV. The infrared LED lights used by the bar cannot be seen by the naked eye, but certain cameras and other devices can see and potentially disrupt the function of the sensor bar.
Wii U sensor bar features
The Wii U sensor bar uses the same technology and design as the previous version, and even uses the same cable and plug. It’s rumored that even the old sensor bar is compatible with the Wii U console. The sensor bar works both with the Wii U tablet controller, regular Wiimotes and possible future Wii U accessories. The sensor bar enables players to accurately use the controller withing 5 Meters, or 15 feet of the television. The Wii U sensor bar can support up to 5 devices at the same time, which breaks down to one Wii U controller and 4 Wiimotes.
Third party device makers like Mad Catz and Nyko are expected to release their own versions of the Wii U sensor bar, including wireless and battery powered ones as well. Older sensor bars and sensor hardware made for the original Wii console are rumored to be compatible with the Wii U. While the sensor bar is included with the console, it’s not necessarily required by all games. Some Wii U games do not utilize the motion controls, and instead rely in the tablet screen or the controller’s gyro features for movement.