Wii U Browser Has Tabbed Browsing, Screenshots, HTML5, But No Flash

by Carmine Red - September 16, 2012, 8:18 pm PDT
Total comments: 25 Source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/nintendo_direct_wiiu_pre...

Players can also tilt the GamePad to scroll through pages, and the console will remember the name of paused games to help with search queries.

The built-in webkit-based internet browser for Nintendo's upcoming Wii U system will have a host of new features, including HTML5 support, Nintendo revealed last Thursday during a Japanese Nintendo Direct that aired simultaneously with the North American Wii U Preview Event. HTML5 is an up and coming web standard that is slowly being adopted by the latest browsers and websites. For example, Youtube (which Nintendo made sure to feature support for in their video demonstration) has an experimental HTML5 version for users with browsers that support it and the necessary video codecs.

However, this HTML5 support is contrasted by the Wii U browser's lack of support for Flash, the latest versions of which are also not supported in the Wii, DS, DSi, or 3DS browsers.




Nintendo also revealed that when players pause their Wii U games and access their internet browser, they will have access to images of the tv and GamePad displays from that paused game. Player-created game screenshots are already known to be used in Nintendo's MiiVerse functonality. However, many details regarding using and saving the images are still unknown.

When users pause a game and access the internet browser, the software will remember the paused game's name and prepopulate search queries with it to help users look for relevant information.

Nintendo also showed video footage of other features of the browser, like tabbed browsing that lets users keep track of several web pages at the same time. The video shows another multitasking scenario where a Youtube video is opened to play on the TV screen, but the GamePad continues to browse the internet as usual even while the video continues to play. One final example is that Wii U owners can simply just browse the internet on their GamePad while the television displays regular programming.

Gamers can even simply tilt the GamePad forward or backward to automatically scroll up and down through long web pages.

Nintendo called the Wii U Browser the quickest browser in Nintendo history. Stay with Nintendo World Report as the Wii U's launch approaches in multiple territories and those claims are put to the test.

Talkback

Spak-SpangSeptember 17, 2012

This is great news.  It sounds like Nintendo went the Apple route with the browser...and that isn't a bad thing.


Flash is a dying standard, and it slows down the system...it won't be missed on the Wii U.  Also, this seems like a great addition that just adds a simplistic tablet browser.  Really, the Wii U is using the tablet to create a very compelling media (tablet) solution for those that don't need a tablet to travel away from home, but to just play with at home. 


My wife and I often use our iPad to browse the net while watching TV sitting on the couch.  If Nintendo can provide a compelling browsing experience I can see people use this specially parents that want to provide kids with a tablet like experience without getting them a real tablet.


Also, it looks like Nintendo is using that 1 Gig of RAM for the system to good use.  Video Chat, Internet Browsing, Television, Playing games on the Gamepad while doing something else on the TV...


People that don't see this as a truly next generation and revolutionary console system are crazy...this is the new standard on how to create a compelling home console system PERIOD.

tendoboy1984September 17, 2012

Flash is an outdated, bloated tech that is on its way out. It's main use is on the PC, and very few mobile devices support it. HTML5 is the future, and I'm glad that Nintendo is taking advantage of it.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Nintendo's fastest web browser...

That's not a hard goal to reach, since every previous Nintendo web browser has been stuck in the year 2000. Hopefully it's as fast as Google Chrome (PC) or Safari (iOS).

ShyGuySeptember 17, 2012

I just wish html 5 video was more common

bustin98September 17, 2012

I believe you only say that about Flash because you think all Flash is good for is games, video, and music.

I use Flash for dynamic fonts and wide array of image displays, things that CSS3 and Javascript can do, but the effort and time involved is so much more you have to ask if it's worth it. One issue with fonts displayed via CSS3 need the licensing to be shared as the font file is placed on the web server. Flash is less concerned with licensing, though perhaps web developers should keep it in mind...

HTML5 is overrated, and many people who promote it don't really understand what it is. And at the moment it's a moving target. Nintendo will be releasing many updates for their browser as proposals become standard or are dropped.

Probably the main reason for the lack of Flash is Adobe's licensing of the Flash player. Since the Wii U is not a Computer, it likely falls outside the free licensing model for browsers.

ShyGuySeptember 17, 2012

SO YOU'RE THE ONE. Using bloated Flash for your multimedia fluff, bogging down CPUs and bandwidth... might as well use Java for your slideshows!

bustin98September 17, 2012

I use java to make ripples on my images... no I don't

AdrockSeptember 17, 2012

This is really awesome news. I plan on buying an iMac next year so going back and forth from that to the Wii U when I'm stuck in a game is now not a problem. I can just use the GamePad to look up youtube videos. Thanks, Nintendo, for fostering my laziness.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Staff AlumnusSeptember 17, 2012

1 gig of RAM just for browsing, yeah, that's more than my computer has!


Has it been clarified that you can play game AND browse at the same time, or does it pause it a-la 3DS browser?
I don't mind if it's like the 3DS, as long it's 1000x faster than that!

Chozo GhostSeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: tendoboy1984

Flash is an outdated, bloated tech that is on its way out. It's main use is on the PC, and very few mobile devices support it. HTML5 is the future, and I'm glad that Nintendo is taking advantage of it.

For the first time ever you've said something I agree with. The problem with Flash is its proprietary which means its not an open standard. It isn't just a problem with consoles, Linux is no longer officially supported with it either. Adobe only seems to care about supporting it on Windows and possibly Mac (I'm not sure about the latter). This is going to slowly kill the technology off, and more and more websites are going to embrace the open HTML5 standard instead.

pyrokamileonSeptember 17, 2012

so for the first time Nintendo is taking a page from the Sony playbook. Sony would usually say "buy our system even if you don't use it for games it still plays DVD's.. the PS3 also plays Blu-rays" well now Nintendo seems to be saying "buy our system it comes with a built in iPad, even if you don't buy our games at least you can have fun with our iPad!" hmmm, hope it works!

PodingsSeptember 17, 2012

No flash?

That's bullocks. Although flash really has been a pain to deal with lately.

Even still, the only reasoning I can see to NOT support any form of Flash is to try and do what Apple is doing, which is keep users from just playing Flash games online instead of buying more games through the system.

Expect some severe limitations to Java support as well.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Staff AlumnusSeptember 17, 2012

Flash is great for animators and game creators on a super-tight budget, but it doesn't belong on websites in 2012.

Hehe, maybe someday, someone will make a HTML5 player that plays Flash movies!

broodwarsSeptember 17, 2012

This is something I've actually wondered about all the consoles & handhelds, but do people actually use the things to browse the internet or do people want them just to have them?  :confused;  I really just don't understand why you would without a proper keyboard for text input, and the browsers are usually terrible anyway (the PS3's especially is pretty much unusable).

AdrockSeptember 17, 2012

As previously stated, I would use it specifically when I'm stuck in a game. Instead of going to a different room to look up a solution, I can just pause the game and use the GamePad. I don't need it per se, but it makes my life easier which I'll always appreciate.

Quote from: pyrokamileon

so for the first time Nintendo is taking a page from the Sony playbook. Sony would usually say "buy our system even if you don't use it for games it still plays DVD's.. the PS3 also plays Blu-rays" well now Nintendo seems to be saying "buy our system it comes with a built in iPad, even if you don't buy our games at least you can have fun with our iPad!" hmmm, hope it works!

Nintendo wants people to use the Wii U at home even if they aren't playing video games which makes sense because it might lead them back to playing a video game and if the Wii U is already on, that's as good a place as any to start. That said, it's a bit puzzling that Nintendo would leave would DVD/Blu Ray playback. Granted, I watch most movies on Netflix now, but Nintendo is giving me a reason to use a different product. Unfortunately for them, it just so happens to be a PS3 which is my de facto video playing device for streaming and physical media.

I understand that not everyone falls into that category. Honestly, a bigger issue may be the GamePad's inability to stream VC games (at least for now). If the main TV is occupied, a person may play nothing since VC is not an option. These are just a couple barriers to Nintendo's "Together. Better." they've done a good job so far, but they get a B instead of an A+.

Chozo GhostSeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

This is something I've actually wondered about all the consoles & handhelds, but do people actually use the things to browse the internet or do people want them just to have them?  :confused;

I don't use any console to browse the internet, and that's because so far every console browser I've tried sucks horribly. If the Wii U's browser is decent (and it sounds like it will be) then I will use it. So the bottom line is no, I don't use it, but if they make it good then yes I will use it. The web browser on my Wii, PS3, and DSi might as well not even exist at all because I don't use it at all.

Quote from: broodwars

I really just don't understand why you would without a proper keyboard for text input, and the browsers are usually terrible anyway (the PS3's especially is pretty much unusable).

I have a USB keyboard plugged into my PS3 which I use for sending messages to people. I'm sure if I ever bothered to use the web browser on it the keyboard would work with that. I'm sure the same goes for the Wii U which has USB ports, so it should. The ability to use USB keyboards is there in all the consoles. If people don't know to use it that's their stupidity.

Another thing about the Wii U is since it has that touchscreen controller I would assume it could have some touchscreen keyboard capability integrated into it.

KeyBillySeptember 17, 2012

I think Flash is fun to work with, has mature tools, and runs well compared to the current state of HTML 5 implementations.  However, Adobe has shifted its focus to HTML 5 tools, since it doesn't require them to make a crazy number of flash players for all the mobile devices out there.  With HTML 5, that burden is not on a single company, which probably explains why it runs so much worse than Flash right now.  Then there is the issue of javascript...

Regardless, as long as the browser runs HTML 5 well, I think it is fine.  It would be great if they release a new version of the 3DS browser too.

StrawHousePigSeptember 17, 2012

Javascript can easily bog down a small CPU. I'm not sure if the tablet would have to do any heavy lifting, but I would guess so since you can browse with it while doing something else with the TV.

I thought I read Adobe shit canned Flash lite anyway. Probably because no one wants to touch it with battery operated devices for good reason.

Chozo GhostSeptember 17, 2012

If Adobe doesn't open source Flash then ultimately it will fade away. Proprietary web standards have no place in the 2010s. Flash is an ancient proprietary dinosaur that belongs back in the 2000s or 1990s where it came from.

azekeSeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

This is something I've actually wondered about all the consoles & handhelds, but do people actually use the things to browse the internet or do people want them just to have them?  :confused;  I really just don't understand why you would without a proper keyboard for text input, and the browsers are usually terrible anyway (the PS3's especially is pretty much unusable).

I broke my leg and my old PC broke the same evening.

For the next month i was lying on the bed watching TV shows, playing wii games and browsing the web on wii internet channel.

It's definitely possible.

3ds browser is pretty fine (it's not Opera though, which was the case on wii and is my browser of choice on pc). Sometimes i use it as a note of some kind -- i open some page with lots of info i can't memorize, write up or print. And then go to some place. Open up your browser and the page is still there even if there's no wifi.

KeyBillySeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

If Adobe doesn't open source Flash then ultimately it will fade away. Proprietary web standards have no place in the 2010s. Flash is an ancient proprietary dinosaur that belongs back in the 2000s or 1990s where it came from.

Flash is an open standard.  You can create Flash content outside of Adobe software.  Adobe is, however, the only one making Flash players, though I am not sure how that works for the integrated Chrome version, where Google may be involved.  I don't think Adobe will push Flash any more, other than for animators saving it to video files (TV shows, etc.), because it is cheaper for them to just focus on HTML 5 tools and stop making the player software.  They've already abandoned updates for mobile devices.

Quote from: StrawHousePig

Javascript can easily bog down a small CPU. I'm not sure if the tablet would have to do any heavy lifting, but I would guess so since you can browse with it while doing something else with the TV.

The tablet doesn't do processing, the console does it and just streams the image to the tablet.

ShyGuySeptember 17, 2012

Have you ever had your web browser crash? 75% chance it was caused by Flash.

I had a really, REALLY hard time not writing Bowser instead of Browser in this article.

Quote from: famicomplicated

Hehe, maybe someday, someone will make a HTML5 player that plays Flash movies!

Done in JavaScript + HTML5, does that count?

LittleIrvesSeptember 18, 2012

That Japanese video is worth watching if only to hear Iwata say "In-ter-net." What an adorable man he is. Also: Can't wait to use those red velvet curtains to show-off a picture found online. Totally 100% serious.

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