By Jonathan Charles | Aug 16, 2012 12:45 PM EDT
Split screens when playing video games with friends may become a thing of the past with Wii U, Nintendo's next-generation gaming console, as the GamePad controller's screen allows players to have individual screens.
The patents shows players firing crossbows while using the television and GamePad's screens, Nintendo World Report said. The example given in the patent involves players firing arrows, or throwing stars, from crossbows to cut ropes on a wall, with the aim to cut as many ropes as possible within the allotted time. A different example shows a player controlling a remote-controlled helicoper moving through a shaft and avoiding obstacles.
Co-op/local multiplayer works by the Wii U alternating between the two sensor bars, even if the TV and GamePad are side-by-side.
The system can accommodate more than 2 players, but split-screen would return
Games shown off for Wii U seems to demonstrate second-screen functionality for a single player. For example, Rayman Legends introduces a new character playable exclusively via the GamePad's screen. ZombiU tasks players with real-time time tasks, including entering a passcode to unlock doors. The zombies continue to move while in the sequences.
The games do not seem to be part of Nintendo Land, the introduction to Wii U Nintendo unveiled during its E3 2012 conference. The functionality seems similar to Nintendo Land titles shown at E3, though.
Creators of the patents are Jun Ito, Kenta Sato, and Keizo Ohta -- Nintendo members working on Nintendo Land. Nintendo Land is the Wii U's version of Wii Sports, offering numerous mini-games based on popular Nintendo franchises. In a Legend of Zelda themed title, a player controls the characters, and a different players controls the sword. Wii Sports was a success because of its accessibility: players can pick up a virtual baseball bat and play a video game. Whether Nintendo Lands proves to be as accessible as Wii Sports remains to be seen.
Wii U releases by the end of 2012.
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