Nintendo's Wii U Controller: Threat To iPad?

Like many people, I own more than one video game system from the current generation. All of them, in fact. If I were younger, each one would receive a bit of love on a weekly basis, but being 33, I've learned the hard way that gaming today versus gaming at 20 isn't the same. There was nothing but time back then, even with final exams staring me in the face. Now I have a wife, activities outside the home and plenty of responsibilities. These days, I need to think about which company and piece of hardware receives my disposable income, and lately, it's been the iPad, despite Fez tempting me to dust off the Xbox 360.

Yeah, I'd pass up playing Draw Something for this.

That said, I'm prepared to go all in with Wii U. I think it'll be a great system. I also think Nintendo won't channel the uninspired 3DS launch; sorry, Steel Diver. There will be Mario, or another big-time character, along with Pikmin and the most impressive third party line-up of any console debut. I'm not privy to insider information regarding the system, but my fingers are crossed for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Assassin's Creed 3, Darksiders 2, Rayman Legends and a few unexpected surprises. Can you imagine playing Aliens with the Wii U controller functioning as the motion tracker? Total brain lock.

With this in mind, and considering my schedule, I've been wondering if Nintendo's tablet controller will chip away at my time with the iPad, to the point where Apple's device becomes more of a work-related thing, instead of a product I also use for leisure.

Just the Wii U games alone are enough for me to leave the iPad buried on my desk. I grab the tablet whenever the wife watches something on TV I can't stand. It's a way for me to get in some well-needed gaming time while occasionally pausing to answer a question; sometimes, I'll have one ear exposed, the other linked into headphones.

Although I have a lot of fun doing this, especially when it involves Infinity Blade 2, Angry Birds Space and other iOS titles, those Wii U games look better than just about everything on the App Store. Even better, I can play these titles on the controller's built-in screen while she watches...I don't know...decorating shows.

To that end, and whether Nintendo wants to admit it or not, that Wii U controller will compete on some level with the iPad. No, they won't offer the same exact features, though if the big N's smart, it will let users watch movies and play casual-friendly games as well. You'll definitely hear PR people and even some journalists say Wii U and iPad are two separate devices, and they're somewhat right, but also wrong. Can you take the Wii U controller outside the home to continue playing? All signs point to no at this point, so Apple wins in terms of portability. But will players in the same boat as myself have to choose between Wii U and iPad while at home? Absolutely. Us busy folks can't multi-task between smart phones, tablets, consoles and portable systems on a daily basis. Most times, it's one or the other, and I think Wii U may get the nod, simply because Assassin's Creed 3 looks far more interesting than Infinity Blade Dungeons; no disrespect to the latter, I can't wait for that either.

On that note, Wii U may not seem like a threat to iPad's dominance at large, but in my household, it most definitely is.