Wii U Gamepad Could Disrupt Tablet Usage

Nintendo doesn't want the media or the company's fans referring to the Wii U gamepad as a tablet, but the comparisons are not only inevitable, but also impossible to ignore. A wireless device that plays movies and games, while offering Internet access away from a desktop? Sure, it has tangible buttons, analog sticks and what not, but the controller serves similar functions as the iPad and Nexus 7.

To that end, there are plenty of naysayers, critics who think tablets have already pushed their way into homes, and will therefore have a negative impact on the Wii U, to which we'd like to counter with:

Why can't it be the exact opposite?

Perhaps it is the Wii U gamepad that poses the biggest threat to tablets, and not the other way around. Web browsing? Check. Netflix? Check. Downloadable games? Check. Most importantly, Nintendo's new gadget lets you play console quality titles away from the TV, at an estimated range of 25-26 feet, which ultimately means it's possible to get your gaming fix in bed, at the dinner table and on the toilet.

Sure, iOS and Android devices have Angry Birds Star Wars and Dead Trigger, the latter coming the closest to replicating graphics similar to Wii U, but Nintendo's console has New Super Mario Bros. U, Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3 and ZombiU, all of which provide deeper experiences than anything you'll find on the App Store and Google Play. The fact that you can play these types of games on the gamepad while someone else watches TV is very tablet like, but on a much higher quality level. Yes, the fourth generation iPad benefits from Apple's Retina Display, but at the end of the day, that resolution seems wasted on Angry Birds Space; no offense to that game, of course.

Bottom line, consumers will have to ask themselves whether they want Skylanders Lost Islands on IOS, or Skylanders Giants on Wii U. Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies on the tablet, or Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on Wii U. Mass Effect Infiltrator for iOS and Android, or Mass Effect 3 Wii U. Even for us, the decision to go with Wii U on all three is very clear.

With this in mind, don't expect everyone to continue enjoying their tablets once Wii U arrives November 18. Instead, the iPad and Kindle Fire HD may wind up collecting dust.