Off-TV Play

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The Wii U GamePad controller features a 6.2-inch touchscreen.

Off-TV Play is a feature of Nintendo's eighth-generation video game console, the Wii U. Like all video game consoles, the Wii U uses a console and a controller to manipulate an image on a television screen. The Wii U's unique feature is that its controller, the Wii U GamePad, has its own built-in screen for displaying images. It can display an entirely different image, or duplicate the television screen into the Wii U GamePad. Off-TV Play is the term used for when an entire game is played strictly on the controller, without the use of a television.[1][2]

Background[edit]

The Wii U console was officially unveiled at E3 2011 in June 2011, where it was first detailed that the console's controller would feature a tablet-like touchscreen.[3] Nintendo announced that a major focus of the console would be the ability to display the image seen on the television on the touchscreen, to continue playing the game if the television was needed for other uses, or the player needed to move away from the television.[4] Official terms were given at E3 2012; the controller was named the Wii U GamePad and the concept of playing games strictly on its screen being labeled Off-TV Play.[5]

For supported games, a television isn't required to be connected to the Wii U; the Wii U can operate in Off-TV Play mode as long as the console is connected to a power source.[6] However, as the processing is done on the console, and transmitted to the GamePad, the user must still keep within the transmitting range in order for it to work.[4] Not all games support Off-TV Play, as some games conceptually rely on the asymmetric interplay between the television screen and the Wii U GamePad screen, such as Nintendo Land and ZombiU.[7][8][9] Original Wii games and Virtual Console games were not initially compatible either, although this was changed in the Wii U's September 30, 2013 system update, which allows it, but only through the use of original Wii peripherals.[10]

All Wii U Virtual Console titles purchased from the Nintendo eShop include the option to use Off-TV Play.[11]

List of Off-TV Play compatible software[edit]

Games[edit]

Title Genre Developer Publisher Availability Support
Angry Birds Trilogy Puzzle Rovio Entertainment Activision NA, EU Supported[12]
Armillo Action-adventure Fuzzy Wuzzy Games Fuzzy Wuzzy Games NA Supported[13]
Assassin's Creed III Action-adventure Ubisoft Quebec Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[14]
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Action-adventure Ubisoft Quebec Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[15]
Assault Android Cactus Twin-stick Shooter Witch Beam Witch Beam Unreleased Supported[16]
Bayonetta Action, Hack and slash Platinum Games Nintendo Unreleased Supported[17]
Bayonetta 2 Action, Hack and slash Platinum Games Nintendo Unreleased Supported[18]
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Action-adventure WB Games Montréal Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[19]
Batman: Arkham Origins Action-adventure WB Games Montréal Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[20]
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition Action-adventure Armature Studio Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment EU, NA Supported[21]
Ben 10: Omniverse Action-adventure D3 Publisher D3 Publisher AUS, EU, NA Supported[a][22]
Call of Duty: Black Ops II First person shooter Treyarch Activision AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[23]
Call of Duty: Ghosts First person shooter Infinity Ward Activision AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[24]
Castlestorm Puzzle, Strategy Zen Studios Zen Studios AUS, EU, NA Supported[25]
Chasing Aurora Other Broken Rules Broken Rules AUS, EU, NA Supported[26]
Child of Light Platforming, Role-playing Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[27]
Cloudberry Kingdom Platformer Pwnee Studios Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA Supported[28]
Darksiders II Action-adventure Vigil Games THQ AUS, NA, EU Supported[29]
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut Action role-playing, First-person shooter, Stealth Straight Right Square Enix AUS, EU, NA Supported[30]
Disney Infinity Platformer, sandbox Avalanche Software Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA Supported[31]
Disney's Planes Amateur flight simulation Behaviour Interactive Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA Supported[32]
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Platformer Retro Studios Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[33]
Dr. Luigi Puzzle Nintendo SPD, Arika Nintendo NA, EU, JP Supported[34]
Dragon Quest X MMORPG Square Enix, Armor Project Square Enix JP Supported[35]
DuckTales: Remastered Platformer Capcom, WayForward Technologies Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA Supported[36]
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara Beat 'em up, Action role-playing Iron Galaxy Studios Capcom NA, EU Supported[37]
Edge Puzzle, action Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA Supported[38]
FIFA Soccer 13 Sports EA Canada EA Sports AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[39]
Gaiabreaker Shoot 'em up Ubiquitous Entertainment Ubiquitous Entertainment JP Supported[40]
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Platformer Black Forest Games Black Forest Games AUS, EU Supported[41]
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Platformer Black Forest Games Black Forest Games AUS, EU Supported[42]
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Platformer, beat 'em up Drinkbox Studios Drinkbox Studios EU, NA Supported[43]
Just Dance 4 Rhythm Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Romania, Ubisoft Pune, Ubisoft Milan Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA Supported[44]
Hyrule Warriors Action, hack-and-slash Omega Force, Team Ninja Nintendo, Tecmo Koei JP Supported[45]
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Action-adventure Traveller's Tales Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA Supported[46]
Lego Marvel Super Heroes Action-adventure Traveller's Tales Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA Supported[47]
Little Inferno Puzzle Tomorrow Corporation Tomorrow Corporation AUS, EU, NA Supported[48]
Madden NFL 13 Sports EA Tiburon EA Sports NA Supported[b][49]
Mario Kart 8 Racing Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[50]
Mass Effect 3 Action role-playing Straight Right Electronic Arts AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[51]
Mighty Switch Force!: Hyper Drive Edition Platformer WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies AUS, EU, NA Supported[26]
Mighty Switch Force! 2 Platformer WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies AUS, EU, NA Supported[52]
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Action role-playing Capcom Production Studio 1, Eighting Capcom AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[c][53]
Mutant Mudds Deluxe Run and gun, Platformer Renegade Kid Renegade Kid NA Supported[54]
Nano Assault Neo Shooter Shin'en Multimedia Shin'en Multimedia AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[26]
NBA 2K13 Sports 2K Sports 2K Sports AUS, EU, NA Supported[55]
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U Racing Criterion Games Electronic Arts AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[56]
NES Remix Arcade compilation indieszero Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[57]
New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U Platformer Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[d][58]
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Action-adventure, hack-and-slash Team Ninja Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[59]
One Piece: Unlimited World Red Action-adventure Ganbarion Bandai Namco Games AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[60]
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Platformer Monkey Bar Games Bandai Namco Games AUS, EU, NA Supported[61]
Pier Solar HD Role-playing WaterMelon WaterMelon Unreleased Supported[62]
Pikmin 3 Real-time strategy Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[63]
Ping 1.5+ Puzzle Nami Tentou Mushi Nami Tentou Mushi Unreleased Supported[64]
Pokémon Rumble U Action role-playing Ambrella Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[65]
Project CARS Racing Slightly Mad Studios Slightly Mad Studios Unreleased Supported[66]
Puddle Puzzle Neko Entertainment Neko Entertainment AUS, EU, NA Supported[67]
Pushmo World Puzzle Intelligent Systems Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[68]
Rayman Legends Platformer Ubisoft Montpellier Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[69]
Resident Evil: Revelations Survival horror Capcom, Tose Capcom AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[70]
Rush Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA Supported[71]
Scribblenauts Unlimited Puzzle 5th Cell Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA Supported[72]
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure Puzzle 5th Cell Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA Supported[73]
Shovel Knight Platformer Yacht Club Games Yacht Club Games Unreleased Supported[74]
Skylanders: Giants Platformer Vicarious Visions Activision AUS, EU, NA Supported[75]
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Platformer Toys for Bob Activision JP Supported[76]
Sniper Elite V2 Tactical shooter Rebellion Developments 505 Games AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[77]
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Racing Sumo Digital Sega AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[78]
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Action-adventure Big Red Button Entertainment Sega Unreleased Supported[79]
Sonic Lost World Platformer Sonic Team Sega, Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[80]
Super Mario 3D World Platformer Nintendo EAD Tokyo Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[81]
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition Fighting Namco Bandai Namco Bandai AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[82]
The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition Action-adventure Beenox Activision NA, EU Supported[83]
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Action-adventure Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[84]
The Lego Movie Videogame Action-adventure TT Games, TT Fusion Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA Supported[85]
The Wonderful 101 Action Platinum Games Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[86]
Toki Tori Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA Supported[71]
Toki Tori 2+ Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA Supported[26]
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Stealth, action-adventure Ubisoft Shanghai Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[87]
Trine 2: Director's Cut Puzzle Frozenbyte Frozenbyte AUS, EU, NA Supported[26]
Unepic Platformer, Role-playing Francisco Téllez de Meneses EnjoyUp Games EU, NA Supported[88]
Watch Dogs Action-adventure Ubisoft Bucharest Ubisoft Unreleased Supported[89]
Wii Fit U Fitness Nintendo EAD Group No. 5, Ganbarion Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[e][90]
Wooden Sen’SeY Platformer Upper Byte Neko Entertainment Unreleased Supported[91]
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Collection Action-adventure Sega Sega JP Supported[92]
Zen Pinball 2 Pinball Zen Studios Zen Studios AUS, EU, NA Supported[93]

^[a] Off-TV Play must be initially activated via a menu on the TV screen.

^[b] Off-TV Play cannot be activated or disabled mid-game

^[c] An update is required to use Off-TV Play.

^[d] When using the feature in multiplayer mode, only platforms can be placed using the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen and a Wii Remote and/or Wii U Pro Controller is required.

^[e] Some activities require both the GamePad and TV screen and are not compatible with Off-TV Play.

Applications[edit]

Title Genre Developer Publisher Availability Support
Internet Browser Nintendo Network Business & Development Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported
Wii U Panorama View Nintendo Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported
Netflix Netflix, Inc. Netflix, Inc. EU, NA, JP Supported
Wii Karaoke U Joysound, Nintendo Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported[94]
Wii Street U Nintendo Software Technology Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP Supported
Amazon Instant Video Amazon Amazon EU, NA, JP Supported

Reception[edit]

The concept has received mostly positive reviews. The CNET praised the feature as being "nothing short of fantastic [...] because it prevents the monopolization of a TV while gaming -- something anyone who doesn't live alone can appreciate. For those households where the main TV is in constant demand, off-TV sounds like a godsend."[58] However, a major concern cited is that it wasn't a required feature, meaning the developers can opt out of making it possible in their respective games, so in theory, it could become obsolete.[58] Kotaku praised it as well, stating that it is a good feature for those who like to multi-task, since it frees up the television for other uses.[95] TechSpot described it as "a luxury few people asked for but that turns out to be wonderful to have".[23] Destructoid praised it for being exactly the same as playing on the television, only "with some limited portability for no extra charge. Hard to find fault in that."[96] GamesRadar praised the feature for being perfect for the avid television watcher, but criticized the fact that there wasn't a standardized way to activate it, such as its own button.[97] IGN stated in their review for the Wii U, that in regards to single player experiences, they preferred it when the entire game could be transferred to the GamePad over using it in conjunction with a television.[98]

Some critics have argued that the image has superior quality while using Off-TV Play,[23] while others have cited concerns over the small size of the screen making it difficult to see all the details of the image. Eurogamer's "Digital Foundry" testing showed that the Wii U's Off-TV Play feature outperformed Sony's similar Remote Play feature on its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita systems in image quality, latency, frame-rate.[99] Pocket Gamer agreed, stating that Off-TV Play offered far less lag than Remote Play.[100]

While critics generally praised the Wii U update enabling Off-TV Play support to original Wii software played in Wii Mode, they generally lamented the update's shortcoming of requiring Wii controllers and peripherals to play rather than the Wii U GamePad itself.[101][102][103][104]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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