uDraw GameTablet

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The original uDraw GameTablet with the Wii Remote connected to it.

The uDraw GameTablet is a gaming graphics tablet released by THQ for the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It has a pressure-sensitive stylus which allows users to draw and view their creations on screen. The tablet is motion-sensitive through either the Wii Remote or internal accelerometers, which lets users tilt and roll the tablet for various changes in gameplay.

The initial white version of the device was introduced exclusively for the Wii on November 14, 2010. Later black-coloured versions for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii were released a year later on November 15, 2011. The Wii uDraw GameTablet is bundled with an art-based video game, uDraw Studio, while the uDraw GameTablet for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 comes with uDraw Instant Artist. Additional titles include uDraw Pictionary, Disney Princess: Enchanting Storybooks, Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat, The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns – Again!, SpongeBob SquigglePants and Dood's Big Adventure.

While the initial release of the device for the Wii met with some success, THQ's expanded release of the uDraw for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 has been described as a "disaster". THQ's Chief Financial Officer described 1.4 million unsold units as the primary reason for a revenue shortfall of around $100 million.[1]

THQ discontinued production of the tablet in early February 2012. "THQ has no future commitments or plans to manufacture uDraw hardware," the company told investors. "THQ's strategy is to focus on its premium core and fighting franchises and to expand its digital revenues." Following the eventual collapse of THQ in December 2012, former company president Jason Rubin described the uDraw as one of the "massive mistakes" which had led to the company's demise.[2]

Creation and development[edit]

The uDraw GameTablet was developed by THQ as a gaming accessory for the Wii. It was the first drawing device for the seventh generation consoles.

The original uDraw GameTablet has a 4 by 6-inch drawing surface on which users can create free-form drawings and artwork, as well as play games designed specifically for the uDraw GameTablet, using an attached pressure-sensitive stylus pen. The stylus also has a dualfunction seesaw button that emulates the C and Z buttons on the Wii Nunchuk. The Wii Remote docks in the Wii's uDraw GameTablet, which draws power directly from the Wii Remote’s battery. The uDraw GameTablet also takes advantage of the Wii Remote’s motion sensors and tilt movement options, allowing users to control their characters by moving and directing them throughout levels of the game.[3]

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions have a different design in comparison to the original Wii version, including horizontal stylus holders instead of the original's vertical holder, and buttons and directional pads similar to the ones found on the DualShock 3 and Xbox 360 Controllers. Likewise, the PlayStation and Xbox versions use internal accelerometers, although PlayStation-makers Sony have previously released its own motion-sensitive controller, the PlayStation Move, which is not used alongside the uDraw GameTablet. Additionally, the uDraw GameTablet for these consoles feature high definition input, with pinch-and-stretch and rotation features.[4]

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were only produced for 4 months. THQ abandoned uDraw completely during February 2012 to focus on its core adult gaming audience and to regain a profit.

uDraw Studio Instant Artist[edit]

The uDraw GameTablet is bundled with uDraw Studio Instant Artist. Previously, the uDraw GameTablet came with uDraw Studio (developed by Pipeworks Software). Both allow users to draw, color, paint and create works of art. Players can use the available tools and features to draw, paint and color simple shapes, or experiment with different painting styles, layers and shading under three different modes of play: Art School, Art Play, and Art Camp. Art School offers interactive tutorials with Remmy, the game's 3D animated host, while Art Play allows for freestyle painting and drawing, and Art Camp offers a variety of art activities. uDraw Studio Instant Artist has art education materials to help players learn how to draw and paint.

The game comes with a library of more than 300 stamps with rotation and animation features, and various post-processing effects, including black-and-white, sepia and neon. Because of the versatility of the game, players can create any kind of art they want and get precise painting options through zooming, pinching or stretching their artwork on the tablet. Sliders and toggles adjust brush size, paint drop-off and opacity.

Features on uDraw Studio Instant Artist include:

  • Painting – Paint or draw using 19 media options, including paint splat and tilt-control painting.
  • Three modes of play - Art School, Art Play and Art Camp.
  • Art tutorials guided by 3D animated host Remmy.
  • Toolbox - Change color palettes, brushes, canvases and pens on-screen.
  • Replay – Watch the creation of art stroke-by-stroke at normal, 8x and 9x speeds.
  • Gallery – Go through previous art works or replay and augment the art already created.
  • Save and Share – Upload artwork online to save, share and print directly from the console.
  • Touch-sensitive controls - Pinch and stretch gestures with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Games[edit]

The following Wii games make use of uDraw Game Tablet:

Title Developer Publisher Bundled Required Release date N. America Release date Japan Release date Europe Release date Australia
uDraw Studio Pipeworks Software THQ Yes Yes November 14, 2010 N/A March 4, 2011 February 24, 2011[5]
Pictionary Page 44 Studios THQ Some Yes November 14, 2010 N/A March 4, 2011 February 24, 2011
Dood's Big Adventure THQ Digital Studios Phoenix THQ Some Yes November 14, 2010 N/A March 4, 2011 February 24, 2011
SpongeBob SquigglePants WayForward Technologies THQ N/A Yes April 12, 2011 N/A April 15, 2011 April 14, 2011
Kung Fu Panda 2 Griptonite Games THQ N/A Yes May 24, 2011 N/A June 10, 2011 June 16, 2011
Disney Princess: Enchanting Storybooks Disney Interactive Studios THQ Some Yes November 1, 2011 N/A November 18, 2011 November 17, 2011
Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat Griptonite Games THQ N/A Yes November 15, 2011 N/A November 18, 2011 November 17, 2011
Pictionary Ultimate Edition Page 44 Studios THQ N/A Yes November 15, 2011 N/A November 18, 2011 November 17, 2011
uDraw Studio: Instant Artist Pipeworks Software THQ Yes Yes November 15, 2011 N/A November 18, 2011 November 17, 2011
Disney Animator[6] Disney Interactive Studios THQ No Yes N/A (cancelled.) N/A N/A N/A

Reception[edit]

The uDraw Mm hardware and video games have generally received positive reviews. In August 2010 at the announcement of uDraw, analysts predicted that uDraw could "sell up to one million units",[7] with the potential to be a sleeper hit during the 2010 holiday season.[8] THQ also showcased uDraw at GamesCom 2010 and reviewers noted that the clean user interface and simple design "makes it accessible to the widest audience possible".

Joystiq said that the uDraw GameTablet's "simple mostly-white design makes it a perfect companion for the Wii", noting that the replay function is a cool feature: "In the hands of a capable artist, this will undoubtedly make for some mesmerizing videos."[9] USA Today '​s review said that "navigating with the stylus feels easy", and both the tablet and stylus handled coloring and stroke move well.[10] Digital Spy reviewed the new uDraw GameTablet for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3: "the range of functionality makes it a good option for families and the casual market."[11] In contrast, Calum Wilson Austin of The Sydney Morning Herald gave the Tablet a 3/10. "While this peripheral might entertain children," stated Austin, "anyone else will be better served with a pen and a blank piece of paper."[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THQ details full extent of uDraw disaster". Eurogamer. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 
  2. ^ "The collapse of THQ: The full story". MCV. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gamescom 2010: THQ innovates with uDraw GameTablet for the Wii.". EL33TONLINE. 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  4. ^ "uDraw for 360 and PS3 is multitouch, ships with new Studio software.". JOYSTIQ. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  5. ^ "uDraw tablet and games hit Australia on February 24th". Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  6. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/news/e3-2011-thq-draws-up-disney-animator-6318024
  7. ^ Batchelor, James (2010-11-03). "uDraw is a 'platform, not a fad'". MCV. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  8. ^ Goldman, Tom (2010-10-16). "THQ Letting Kids uDraw This Holiday Season". The Escapist. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  9. ^ Yoon, Andrew (2010-10-20). "uDraw preview: Hands-on with THQ's GameTablet". Joystiq. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  10. ^ Molina, Brett (2010-09-21). "First impressions: uDraw GameTablet". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  11. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (2011-12-03). "uDraw GameTablet Instant Artist review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  12. ^ Austin, Calum (2011-05-26). "uDraw the worst gaming peripheral ever?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 

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