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Unwrapping the Wii U Browser


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Anna Debenham

Ross, that’s a good point. I’ve just loaded up Jordan Moore’s Palm Reader on the Wii U and that’s telling me that the TV media type isn’t active on the device.

Jason Grigsby talks about the lack of support for the TV media type in his presentations on TV browsers – see Brad Frost’s notes – and he also mentions some of the reasons why they don’t support it.

I wonder what the ideal thing would be on this device, because sites are displayed on a TV screen and a small gamepad screen at the same time.


A very nice write-up, particularly on some of the interesting idiosyncrasies and extra touches of the Wii U browser.

I know you mention that there should be incentive for improved HTML5 support for browser games, but it will be interesting to see if this actually happens. Historically, Nintendo has done everything in its power to dissuade people from playing other companies’ games, and I believe it was Iwata himself once subtly expressed a dislike for web-based games too.

Ross Penman

Perhaps the TV media query would make it possible to display different content on the TV and the gamepad, optimised for each device.

Having used the device, what are your thoughts on this? Is it important that the content looks the same on the gamepad and the TV screen.

If third-parties could harness the power that is currently used by the device’s video player, it could lead to some interesting opportunities for user interfaces.


This is a very good read. I was curious about how the new Wii U browser was going to work and this answered quite a few questions for me!

Thanks so much!

Thomas van Dijk

I bet this would be helpful for game related sites, as people probably visit those after they get stuck in a game. On the 3DS for example you can simply pause your game and go to your browser, returning to your game after you’ve found what you need to know.

I’m not sure what other sites can expect a large amount of traffic from concoles though, but Nintendo’s social network might drive the traffic up a bit.


A high number of people are using console browsers to visit websites and probably this number will increase after the launch of the new generation of consoles. It’s important to develop and design websites using those devices in mind even though cross-browser development and testing was already difficult and time consuming.

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