Over the past couple of years, video game consoles have become much more than just machines on which to play video games -- they've become entertainment consoles. In an entertainment world that's constantly getting more and more crowded with devices begging for its user's attention, it's almost necessary for a gaming console to be more than just a gaming console.
With the Wii U, the new video game console coming out from Nintendo later this year, the company believes that they're taking the home gaming console to the next level on the home entertainment scale.
"What the Wii U promises to do beyond offering unexpected gaming opportunities is it also creates opportunities due to the fact that its second screen is introduced into the living room, it removes the boundaries that exist between the player, the TV, the television, and the Internet," said Cindy Gordon, Nintendo's Vice President of Corporate Affairs.
Gordon believes that the way in which the Wii U interacts with all these different mediums will change the way in which people not only play video games, but also watch television and browse the web.
In a promotional video shown at 2011's E3 and again during the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Wii U users were cuing up a web video on the device's tablet-like controller and sending it onto the television by the swipe of his hand. Similarly, the video also showed a boy playing a game on his Wii U when his father wanted to turn on a baseball game. The boy simply paused his game on the television and resumed it on the device's controller.
Of course, the Wii U will be supporting other streaming video sources such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The currently-available Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 already offer both services, though neither competing console have a controller with a built-in screen on which to view the streamed media.