updated 09:35 am EST, Thu December 29, 2011
Nintendo Wii U may have full tablet-like apps
Nintendo's Wii U may have a full-fledged app store similar to the iPad or Android by the time it ships, according to a rumor early on Thursday. The portal as portrayed by The Daily would give non-gaming apps such as MLB.tv the option of running on the regular TV interface, but it would also allow for more tablet-like apps that run just on the gamepad's 6.2-inch touchscreen. There would be a "wider variety" of apps than what DSiWare and WiiWare offer now, the source said.
The game system itself is expected to arrive later into 2012. Nintendo hasn't commented on the claims.
An app store would support a perception by some that the Wii U would be Nintendo's attempt to counter the iPad. Although the gamepad and tablet hybrid is limited to working within range of the main console, it could fill the role of a tablet for kids or couch use while the TV is otherwise busy.
Its expansion would also see Nintendo countering rival console designers' increasing attempts to turn their systems into media hubs, as well as dedicated media hubs like the Apple TV or Roku's Internet Players. Along with a number of services on Sony's PS3, Microsoft just recently gave the Xbox 360 apps in the fall 2011 Dashboard update that give it access to potentially dozens of music and video services. Nintendo has only really had Netflix access where even the Apple TV has had the choice of more than one paid service along with free video from Vimeo, YouTube, and multiple sports networks.