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]

BackgroundEdit

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 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] However, All Wii U Virtual Console titles purchased from the Nintendo eShop include the option to use Off-TV Play.[10] 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 as input methods, meaning that the image would appear on Wii U Gamepad screen, but its buttons would not work, requiring the use of Wii Remotes and Wii Nunchuks for button and joystick input.[11] This was partially revised again in January 2015; when Nintendo began releasing Wii games digitally on the Wii U eShop. Because games re-released in this fashion were reworked to run straight from the Wii U operating screen, and not Wii Mode, the game allowed for Off TV Play on Wii games with GamePad controls, provided the game allowed for Classic Controller usage in its Wii release.[12]

List of Off-TV Play compatible softwareEdit

GamesEdit

Title Genre Developer Publisher Availability Ref.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition Action-adventure Beenox Activision NA, EU [13]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Action-adventure Beenox Activision NA, EU
Angry Birds Trilogy Puzzle Rovio Entertainment Activision NA, EU [14]
Armillo Action-adventure Fuzzy Wuzzy Games Fuzzy Wuzzy Games NA [15]
Assassin's Creed III Action-adventure Ubisoft Quebec Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [16]
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Action-adventure Ubisoft Quebec Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [17]
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Action-adventure WB Games Montréal Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA, JP [18]
Batman: Arkham Origins Action-adventure WB Games Montréal Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA, JP [19]
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition Action-adventure Armature Studio Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment EU, NA [20]
Bayonetta Action, hack and slash PlatinumGames Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [21]
Bayonetta 2 Action, hack and slash PlatinumGames Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [22]
Ben 10: Omniverse Action-adventure D3 Publisher D3 Publisher AUS, EU, NA [a][23]
Bit.Trip Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Platformer Gaijin Games Gaijin Games AUS, EU, NA [24]
Bombing Bastards Action Sanuk Games Sanuk Games NA
Call of Duty: Black Ops II First person shooter Treyarch Activision AUS, EU, NA, JP [25]
Call of Duty: Ghosts First person shooter Infinity Ward Activision AUS, EU, NA, JP [26]
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Puzzle Nintendo EAD Tokyo, 1-Up Studio Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
Castlestorm Puzzle, strategy Zen Studios Zen Studios AUS, EU, NA [27]
Chasing Aurora Other Broken Rules Broken Rules AUS, EU, NA [28]
Child of Light Platformer, role-playing Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [29]
Cloudberry Kingdom Platformer Pwnee Studios Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA [30]
Darksiders II Action-adventure Vigil Games THQ AUS, NA, EU [31]
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut Action role-playing, First-person shooter, stealth Straight Right Square Enix AUS, EU, NA [32]
Disney Infinity Platformer, sandbox Avalanche Software Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA [33]
Disney's Cars 3: Driven to Win Racing Avalanche Software Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment AUS, EU, NA [34]
Disney's Planes Amateur flight simulation Behaviour Interactive Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA [35]
Don't Starve: Giant Edition Action-adventure Klei Entertainment Klei Entertainment EU, NA
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Platformer Retro Studios Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [36]
Dr. Luigi Puzzle Nintendo SPD, Arika Nintendo NA, EU, JP [37]
Dragon Quest X MMORPG Square Enix, Armor Project Square Enix JP [38]
DuckTales: Remastered Platformer Capcom, WayForward Technologies Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios AUS, EU, NA [39]
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara Beat 'em up, action role-playing Iron Galaxy Studios Capcom NA, EU [40]
Edge Puzzle, action Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA [41]
FIFA Soccer 13 Sports EA Canada EA Sports AUS, EU, NA, JP [42]
Gaiabreaker Shoot 'em up Ubiquitous Entertainment Ubiquitous Entertainment JP [43]
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Platformer Black Forest Games Black Forest Games AUS, EU [44]
Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition Platformer, beat 'em up DrinkBox Studios DrinkBox Studios EU, NA [45]
Hyrule Warriors Action, hack and slash Omega Force, Team Ninja Nintendo, Tecmo Koei AUS, EU, NA, JP [46]
Just Dance 4 Rhythm Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Pune, Ubisoft Milan Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA [47]
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Platformer HAL Laboratory, Nintendo SPD Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Action-adventure Nintendo EPD Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Action-adventure Nintendo EAD Group No. 3 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [48]
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Action-adventure Nintendo EPD Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [48]
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Action-adventure Traveller's Tales Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA [49]
Lego Marvel Super Heroes Action-adventure Traveller's Tales Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA [50]
The Lego Movie Videogame Action-adventure TT Games, TT Fusion Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA [51]
Little Inferno Puzzle Tomorrow Corporation Tomorrow Corporation AUS, EU, NA [52]
Madden NFL 13 Sports EA Tiburon EA Sports NA [b][53]
Mario Kart 8 Racing Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [54]
Mass Effect 3: Special Edition Action role-playing Straight Right Electronic Arts AUS, EU, NA, JP [55]
Mighty Switch Force!: Hyper Drive Edition Platformer WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies AUS, EU, NA [28]
Mighty Switch Force! 2 Platformer WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies AUS, EU, NA [56]
Minecraft: Wii U Edition Sandbox 4J Studios, Mojang Microsoft JP, EU, NA [28]
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Action role-playing Capcom Production Studio 1, Eighting Capcom AUS, EU, NA, JP [c][57]
Mutant Mudds Deluxe Run and gun, platformer Renegade Kid Renegade Kid NA [58]
Nano Assault Neo Shooter Shin'en Multimedia Shin'en Multimedia AUS, EU, NA, JP [28]
NBA 2K13 Sports 2K Sports 2K Sports AUS, EU, NA [59]
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U Racing Criterion Games Electronic Arts AUS, EU, NA, JP [60]
NES Remix Action, arcade indieszero Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [61]
NES Remix 2 Action, arcade indieszero Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
New Super Mario Bros. U Platformer Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [d][62]
New Super Luigi U Platformer Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Action-adventure, hack and slash Team Ninja Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [63]
One Piece: Unlimited World Red Action-adventure Ganbarion Bandai Namco Games AUS, EU, NA, JP [64]
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Platformer Monkey Bar Games Bandai Namco Games AUS, EU, NA [65]
Pikmin 3 Real-time strategy Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [66]
Pokkén Tournament Fighting Bandai Namco The Pokémon Company NA, JP
Pokémon Rumble U Action role-playing Ambrella Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [67]
Puddle Puzzle Neko Entertainment Neko Entertainment AUS, EU, NA [68]
Pushmo World Puzzle Intelligent Systems Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [69]
Rayman Legends Platformer Ubisoft Montpellier Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [70]
Resident Evil: Revelations Survival horror Capcom, Tose Capcom AUS, EU, NA, JP [71]
Rush Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA [72]
Scribblenauts Unlimited Puzzle 5th Cell Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA [73]
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure Puzzle 5th Cell Warner Bros. Interactive AUS, EU, NA [74]
SDK Paint Art application HullBreach Studios HullBreach Studios NA
Shovel Knight Platformer Yacht Club Games Yacht Club Games EU, NA [75]
Skylanders: Giants Platformer Vicarious Visions Activision AUS, EU, NA [76]
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Platformer Toys for Bob Activision JP [77]
Sniper Elite V2 Tactical shooter Rebellion Developments 505 Games AUS, EU, NA, JP [78]
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Racing Sumo Digital Sega AUS, EU, NA, JP [e][79]
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric Action-adventure Big Red Button Entertainment Sega AUS, EU, NA [80]
Sonic Lost World Platformer Sonic Team Sega, Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [81]
Super Mario 3D World Platformer Nintendo EAD Tokyo Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [82]
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Fighting Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [83]
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition Fighting Namco Bandai Namco Bandai AUS, EU, NA, JP [84]
Toki Tori Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA [72]
Toki Tori 2+ Puzzle Two Tribes Two Tribes AUS, EU, NA [28]
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Stealth, action-adventure Ubisoft Shanghai Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [85]
Trine 2: Director's Cut Puzzle Frozenbyte Frozenbyte AUS, EU, NA [28]
Unepic Platformer, role-playing Francisco Téllez de Meneses EnjoyUp Games EU, NA [86]
Watch Dogs Action-adventure Ubisoft Bucharest Ubisoft AUS, EU, NA, JP [87]
Wii Fit U Fitness Nintendo EAD Group No. 5, Ganbarion Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [f][88]
The Wonderful 101 Action PlatinumGames Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP [89]
Xenoblade Chronicles X Role-playing video game Monolith Soft Nintendo NA, EU, JP [90]
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Collection Action-adventure Sega Sega JP [91]
Zen Pinball 2 Pinball Zen Studios Zen Studios AUS, EU, NA [92]

^[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] Off-TV Play is activated by swiping down on touchscreen.

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


ApplicationsEdit

Title Developer Publisher Availability Ref.
Amazon Video Amazon Amazon EU, NA, JP
Internet Browser Nintendo Network Business & Development Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
Netflix Netflix, Inc. Netflix, Inc. EU, NA, JP
Wii Karaoke U Joysound, Nintendo Nintendo EU, JP [93]
Wii Street U Nintendo Software Technology Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP
Wii U Panorama View Nintendo Nintendo AUS, EU, NA, JP

ReceptionEdit

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."[94] 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.[94] 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".[25] 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,[25] 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, and 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] This was partially rectified by Nintendo in January 2015, when they announced that Wii games digitally re-released for the Wii U eShop would allow for GamePad controls, because they play directly through the Wii U, and not "Wii Mode" when using the disc version of the games.[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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