Sony and Apple planning Wii U-style control concepts

IOS5 and Vita experimenting with two-screen games

While Nintendo's new Wii U is dedicated to two-screen games with touch-based controls, both Apple's iPad and Sony's PS Vita are exploring similar concepts.

Earlier this week, Apple announced iOS5, a major update to its mobile operating system, one element of which introduces AirPlay Mirroring. This pairs an iPad with an AppleTV - the latter outputting a game to an HDTV, and the former controlling it while optionally showing additional information on its own screen.

Mobile studio Firemint will be the first to release a game using AirPlay Mirroring, in the form of Real Racing 2 HD. The iPad's screen will show track maps and times while the Apple TV shows the race itself. "We see AirPlay as a real game-changer," stated Firemint.

"It allows us to bring a fresh, never-before-seen level of freedom to Real Racing 2 HD. Combined with the precision steering and brilliant 3D visuals made possible by iPad 2′s phenomenal hardware, Real Racing 2 HD over AirPlay promises an experience you'll have to play to believe."

Meanwhile, Sony has floated the possibility of achieving something similar via a PS3 and PSVita combo. Said SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuehi Yoshida to Develop, "Already people are starting to ask about linking Vita and PS3 to do something similar, in terms of using two screens, and having controls on the screen.

"Lots of the things that developers of Vita games are doing, as you may have seen, is experimenting with connectivities between Vita and PS3... The Wipeout team came up with their cross play ideas, and the other Vita teams have come up with ways of playing with two systems. It's just a matter of time, as we provide the SDKs to developers so they can make use of both PS3 and Vita, and they might come up with something interesting."

In any case, the concept is hardly a new one - Nintendo itself has previously experimented with two-system play in the GameCube/GameBoy Advance era.

Related stories

Apple is selling Xbox controllers

Microsoft's GamePad available through mobile giant's online store following Apple Arcade launch

By James Batchelor

Apple Arcade is a short-term fix with far reaching consequences | Opinion

Is Apple Arcade the ultimate solution to selling premium mobile games, or a walled oasis offering a reprieve from a larger problem?

By Alessandra van Otterlo

Latest comments (20)

Roberto Allocco8 years ago
I think apple alternative would not take so many players away from Nintendo.
Just thinking about the price that doing said combo would require make me shiver O_o
Also iPad lacks buttons and analogs, something that "core" players demand as standard for playing anything.

On these terms, sony is most of a trouble to Nintendo, but i think that it will be more difficoult to them to have softwer houses to bring experience wii u-like, because for said console the monitor on the controller is a given, while for a ps3 user, having a psv is not.

Anyway i'm exited for all of these opportunities for us gamers :D
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 8 years ago
Good luck to Sony if they can make it happen. I'm sure if there is a possibility then it would encourage 3rd parties producing multiplatform games to open up the gameplay ideas. Could we end up in a situation where games are developed for PS3 and WiiU but not the 360?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
We don't know what the WiiU will cost yet, but PS3+PSV is hardly cheap - getting publishers to commit funds to titles that rely on the link (or at least have committed major dev time to the link) seems a stretch.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (20)
Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
Yeah, these two screen alternatives aren't as accessible as Nintendo's plan. Nintendo's plan is to make this method of control standard, whereas what Sony and Apple are producing is an optional control method for those with the necessary equipment--neither Sony or Apple's method of two screen control is likely to be widespread or accessible and cost-effective, while if Nintendo price WiiU competitively, and if they produce the quality software needed to demonstrate the advantages of the console, they could have another hit on their hands.

There's also the question of software support--if Apple and Sony's methods of two screen control aren't widespread, then the software utilising the controls won't be there. Whereas with two screen control being the standard WiiU experience, software developers will be encouraged to utilise the concept. Of course, in the days of multi-format support, it may be the case that games designed to work on WiiU have a PS3 version with Vita compatibility.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 9th June 2011 11:34am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
I was wondering to myself just earlier when this was going to happen. :P
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Fabien Roussot Developer, Gunjin Games Ltd8 years ago
If the WiiU is about the same price as a PSV, then it could be in favor of Sony as there is already 50+ millions PS3 out there. And for the price of the PSV, 50+M users could have a handheld and the WiiU experience at the same time. (Well, without the Nintendo franchise strength)
At the end, it all depends what the line-up of the PSV and WiiU are. Some will prefer one and some the other. And I'm guessing the TGS will be the interesting expo for those 2 consoles.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Charles Dawkins8 years ago
Lets not forget that Microsfot is doing the same thing with the Windows Phone 7 and the 360. When I saw the Wii U my thoughts went back to MIX 11 where they showed The WP7 working with the 360 and Kinect on the Ricochet game. I'm sure Microsfot kicked themself at E3 because they should have showed that connectivity at their conference.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Sony and apples methods are expensive... In sony's case it would be, PS3+PS VITA+GAME+Plus TV screen... An iPAD costs the equivalent of a PS3 and Vita combined. Plus no buttons. It gets expensive... Nintendo is just the WiiU and controller+Game. Its all self contained, no TV necessary and multiple people can play together Localy (depending on how the bandwith rumors pan out). I was very Impressed with the Wii U. and with third party support and the Zelda HD demo. Plus external USB connectivity and 25GB optical disc. Its also backward compatible, with all wii games, controllers and perephirals. Its hard to say I wasnt impressed. its a home console that provides the best of a portable console with it as well. And Im sure Nintendo can come up with similar ways to connect a 3DS and Wii U, like Sony and Apple are doing. The hardware is capable of it. My only worry has been prices. im hoping Nintendo can get Wii U out the door at a comforatible price.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tony Johns8 years ago
I was only thinking it was a matter of time before others decide to copy Nintendo.

I didn't think it would happen this fast though.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Thiago Vignoli Creative Director, Fan Studios8 years ago
Nintendo will cry. Sony + Apple > Nintendo
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Daniel Forslund CEO/Producer, Trino Creative8 years ago
Regarding the price comparison between Apple and Nintendo (@Rick), it is important to consider that once you add a few games to the mix the Apple alternative is actually quite economical. Most quality iPad games are around or less than Euro 100, while console games are 5-6 times that or more. So once the gamer has invested in a few games the end cost is actually quite similar.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 8 years ago
ohno, not again, people are actually thinking Nintendo did something revolutionairy again, even though this has already been done before, just like with the wiimote... personally when I'm gaming I don't want to have such a big controller in my hands like the wii-U controller..
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Andrew, the Wii U didn't do this first...that's true. But did you ever see their GBA to GC connectivity feature? Legend of Zelda 4 Swords and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles did this stuff as early as 2004.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
All I see here, is validation of Nintendo's ideas: the Sony option will be very expensive (and the Vita screen much smaller than a tablet, and probably uncomfortable to use with a TV in tandem).

The iPad lacks buttons, and very few people have an AppleTV device - although I am curious how the iPad can generate *two* sets of independent images.

Overall, the primary difference is the WiiU is *designed* for this from ground up - both games and hardware wise. We all know how "pack-in" or "optional" devices tend to perform in the market. It will also have a significant cost advantage.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Lucien Bryan Studying BSc Computer Science, Middlesex University8 years ago
Sony have no originality


all they ever seem to do is copy/leach off nintendo's idea's
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University8 years ago
It's funny how people are going on about how Sony are leeching off of Nintendo, when hooking up a portable device to your console was considered by developers with the PSP and PS3 ages ago. Gran Turismo was originally going to use the PSP as a rear view mirror if I remember rightly.
It's nothing new people.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Eliot, I noted above the GC was doing it with the GBA years before.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University8 years ago
And you could kind of do somthing like that with pokemon S, yes you did not link the gameboy in but it was close, letting you use your own pokemon from the game red/blue with it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephen McCarthy on 10th June 2011 2:24pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam8 years ago
re: the iPad lacking buttons, if you're playing on the TV and just using the iPad as a controller you could have whatever buttons and pads you want on it, wherever you want them, on a game-by-game basis. Imagine how useful that would be for an MMO, for example, where you could have a whole screen full of instantly accessible quick slots to access your abilities and items. Sure you don't get the touch feedback you get with a physical controller or keyboard, but it's endlessly flexible.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Well when you got so many people who prefer playing on a keyboard, i dont see what the big deal is.

Dont forget this controller can be used as an alternative to playing on your TV. I also dislike the bulky size (ALOT), but i like many things about the controller such as the button layout. I personally dont like the controller with a touchscreen, but after seeing the many uses it can have, i was pretty excited. And in some cases a smaller screen wouldnt work. It would suck to play as a sniper and or do a painting on such a small screen.

And if so many people are willing to hold a 600-800$ doller iPAD, that is BIGGER, has no buttons, no grip and looks like a piece of glass that when dropped will shatter... in my opinion... cut nintendo some slack and lets see how this pans out. It can work well. Its either that and have you buy the console, with a 3DS or and iPAD too.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 10th June 2011 4:02pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.