The Wii U's internet browser has been designed so that users can seamlessly switch between playing a game to looking for something on the internet, the developers of the browser say in the latest Iwata Asks interview.
Speaking to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Munetaka Tsuda and Tetsuya Sasaki from Nintendo's Software Development and Design Department say that when they looked at the Wii U's specs, they had the idea to design a browser that could be used every day and could handle everything users now expect from a browser like the ability to play videos and music, not just show text.
"These days it's become common for people to use their computer or smartphone while watching TV, and we wanted users to be able to do the same with their Wii U," Sasaki says.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata adds: "Of course there have been many devices with Internet browser features for the TV, but I didn't think any of them have really been quite right. Here at Nintendo, we put the Internet Browser on Wii, but candidly speaking it was never quite what it could be."
For the Wii U, the internet browser development team wanted to integrate it into the console in such a way that it could function simultaneously on the TV screen and the GamePad, as well as alone on the GamePad.
Tsuda says the team initially tried to show different websites on the TV screen and the GamePad in a similar set-up to the Nintendo 3DS, but they found that this didn't work as well as having both screens show the same thing. This would allow users to interact with the browser directly on their GamePad and have the results appear on the TV screen.
"We thought that for one, the browser would be controlled using the Wii U GamePad, so it needed to be usable without the TV, and that we wanted to use the TV in a way so everybody could look at webpages at the same time, and for watching videos," Tsuda says. "Although, because TVs can be viewed by a group, but the Wii U GamePad is for one person to hold in his or her hand, we needed to add the ability to multi-task, in order to make it possible to play a video on the TV and do something different on the screen in your hands."
The solution to this was giving users the option to show separate things on both screens.
To read the full Iwata Asks interview where the developers talk about optimizing the browser for the Wii U and how it was designed, head over to Iwata Asks.
The Wii U's internet browser specs were detailed back in September.