Nintendo Details Wii U Browser, Faster than IE 10 and Xbox 360

By | 4 years ago 

With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo is trying its hardest to replicate the various experiences provided by its current console competition — namely in online services and functionality. Part of that process will be focused on a new web browser built specifically for the Wii U that can be viewed both on the TV or the Wii U Touchpad.

As far as the ins and outs of the browser go, Nintendo has revealed that the Wii U will be offering NetFront NX v 2.1, a WebKit-based browser that is typically seen in TVs and mobile devices. For those that might not be familiar, NetFront is responsible for the 3DS, PSP, PS3, and Vita‘s browsers.

Unfortunately, though the Wii U touchpad can support the new browser, multi-touch features will not be supported. Essentially the touchpad will function as a mini-tablet, delivering a portable browser-based experience that can be had whilst in close proximity to the Wii U console. That is, if you don’t already have an iPad, iPad mini, or Android-based device — which offer multi-touch.

It’s also worth mentioning that the NetFront NX browser does not support Flash or any plug-ins for that matter; so don’t expect to be watching a wealth of videos through your Wii U. On the plus side, though, the console does render HTML5 sites “more efficiently” than competing consoles (namely the Xbox 360) and even Internet Explorer 10. However, if you’re using IE 10 on a PC, you’re going to have a bad time anyway.

Check out the full features below:

Browser Engine – NetFront® Browser NX v2.1

User Agent – Mozilla/5.0 (Nintendo WiiU) AppleWebKit/534.52 (KHTML, like Gecko) NX/{Version No} NintendoBrowser/{Version No}.US

Supported Protocols – HTTP1.0/HTTP1.1/SSL3.0/TLS1.0/TLS1.1/TLS1.2

Web Standard – HTML4.01/HTML5/XHTML1.1/CSS1/CSS2.1/CSS3. (partial functionality)
DOM1-3/ECMAScript XMLHttpRequest/canvas/Video/Web Storage (partial functionality)
Web Messaging/Server-Sent Events/Device Orientation/WOFF/SVG

Plug-ins – Does not support plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash.

TouchEvent – The browser supports only one of these at a time: touchstart, touchend, touchmove, touchcancel

Screen Resolution – If it isn’t specified, width is 980px layout
It is possible to specify width/height of the viewport within the HTML’s <head>…</head>, and specify scaling permission via user-scalable meta tags. (e.g) <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, user-scalable=no”/>

Saving/upload of image/video – Not supported

Video Format – MP4, M3U8+TS(HTTPLiveStreaming) (Some videos may not be playable.)

Video Codec – H.264 – MPEG-4 AVC Video (Some videos may not be playable.)

Audio Codec – AAC – ISO/IEC 14496-3 MPEG-4 AAC (Some audio may not be playable.)

At first glance it sounds like the Wii U’s browser will provide some handy functionality to gamers, especially those who like to browse the Net using their consoles. But unfortunately, it’s not a major step forward by any stretch of the imagination — although having a cheap tablet could be a major upside for some people.

What do you think of the Wii U’s browser? Are you the type of person that surfs the Net on their home console?

Nintendo Wii U will be available on November 18, 2012.

Source: Nintendo, VentureBeat

tags:Nintendo, Wii U