A day or so ago I posted about how Microsoft appear to be expanding their market by making the XBox One more of a media centre device that might attract the interest of more casual gamers as well as the hardcore crowd. Whilst their marketing strategy is a little off you can see that they are still watching their competitors and learning from feedback.

One thing that I’ve noticed lately, and that I think is quite exciting (and would be even more exciting if I had more friends) is what we can learn from the WiiU.

WiiU's propriety screen - for your eyes only!

WiiU’s propriety screen – for your eyes only!

WiiU’s screen controller is a gimmick in some games, a place for a UI where you can easily see a map or your inventory, but I can see a lot of potential in the WiiU’s big clunky screen controller, because in multiplayer games that big clunky controller can give one player a privileged view of the game, which creates a whole new mechanic. That was probably the one thing that could have sold the WiiU to me. However, it turns out you don’t need a WiiU to create this mechanic.

At E3 Battlefield 4 showed off the commander mode with one commander issuing instructions to other players through a tablet device, demonstrating that you don’t need a WiiU to create this mechanic.

The Battlefield 4 Commander has a complete view of the battlefield

The Battlefield 4 Commander has a complete view of the battlefield

More recently and Gamescom Fable Legends was announced, which allows four coop players to face off against hoards of enemies that are controlled by a masked villain, who has a similar privileged view of the battlefield.

Fable legends pits 4 coop heroes against one villain who can place enemy units, set up ambushes and generally be a bad guy.

Fable legends pits 4 coop heroes against one villain who can place enemy units, set up ambushes and generally be a bad guy.

Again, this functionality is achieved using xbox smartglass, which allows a tablet or a phone to be used as a rich UI remote control. This does everything that I liked about the WiiU, with all the extra power of the “real” next-gen consoles. These two games show how you could use this mechanic in both competitive and cooperative gameplay mechanics, and that’s quite exciting (provided you have enough willing friends to make it work)

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