Impressions on the WiiU browser (I'll try to be brief):|
It's certainly fast, I'll give it that (you can probably see where I'm going with this...)
Lack of multitouch fundamentally hurts it as an intuitive touchscreen-based app. I want to pinch and stretch to zoom, not rely on obscure icons that take up valuable screen real estate and trial and error (is the magnifying glass for zooming in? No, that opens a search bar. Maybe this icon of a smaller square in a bigger one? no again, etc)
The default zoom level is unreadable unless the text is at least 18pt. Standard font size of 10-14 on most sites means you have to use the crap interface to read anything once a page is loaded.
No tabbed browsing, no allowance of multiple windows: Not everyone uses a touchscreen browser to look at things in isolation. If you're using it to write something, the crippling effect this has on copy/pasting text on the fly renders it all but useless for this purpose.
It doesn't assume the use of www. only http://. A minor point, but it slows things down. People are used to putting in google.com, not http://www.google.com into their address bar.
Video playback seems fine, no complaints there.
It has gameplay opporunities (more on this in a sec).
Overall: It's crap as a browser if you have better options to hand. If you're in the living room, it's quite possible you have a laptop on the coffee table or a tablet next to you. Use that. Hell, your mobile phone probably offers a better interface, use that. Just don't use the WiiU browser if you have an alternative.
Gameplay: This is really really conditional and I'm not talking smartglass-style stuff here, though that could certainly fulfill the same purpose.
About a decade ago there was a bloody brilliant PC game called In Memoriam (obscure but cheap if you get it on ebay these days, and when I checked last year it was still perfectly playable even after nearly a decade from the dev going bust), presented as a modern way to seek public help in a case police couldn't solve, that used the concept of an ARG to seed the real internet with fake but genuine-looking (as long as you didn't do whois search) treasure hunt for clues. It even sent you actual emails from in-game characters to help reinforce the illusion of it being genuine - from the police thanking you for being part of the scheme, to eventually messages from the perpetrator sending you threats (apparently depending on the country you lived in you even got threatening phone calls in the middle of the night, though something tells me it wasn't the first game to do that).
Having a browser, however crap in terms of interface, integrated into the controller really opens up console gaming to that sort of ARG experience, particularly when combined with stuff like motion control and the whole window-to-the-world approach of holding the pad up and the game superimposing things over what you're looking at. For those reasons, the very act of having a broswer inside the controller creates some pretty cool gameplay opportunities.
As a general-use browser however, no matter how fast it is, it's fucking shit in terms of ease of use even compared to a mobile phone on 3G.
3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled