Feb 6th, 2013

Nintendo recently got into trouble for advertising that Wii U games featured off-TV play (where you can play the whole game on the GamePad), where in reality, only a few games support the feature. As a result, a Wii U TV ad was recently banned in the UK for being “misleading”.

The good news is that Nintendo has conformed that the upcoming Pikmin 3 will feature off-TV play. The news comes from Pikmin 3 designer Shigeru Miyamoto himself, saying:

“The two control sticks of Wii U GamePad will let you play this game more comfortably and, with a TV screen, the gyro sensor inside Wii Remote Plus will further help your gameplay.”

The Off-TV feature has so far only really been used in New Super Mario Bros U. Pikmin 3 will launch sometime in April, according to the latest release road map from Nintendo.

Pikmin 3


local_offer    Nintendo  pikmin 3  wii u  
  • Scott Duperree

    Good to hear, I like playing offscreen when the tv is being used.  Although it doesn’t work with all mini-games I do play some games offscreen on Nintendoland.

    • Elem187

      Pikmin and DKCC is excellent without the TV 😉

  • Michael Wostbrock

    There is more coverage for off-TV gameplay than just NSMBU. I play off-TV all the time on Trine 2 and AC3 all the time, not to mention Balloon Fight! Great to hear they are including it on more games though 🙂

  • Sdudyoy

    I thought this was confirmed at E3?

  • RetroSquid

    Off-TV play is all well and good, just as long as it is implemented better than New Super Mario Bros. It was awful having to HAVE the game display on the controller no matter what.
    It should display something usefull to the game until the player chooses to play Off-TV. even if its just a map hat while off-tv is brought up by a press of (-) or something…

  • val berger

    As long as a game doesn’t need the gamepad as a separate device like ZombiU does, it should be a standard to let players fully play it on the gamepad. especially deep games like Mass Effect 3 are amazingly more fun that way, as you just have far more occasions being able to play em. I really, really love the Idea of playing Pikmin 3 before going to sleep in bed, as it’s the perfect game to dream about 😉

    • Laud

      I disagree when it comes to games like ZombiU.

      The game pad works so well in that game, it’d be a shame to just have it as another way of playing the game with the tv off when it could do a lot more.

      • Adam Porter

         he just said APART from games like zombieU

        • Laud

          What? No he didn’t.

          “As long as a game doesn’t need the gamepad as a separate device like ZombiU does, it should be a standard to let players fully play it on the gamepad.”

          • Elem187

            “”As long as a game doesn’t need the gamepad as a separate device like ZombiU does”

            He is saying as long as a game doesn’t need the second screen like Zombie U does, it should be playable on the gamepad.

            Which I agree, as long as the game doesn’t need the gamepad like Zombi U does…. Take The Cave for instance, a terrific game, spoiled by the forcing of using the TV. This game doesn’t really use the gamepad screen for much besides switching characters, I’d prefer a mirror image so I can play before bed.

          • Laud

            Really? Am I reading that wrong… 

            Why would he be saying that, it makes no sense to me..

          • Elem187

            Thats how i read it.

          • val berger

            100 Points go to Elem187 😉

          • val berger

            pheeew, sorry for dragging you guys down that road, didn’t think my words would’ve left that much room for interpretation 🙂 

            Laud, sorry you got me wrong, Elem 187 pretty much explained perfectly what I meant. I’m sorry for that, but as I’m not a native english speaking guy, my way of writing may be sometimes kinda chaotic (actually, when I’m writing in my motherlanguage, that happens too 😉 )

            I also got to agree with Elem187 on the Cave, as it really is a shame, that it doesn’t offer Off-TV Gameplay. Adventuregames like this would be perfect to play everywhere but on the TV screen, so I didn’t buy that game as it just seems to be a very inconsiderate port. That’s exactly the opposite of what I meant with ZombiU. If games aren’t done like ZombiU, using the gamepad as a perfect enhancement for the gaming experience, they should just at least mirror their content instead of totally ignoring the possibilities. I wouldn’t mind if studios just throw any PS3/XBox360-optimized game onto the WiiU without wasting too much time on cheesy gamepad-features AS LONG as they just mirror the content so I can play in my bathtub (which is, by the way, amazingly cool ;D )

  • Are you serious that only a few games support this? More games then not support Off-TV play. These are the games I have and can confirm uses Off-TV play.

    Assassin’s Creed 3
    Batman Arkham City
    Darksiders 2
    Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge
    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    Scribblenauts Unlimited
    NBA 2K13
    Madden NFL 13
    Tekken Tag Tournament 2
    Mighty Switch Force HD
    Trine 2: Director’s Cut
    Nano Assault Neo
    Little Inferno
    Super Mario U
    and Call of Duty Black Ops 2.

    I also hear Mass Effect 3 has off-tv play and a few others I can’t think of right now.

    EDIT: I understand that Off-TV play is playing the entire game without a TV.

    • I think he’s referring to the ability to play the without use of the TV screen.  I was under the impression, via the demo, that in ZombiU the gamepad was used as a back pack, and I was under the impression, via videos, that in Scribblenauts the gamepad was used as a notepad.  I couldn’t speak for the other games, though off-screen play wasn’t avaliable in the Sonic Racing Demo.

      • Yes I know, all the games I list you can play without the TV. In Sonic you have to swipe downward on the screen to get off-tv play. Not sure if the demo version have it though since I have the full copy.

        •  that’s great!  I didn’t know so many games had it

    • Fred

      Two more games to add to that long list 
      Tank Tank Tank Balloon Fight

    • Zombiu does not have off tv play

      • Oops yes you are right. That was an accident when I copy pasted my list of games I didn’t remove that one.

    • David Rampa

       i confirm, yes mass effect 3 can be played on gamepad offscreen, just need to press the – button for 3 seconds.

    • Elem187

      Actually Zombi U isn’t off TV Play.

      • Yep, it was an error since I copied and pasted the list of games I owned and didn’t removed ZombiU.

    • brian murphy

      i was about to say hell all my games work fine without my tv cool thing is you can play your ps3 or xbox 360 while someone is playing the wii u 

  • Fred

    I can tell you right now I own the following games that have off-TV play:
    Mario U
    NBA 2K13
    Sonic Racing
    Scribblenauts Unlimited
    Tank Tank Tank
    Trine 2
    Balloon Fight

    I think the only game I own that doesn’t fully support off-tv play (although it does partially support it in that it works with some of the mini games) is Nintendo Land.

    So I’d say that’s crap you can play almost everything off-TV!

    •  Yeah I never understood the UK’s position on this.  I have been following the Wii U since it’s earliest announcement and they always said off screen gameplay and functionality would be possible but never said everything would be that way.  Some games you need both the TV and Gamepad to get the full experience.   Now that they are updating the virtual console many of the VC games will be playable off screen which is also something they said would not be available right away.

  • Fred

    Off-TV works with Scribblenauts and Sonic Racing. I’ve played both without turning my tv on.

  • fireheartis1

    Dude I still don’t see how Nintendo mislead anyone with that TV ad.  It showed off one of the games that had off TV play.  It’s not like the campaign said every game would do it.  Anyways it’s cool though I just hope you can use the Wiimote Nuncuch combo like on Sonic All Star Racing Transformed.  That would be awesome.

    • Elem187

      Welcome to the Nanny state fireheartis1… Where you are not allowed to think and take care of yourself, government must be there to protect you from evil corporations like Nintendo.

      Sad, this mentality is infecting America now, too.

  • EvanescentHero

    Everything I’ve purchased except for The Cave (and Nintendo Land, the point of which is to use them together) can be played entirely on the GamePad. (And it’s dumb that you can’t play The Cave on the GamePad alone, because the screen doesn’t offer a particularly interesting use. I hope they patch it eventually, but since I usually play with a friend, it’s not too big a deal.) This is great for me, since I currently only have a crappy CRT, so games actually look better on the GamePad.

  • Elem187

    “where in reality, only a few games support the feature.”

    Actually its the other way around, only a few games don’t support that feature… I can count Zombi U, a few mini-games in Nintendoland and The Cave… the rest of them I have played so far has off tv play. (not sure about chasing aurora and the sports games)

  • AAAkabob

    TT2 & BlOps2 & Nintendo land (for the most part) & Baloon Fight all use it to…

  • While I have never played one of these, these graphics look more like I would expect Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo current generation graphics to look like. It is too bad they are behind the eight ball on technology as we should have seen all of this with the Wii.  The Wii U should have been built to compete with or exceed the new systems from the other two who dominate the market.

    • Nintedward

      You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about kid do you ?
      Watch this , in HD . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAiielCzc3o

      The game looks AMAZING. and is confirmed to Run Native 720p 60FPS and Hardware upscaled to 1080p.   There is no way a PS3 or 360 could run this game at 720p 60FPS. 

      •  Damn, even when I compliment Nintendo, people STILL complain!  You Nintendo nuts always brag about the Wii U being 1080P, but your games don’t run at 1080P!  At least the other two do have some games that run at 1080P.  The other two can do this game and probably run it at 1080P.  The extra juice in the CPUs (the main thing that allows or helps in HD display) will make that possible.

  • Ian Settlemyer

    I’m 100% sure that Super Smash Bros. Royale will have off-TV play as well. Of course, that’s a good name for the next Super Smash Bros. game.

  • val berger

    especially with third parties, off tv gameplay is a major feature for me, without I wouldn’t buy some games. Assassin’s Creed 3 for instance; I don’t even like that game that much, but being able to play it unattached from the TV makes it so much more immersive, it totally improves the whole experience. Especially deep, epic, huge games like Mass Effect 3 should always come with this option. Games like Nintendoland, which are offering a more Arcade-style gameplay or 1st/2nd Party games like Zelda can remain to use both screens, as they will really be using that in a gameplay-improving way.