If there was one moment above all others that raised a chuckle amidst all of the boring drudgery of this year’s E3 conferences, it was the tagline – ‘Xbox 360, now with Internet Explorer!’ whilst it is always nice to have additional functionality built into our home consoles, the proliferation of internet TV’s, tablets, smartphones and living-room PC’s means that browsing the net with a Dualshock or even Xbox controller in hand feels like an archaic experience.
Console internet browsers have historically been a bit rubbish as well, with a lack of support for the bells and whistles that tend to be used in most modern websites. Step up Wii U in that case, which as well as having a controller seemingly designed to be the perfect way to access the internet on your TV, also appears to have the technical specs to actually make internet browsing on the console a pleasure. The company’s official website has dished the dirt on the way we will be accessing the internet on the diminutive console before the end of the month.
The Wii U’s browser is being developed by a company called NetFront, who also designed the woeful interfaces on 3DS and Vita. It seems however that the Wii U browser will be much improved from those experiences, as in recent tests it scored 323 ‘points’ out of a maximum 515, with Internet Explorer 10 on PC only managing 3 points more. For comparison, the new Xbox 360 browser only scored 120.
Unfortunately the browser wont support Flash, but will enable users to access the internet mid-game via the GamePad and of course also use the GamePad to browse the net whilst the TV set is occupied.