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What Do the Wii U and Karaoke Have in Common?

Illustration for article titled What Do the Wii U and Karaoke Have in Common?

Nintendo's new home console Wii U has a controller with a large touch screen. In the gaming world, it's unusual—unique, even. But not in Japanese karaoke.

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As Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto explains, the idea was to see content without turning on the television; thus, if someone is watching television, you can enjoy Wii U games on the controller. While not saying it was the inspiration, Miyamoto draws comparison with karaoke machines.

"In Japan, karaoke is very popular," Miyamoto said in the latest 'Iwata Asks'. "It comes with a remote control, and on the larger screen it displays the information of the song that's currently playing, and the person who's up next is selecting the song on the screen of the remote." Miyamoto said he thinks the same function exists in Wii U.

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Above is the karaoke remote control from popular Japanese karaoke chain JoySound.

Agreeing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata later added, "It's very similar with how in karaoke, the information of the song that's playing now is being displayed on the bigger screen, while someone's choosing what to sing next in the palm of his or her hands."

According to Iwata, it's easier to read text and look for text with a handheld device, and it's likewise easier to share that with a group of people on a big screen.

"So including that structure, it's critical that this environment is available to everyone from the very beginning," added Iwata. Read through the latest Iwata Asks for more on the new Wii U. Go to JoySound to sing songs.

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Illustration for article titled What Do the Wii U and Karaoke Have in Common?

Iwata Asks [Nintendo]

(Top photo: プリンス備忘録グランドプリンスホテル赤坂の紹介です〜)

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DISCUSSION

Oh man. Natsukashii desu. Nostalgia...

When I was in living in Japan, I LOVED going to the karaoke establishments with friends in the little individual rooms, ordering drinks and food on the little telephone, and drinking copious amounts of beer, then stumble back to my apartment.

*Sigh* I wish they had Japanese-style Karaoke places here in the states, instead of up on a stage in some bars.