Thank god another peripheral maker has made something that I can pun on with “Wii.” The other options are getting stale. So, this Wiicom tablet (reference, if you’re not clued in) is an accessory that lets you draw inside Wii games. This holiday kicks off a season for new hardware accessories, and THQ is getting on board with a new drawing tablet peripheral it calls uDraw…..
Great! Not sure many games were really crying out for this, since you already control a free cursor and “drawing” games work better on a DS, but hey.It’ll ship with a sketching program that lets you save or replay your doodles, and there is a drawing-based platform on the way as well as the inevitable Pictionary. I’ll take pencil-and-paper Pictionary any day, because it’s amazing, but I know the joy that is Anticipation, so I won’t begrudge those who choose the Wii version.
“We’ve designed the uDraw GameTablet to offer something for everyone: the kids can doodle, save their creations on an SD-Card and print their artwork for display on the refrigerator,” says Martin Good, THQ EVP of Kids, Family, Casual Games and Global Online Services. “Students can improve their skills through in-game tutorial lessons. And the whole family can sit down together for family game time with products like Pictionary.
Art games on consoles tend to be unpopular creations, Mario Paint about the only one to even approach retail success, but maybe all they needed was a proper input method. That’s what THQ is hoping, at least, announcing the uDraw GameTablet for the Nintendo Wii. It’s a chubby, pencil-like stylus tethered to a tablet that connects wirelessly to the console thanks to the Wiimote that slots right in. The tablet comes with a drawing game called uDraw Studio, while THQ is also working on an artsy platformer called Dood’s Big Adventure and a digital version of Pictionary, which could be this thing’s killer app.
The device sports a 4″ by 6″ drawing space and pressure-sensitive stylus, and it works by docking the Wii Remote, which then powers the tablet. It also features “tilt-and-roll” movement options so that players can use the tablet as a motion-based navigation device for characters in the device’s games.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has seen the device, and says he expects it to be “a popular product this holiday season.” Says the analyst: “We recently viewed a demonstration of the product, and felt that at its suggested price, it presents a great value proposition.”Further, he has sales projections for uDraw: “The device impressed us, and we are frankly surprised that Nintendo has not already created such a peripheral,” he says. “We are confident that THQ will sell its planned production of 1 million tablets over the balance of the fiscal year.”
The tablet will cost $69.99 when it ships by the end of the year, while games will be a rather more affordable $29.99. THQ also promises more games to come through 2011, but we’re guessing their release is somewhat contingent on just how many little Picassos find these in their stockings this holiday season.