So there have been recent developments regarding the Wii U since the Nintendo Direct presentation . Some pretty awesome, some completely terrible, and some actually illegal. Read on for more.
Let's start off with the good news. Nintendo's Wii U Pro Controller can last a very long time on a single charge. It last 80 hours, which is about 3-4x more than wireless XBOX360 / Playstation 3 controllers. The bad news? It doesn't work with Wii games so you need to break out the Classic Controller if you want to use the backwards compatibility.
There is some semi-good news regarding the Wii U GamePad's range. You should be able to use the GamePad in the same room that the system is in as well as in another room if within a reasonable range. The good news, you can probably use it in your bathroom if the rooms are next door. Wii U product developer Toru Yamashita joked, "my living room and bathroom are separated by a single wall and I was able to use [the GamePad]." I consider that a win.
Now for the horrible news. Nintendo stated that Wii U will not support a single voice chat system-based solution. Developers will have to opt-in if they want to use the voice chat functionality. On top of that, the microphone that is built into the GamePad will not be used for voice chatting either. According to Nintendo, "Wii U will have in-game chat functionality for select games, including, but not limited to, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III and Mass Effect 3. This feature will be supported by licensed stereo headsets that plug directly into the headphone port of the GamePad. Licensed headsets are available from Turtle Beach and TRITTON." Also, the Wii U Pro Controller does not have a headphone jack so you have to plug into the GamePad if you want to use a headset. So Nintendo has failed again with its voice chat solution... Wii Speak anyone? Let's hope they come up with something better than this in the end, but I doubt it.
Onto the illegal situation. Foxconn, a manufacturer of Apple, Sony, Nintendo, and various other companies' products has admitted to using child labor in their manufacturing plants . Foxconn is currently manufacturing the Wii U for Nintendo. Foxconn had an "Internship Program" where they employed approximately 56 children as young as 14 years old. Those children have been removed from the manufacturing process and apologies were issued by Foxconn and also Nintendo. See Nintendo's latest update below:
"Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfillment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008. We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy. For more information about Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html ."