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Wii 2 Tablet Controllers -- Nintendo's Likely Answer to the iPad 2

Nintendo (NTYDO) admitted that it is getting hammered by Apple's (APPL) iPod and iPad, and now it might have found a way to combat both. According to Kotaku, the upcoming Wii 2 game console will use the motion-based Wii-mote stick as well as a tablet-based controller. The addition of a tablet makes perfect sense, as Nintendo would be able to compete against Apple without directly going up against the mighty iPad 2.

Here is the news from Kotaku's Stephen Tolito:

Its main controller, as rumored, will include a touchscreen, two analog sticks and a camera, we've confirmed with our own games industry sources who are familiar with Nintendo's plans for the machine.

That new controller's screen will measure 6.2 inches and the controller will also include eight buttons.

It is also rumored that the controllers could be used independently of the Wii 2, potentially with their own apps, which would make it -- wait for it -- a stand-alone tablet. It would be wise move on Nintendo's part.

Nintendo is expected to face even more competition on the tablet front. Aside from Apple, both the game store GameStop and the online superstore Amazon (AMZN) are rumored to be releasing their own tablets with, of course, their own games. However, while competitors are doing completely stand-alone devices, Nintendo can include the tablet as part of its Wii 2 setup to drive both tablet and console sales.

Nintendo can also sneak into the app store industry it just recently dissed. At February's Game Developers Conference, Nintendo head Satoru Iwata slammed low-cost apps, saying that these low-quality games cheapened the gamer experience.

Of course, hundreds of millions of Angry Birds players would disagree. Like I argued at the time, I would not be shocked it Nintendo ended up doing an about-face to its complete dismissal of Apple's billion-dollar market. By adding an app-enabled tablet "controller" to the next Wii, Nintendo would be able to acknowledge the tablet market without admitting that it was wrong.

Photo courtesy of phil_g // CC 2.0

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