Is an 854x480 display good enough for gaming? (Off-TV Play)
"relatively high DPI"?
I don't think "relatively high" holds up well to scrutiny, but I don't think "relatively low" does either.
The Wii U GamePad screen has the second-highest DPI of any dedicated gaming device ever made (highest is the Vita). At 158ppi, it handily beats the original 3DS (~132), PSP (~127), and GBA (~99), and is still a bit ahead of the closest contender for second (the PSP Go, at ~145ppi). The Nvidia Shield is about to beat the Vita in this regard, but it's not out yet, so that leaves the GamePad "relatively high" compared to other gaming devices.
You're correct that it's not up to the standards of 2013. Flagship phones now have over 400ppi, and iPhones have been sitting at well over 300ppi for years. However, the GamePad still compares somewhat favourably to a lot of what's left on the market. The iPad Mini, for example, is 162ppi. The iPad 2 is 132ppi. A typical laptop has 100ppi.
So while "relatively high" doesn't seem right, neither does "relatively low".
The GamePad screen has a few issues (starting from the fact that it's being sent a compressed video stream), but I don't think DPI is really one of them.
You're correct that it's not up to the standards of 2013.
I would argue that the standards of 2013 (for mobile devices) shouldn't be the standards. If the resolutions and DPI were to be scaled from phones/other mobile devices to computer monitors they would ridicule the ones we currently use.
These uselessly high standards only exist since there's a battle of specifications going on with phones and tablets.
For something that comes packaged with a console, yeah, it's good enough. Vita will be better, but I prefer the larger screen and not having to pay an extra $300.
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Its okay but the size isn't the problem for me, the problem is the bad quality of the display.
The iPad is also $500+, the gamepad is maybe $150.
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Well, a high PPI is good for making jaggies in polygonal models shrivel away simply by making the pixels denser and people's eyes less able to perceive the tiny staircases/jaggy shapes that pixels make.
But, a limited resolution is still a limited resolution. A smaller resolution means there is less space on the screen for certain objects, particularly for pixel-perfect flat images and sprites that generally don't zoom in or out.
But I guess that if you really wanted to be immersing yourself in some 2D game with really rich hand-drawn art or 3D models on a generally 2D plane, you'd go full 1080p.
I mean, I'm hoping that 2D platformer games run in 1080p with art that is natively made for it. Because 2D platformers generally don't stress hardware elsewhere.
But I'm not big on resolution in video games anyway.
The size and resolution are fine for the Gamepad screen, at the distance you typically hold it it doesn't appear pixelated and you can still make out the smaller details.
Also, to be honest, I notice no resolution difference whatsoever between Vita and the Wii U gamepad. In general, I prefer the Wii U Gamepad display just because it's bigger.
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I enjoy playing games on my 3DS, so yes it is good enough for gaming.
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