Nintendo's tablet controller might provide interesting opportunities for Blizzard's popular RTS franchise.
PCs have long been the platform of choice for real-time strategy games like Starcraft II. When you're trying to manage dozens of individual units on the screen at any given time, not to mention all possible hotkey combinations, the traditional keyboard and mouse offers a level of precision that console controllers just can't beat. Nonetheless, Starcraft II Lead Designer Dustin Browder thinks the Wii U's touchscreen might be a step towards bringing RTS titles to new platform, even if the interface isn't quite there yet.
"If I can control a cursor on the television with my hand on the touchscreen, that might be able to work," Browder said in an interview with Kotaku, "[But] because of the hotkey scenario, it's not like players actually play StarCraft with the mouse only-they play with the mouse and keyboard... We obviously allow new users to play mouse-only and that's really fun, but when you get serious about the game you do move into the mouse and keyboard space."
Browder noted that while Blizzard isn't currently working on a console RTS, they have considered the option as new technology develops. Back when the Playstation Move came out, Sony put together a demo for Starcraft II and sent it to Blizzard to see what they thought. Browder's verdict? "I wanted to kill myself. I found it very difficult to make it work... it felt like it was gonna be a lot more effort to still make that work, to still make that really sing."
It's worth mentioning that Blizzard already dipped their toes into the console market with Starcraft 64, but despite largely positive reviews, the game lagged far behind its PC counter-part. Blizzard simply isn't ready to put their resources into such a similar project unless the interface and gameplay can provide an identical level of immersion. That said, we've already seen simple RTS games become popular on tablets and smartphones, and several developers have already created touchscreen interfaces for Starcraft II.