The Off-TV Play wiki last edited by DeF on 10/02/13 12:17PM
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Nintendo's Wii U GamePad allows for certain games developed to make use of this feature to be played completely on the GamePad touch screen which frees up the TV for other uses like such crazy things as watching television. How this is done is up to developers. In some cases there's an option players can select in the pause menu, in other cases happens by pressing the TV button on the GamePad.
While this feature is available on a system level for theoretically every game, developers have to actively make use of it so their game works on a single screen. This, naturally, makes it impossible for certain dual-screen focused games to use this feature since it might remove a key element of their gameplay from the equation.
This feature was among the first unique details revealed during Nintendo's E3 2011 media briefing. It was included in a concept reel featuring footage of a person watching sports on the TV while another person was playing the New Super Mario Bros. U tech demo completely on the GamePad screen.