TechieTalk: Upcoming Geekery: Gaming, Gadgets, and Superheroes

By Roy Mathur, on 2012-06-11, for The Independent Daily, Mauritius (in which an edited version appeared)

Nerds and arachnophiles rejoice! This week we are looking at tech toys, cashless payments and a welcome return of THE greatest comic book hero in existence!

Gaming: Wii U

Last week Nintendo used the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 (E3 2012) event at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles to unveil their plans for the new upcoming game console- the Wii U. This replacement for the current Wii will feature a new, special tablet-like controller as well as conventional controllers.

It is the tablet format controller, called the Wii U GamePad, that is garnering the most interest. It has a touch screen display to both act as a dual display for the main on-screen TV action and as a game display in its own right that can be used without the need for an external output. It will also have two joysticks, a microphone, an accelerometer and a camera.

Apart from adding to the gameplay, these components hint at heavy leverage of social media, confirmed as fact by Nintendo game tech god Shigeru Miyamoto at E3.

The tablet will also be equipped with NFC for data exchange and, presumably, for interaction between console peripherals once they become available.

The Wii U will thankfully be backward compatible with current Wii peripherals.

Notable games ready for release include a new Mario game- New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombieU and Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Lock and Load.

Gadgets: NFC Enabled Devices

Talking about NFC, pretty soon we'll see a whole host of smartphones on the market with this technology. You'll be able to use NFC with the recently released Samsung Galaxy S III, most of the current high end Blackberrys and the upcoming iPhone 5 and Nokia 610 NFC.

But what exactly is it? Like Bluetooth, it is a way for two devices to communicate. Unlike Bluetooth the distance between the two devices is very short and the speed of information exchange is slow. However, the one great advantage is that no pairing is necessary. The general idea is that NFC will be used mostly for payments in lieu of credit cards. One such example is Google Wallet.

At the moment, though, we are still very much at an early stage in NFC adoption, with use in only a few countries and only in pilot or trial schemes.

Me? I'm still going to be using cash until it becomes illegal.

Superheroes: The Amazing Spiderman

Although Avengers Assemble has been and gone and passed muster as a roaring success, the superhero year is far from over. July sees the opening of The Amazing Spiderman. The movie reboot stars Andrew Garfield looking as strangely ageless and perennially stuck in teenhood as his predecessor Toby Maguire.

I must say, as a total Spiderman nut from teeny, tiny childhood, I am fairly brimming with excitement to see this movie. This time we'll get a little background into Peter Parker's parents and can also look forward to the appearance of villains like the terrifying Lizard. Given that the Peter Parker character was killed off by comic book publishers Marvel last year (boo), it's going to be great to see him back on the big screen this Summer.

Rock and roll.