Is the Wii U Gamepad a "tablet"?

Is it disingenuous to call Nintendo’s new touchscreen controller the same thing that we call iPads and Nexus 7s?

A lot of people are referring to the Wii U Gamepad as a “tablet,” but there is some skepticism about whether or not that is the word that should be used.

Destructoid wrote a very heartfelt case for why the Wii U controller should never be referred to as a tablet, because tablets are only defined as devices with multitouch and only one or two buttons.

“If you are going to call the Wii U GamePad a ‘tablet,’ then you’re going to have to call the 3DS, the PS Vita, ATM machines, The Real Touch anus simulator, and everything else on the planet with touch controls a “tablet” as well,” wrote author Jonathan Holmes.

For the general population, of course, the image that is evoked by the word “tablet” is simply a gadget with a large display that’s used for casual gaming or social interaction.

To be sure, the Wii U controller is nowhere near as sophisticated as the iPad, and it can’t even function unless the Wii U home console is powered on an within range of the controller.

With the Xbox 360 gearing up to interact with Microsoft Surface tablets, and Sony supposedly working on Android tablet integration with the PS3, these differences will make a difference.

So where does that leave the near-future outlook of the gaming industry? “Confused” is probably a good word for that.