VGA 101: uDraw Tablet (PS3): THQ’s Folly Makes For A Really Cool Budget Artist Buy…

uDraw PS3a uDraw PS3b

When the uDraw was first released for the Nintendo Wii, it sold well enough that THQ decided to bring the tablet peripheral to both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but took a little too long to get it to market as more functional tablet devices became hot sellers. You could say that the company greatly overestimated a few things, most importantly, the selling power of the uDraw to an a PS3 and 360 audience made up of more hardcore gamers who had little to no use for a new peripheral they wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole (unless they were using that pole to smash the thing to bits). Needless to say, uDraw on the PS3 and 360 didn’t do well at all and plenty of retailers and probably a few distributors were left sitting on plenty unsold stock…

Cue up the inevitable fire sale as THQ went under (well, the uDraw fiasco was only a tiny reason the company tanked) and a few smart people who realized that the PS3 version of the tablet relied on a USB stick connector included with it that could be easily hacked so the thing could be used with any modern PC or laptop. I’ve wanted to try the uDraw out since its launch, but when I heard THQ was going under, I figured I’d hold out and see where the price would go. Anyway, I finally grabbed one of these bundled with the Artist Studio software for $12 shipped (marked down from $49.99) and it showed up yesterday evening. Thanks to me being too pooped to pop, I let the box sit around until I got home this evening, cracked it open, downloaded the PC fix and did a quick bit of playing around. Oh, it works quite well, folks.

Sure, the uDraw isn’t a WACOM or other more expensive art tablet (you can’t run Photoshop through it), but you certainly can do some drawing in MS Paint and fiddle with settings so that the PS3 buttons on the tablet will work with some PC games. Maybe if you’re good and I have time to actually do more that dink around, I’ll draw and post something on the weekend. Maybe. I’m up to my nostrils in work, so I don’t have a ton of free art time… Anyway, if you want to give the uDraw a shot and find one at a decent price (I’ve heard of them going for $5 or so), but you DON’T own a console, make sure it’s the PS3 model you’re getting as it’s the only one that comes with that USB stick. The 360 version requires an additional purchase and the original Wii model won’t work on anything but the Wii, as you need a Wii Remote connected to it at all times.

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