Why Nintendo Almost Dumped The Wii U's Biggest Feature

Each Nintendo hardware has its thing: For the Wii, it's motion controls; for the 3DS, it's 3D; and for the Wii U, it's a tablet-like controller. Dubbed the Wii U GamePad, that controller was almost killed off.

"Sometime during that final discussion we almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen," Iwata recently told The Telegraph. "This was due to our concern over the expected high cost, it may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers."

Nintendo figured out how to get the screen in the GamePad and still offer the Wii U a reasonable, yet undisclosed, price. And, thus, the Wii U GamePad has a screen.

Last year, there was concern online in Japan about the Wii U GamePad's screen quality, with some pointing out that it looked "yellow". The Wii U GamePad in the above image doesn't look yellow, so perhaps Nintendo figured out how to get the screen in the controller for a reasonable price and not sacrifice image quality.

Satoru Iwata interview: Nintendo rivals are already copying the Wii U [The Telegraph via VG247]


    hows that crack your smoking nintendo?...... seriously your design team has become like sony.... you think your innovating when you need to innovate how you think.

      At least they want to try something new and take risks. If you can think of a new idea that will sell that isn't just better then the previous generation graphics i'm sure everyone here would love to hear it.

        what risks? they remake the same games every year.

          You mean other companies aren't? What are we at now, Final Fantasy XIV?

        I don't think this is new at all. It comes across as a totally reactionary response to the iPad, rather than innovation.

    Can I have a normal controller for all my nintendo games, yet?

      Here you go. Just for you.


    it indeed does not look yellow, just photoshopped like any good pr image

    There's another issue, that you can only really use 1 pad per console.

      Ah no it was confirmed that TWO pads can be used per console not 1.

        It was confirmed this morning that that functionality will not be available well into the consoles life-span. If I was a betting man, I would say it will never make it.

          Wrong. Not well into the consoles lifespan. It will not be available during the launch window, which is understandable due to the developers learning the the ins and outs of the console. Trying to optimize a game to run 2 gamepads would at this stage in the consoles life be way to much work and with the deadline of launch nearing its not worth it to put so much resources to that feature - For now. However to say it will never make it is nonsense.

          heres a quote

          "First and third-party titles for the Wii U supporting two GamePads will not be available at the Wii U launch or in the launch window.

          "Games need to be built that can take advantage of the two GamePad controllers," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime explained. "It's going to be well after launch for those game experiences to come to life." Reggie continued by saying that Nintendo expects developers to first figure out the best way to utilize the second screen (TV and one GamePad) in gameplay experiences before figuring out how to incorporate a third (TV with two GamePads) – it could take a while to master.

          "Asymmetric gameplay is going to be the next major step forward, just like active play was when we launched the Wii. We think that’s where developers will focus first, then there will be multiple experiences that have two GamePads."

          Keywords 'Well after launch' NOT 'Well into its lifespan'

            Jesus, that full quote made me even more wary. If I were to summarise:

            1. We want to do it.

            2. We don't know how to do it at an acceptable quality.

            3. Doing it requires processing sacrifices the developers will need to work out.

            Also, sorry about the misquote. Frankly though, " well after launch" and "well into its lifespan" are basically the same thing to me.

              I was shocked when you said that a feature they just confirmed at e3 was all of the sudden gonna be dropped which is why i had to do some research and come up with the quote. Its still up to Nintendo and third party developers to get such a set up to work and i dont expect to see it until the 3rd year of the consoles life as we still need to see a good reason to have the one touch screen (and no i dont mean things like what i have seen from the Rayman game for Wii U, that doesnt cut it pun intended) before implementing a second screen. After all i expect a second gamepad to be expensive compared to a standard controller so the touch screen experience better be worth it otherwise they shouldnt bother.

              I define Launch Window as the 6months after launch. Well into lifespan as 2-3 years after launch so to me they are quite different. But if there are official definitions i am not aware of them.

        Yeah it was confirmed you can use two. But it was also confirmed by using two you half the games frame rate...

          Well to be fair to play 2 player on any other console you have sacrifice half of the TV screen as well as cutting the resolution as well so cutting the frame rate from 60 to 30fps is not that bad all things considered.

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