Wii U Forum

Topic: What does Nintendo have to lose by making the gamepad "optional"?

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blaisedinsd

1. Posted:

I know there was a news article on the front page awhile back talking about this possibility:

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/01/talking_point_is_the...

I have been thinking about this, and other than a bunch of reaction similar to most peoples initial reaction to the 2DS, I don't see any downside to this strategy and was wondering why people think they should not do this. Understand that I personally love the gamepad and for me it is a great feature. I do not want to see it killed, dropped, not-supported, or disabled and I think for some people it is a great selling point (but others probably not so much)

Postives and negatives:

Early adopters/gamepad users:

1. Software update allowing some mundane functions to be performed with no gamepad (eshop navigation, password entry, system settings).

-This is a positive. It is more convenient to use the gamepad for those things, and you still will be able to so there is no negative to this. If my battery is dead, my gamepad is broken, or if it's just on the other side of the room it sure would be nice to have the option to still use my console.

2. Some games not using the gamepad going forward.

-I guess this is the negative people are worried about? I don't see the issue here. Most games are mostly just using it for Off-TV play and I don't see why all games can not support Off-TV play at a bare minimum. All games that use off-tv play should be able to be easily patched so your tv screen will display what the gamepad would if there is no gamepad connected. DK tropical freeze looks to not use it, do we expect MK8 or smash to have integral gamepad features that will break the game if unavailable? With the massive install base of gamepads, gamepad features will still be a way to make your game more appealing. It would take a "no-gamepad" bundle to be a runaway success to ever become the standard at this point. Also, we have seen features like motion control, touchscreen, 3D, etc. become less emphasized over time in the past.....did anyone complain Xenoblade wasn't taking advantage of motion controls? Bottom line, all the gamepad features and content we have are not going to be taken away and promoting the unique aspect of the console is still beneficial even if they offer the console with out it.

3. Other negatives I haven't thought of? You guys have any?

Nintendo's perspective:

1. The gamepad was the defining feature of the console, not requiring it amounts to it being a failure.

-I guess this is the big one for most people, but I simply don't think it matters. If we are talking about a pride thing here than what we really mean is being stubborn, this is not a good business practice. As touched on above the gamepad will still be a unique console defining feature going forward, due to its massive install base and continued availability. Its support and development will still drive console sales whether or not it is required.

2. Profit margins on hardware

-This is a positive and a big reason why this is almost a no-brainer. Nintendo is taking a loss when selling Wii U for $300. Gamepad costs $70 to manufacture. Sell a gimped bundle for $250 and that hardware sale, that you may not have had otherwise, is now profitable. If that person just wants to play Mk8 or Smash then you also just sold a game you many not have otherwise. If that person later sees the value of the gamepad and wants to add it to the system for $100-150 you just made another profit on another hardware sale. You see the idea, its all about giving options to the consumer and selling to as many people as possible.

3. Patching existing software
-This is a negative, but not as bad as you may think initially. I have a bunch of games and only Zombi U, LegoCity, Nintendoland, and Game and Wario largely require the gamepad. I think the first 2 could probably be patched to work with out it if the publishers were concerned about losing sales. The second ones basically can't be. All you have to do is put a big warning on the box of the gimped bundle "SOME GAMES AND FEATURES MAY NOT WORK WITHOUT THE WII U GAMEPAD (sold seperately)" and unless that list is way bigger than I am thinking "Nintendoland, Game and Wario, and GameX require a gamepad to play properly while other games may simply have reduced features". Heck the entire bundle could practically be an advertisement for the gamepad.

4. Anything else I am not thinking of?

No-gamepad/gimped bundle adopters:

1. Basically these people know what they are getting in to. Mostly people who want to play MK8 or Smash most likely but are not interested in too much other stuff. Maybe the system grows on them and they decide to get a gamepad eventually or maybe they only ever buy the gimped bundle and one or two games. Either way these people are either happy to get access to those games at a cheaper price where they are not paying for a feature they don't want or they were not going to buy anyway. I don't think they are going to upset about being offered the option.

2. Confusion about what they can and can't do with the gimped bundle. Patch the system menu to work without the gamepad and all your Off-TV play enabled games to display gamepad screen on TV if no gamepad is connected and you basically have a small list of games you tell these people they can't play. They will know they are missing second screen features...fine, it they miss them they will buy a gamepad possibly.

In conclusion they absolutely should do this. I see no downside. I think they will do this too. I believe it will happen this year, it's just a question if they do it first or if they let Microsoft release a Xbone with no Kinect first.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

blaisedinsd

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GuSolarFlare

2. Posted:

there's also the haters that will say the WiiU is dead because it lost innovation if the Gamepad was optional

I was once a fighter in spirit alone, but not long ago I found something that was missing and became a fighter in body and mind too.
looking forward to Codename S.T.E.A.M.
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blaisedinsd

3. Posted:

GuSilverFlame wrote:

there's also the haters that will say the WiiU is dead because it lost innovation if the Gamepad was optional

Yeah, all those people I am sure are not haters right now. If they they made the console available without a gamepad and did not require it I am sure they would turn.

Nintendo can not afford to create more haters. yeah, dumb idea I guess. sorry.

/thread

Oh, wait, I could still show those haters my Wii U with a perfectly functioning gamepad? What would there response be then?

Edited on by blaisedinsd

blaisedinsd

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Kodeen

4. Posted:

The big problem I could see is the Gamepad-only games that are out there. Sure, some of them could be patched to support the pro controller, but others either can't or won't, if it's not worth it financially to do so.

Kodeen

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GuSolarFlare

5. Posted:

well it's possible to discuss. many people loved the Wii Remote and many wanted a comeback to the good old controllers with dual sticks and button based gameplay. the problem is that the gamepad's central feature isn't well used by many games(literally central)

I was once a fighter in spirit alone, but not long ago I found something that was missing and became a fighter in body and mind too.
looking forward to Codename S.T.E.A.M.
salty tears tenderize true beef
my Backloggery
my Banner made by Dark-Luigi!
My Galaxy Bio also by Dark-Luigi!

3DS Friend Code: 3995-7085-4333 | Nintendo Network ID: GustavoSF

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OptometristLime

6. Posted:

It really doesn't fix anything about the system, and makes it less attractive even with price drop.

Obviously the Game pad will be a focus going forward, with Nintendo taking steps to advance the technology and improve customer awareness.

Miyamoto on his desire to focus more on the (hard)core Nintendo fan.

[The casual] attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ [...] and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing.

You are what you eat from your head to your feet.

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blaisedinsd

7. Posted:

Kodeen wrote:

The big problem I could see is the Gamepad-only games that are out there. Sure, some of them could be patched to support the pro controller, but others either can't or won't, if it's not worth it financially to do so.

I agree. It probably is not financially worth it to patch those games.

I think it is a pretty small list of games you can print right on the box of the gimped bundle though. You treat the gimped bundle like a gimped bundle....it's the starter kit, the entry level device. It's like the 2DS....yeah 3D land has some levels where 3D is important but you can still enjoy the game with out it. The 2DS is not replacing the 3D models. It does not mean we won't get a game like Link between Worlds that uses the 3D very well.

It's like dropping Slot 2 from Dsi....some games needed slot 2 to function....not a tear was shed.....get a dslite or phat if still want to play those.

blaisedinsd

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Blast

8. Posted:

I just got the Wii U a few days ago and I luv the Gamepad!!!! :D
ITS AWESOME!!!

I own a Wii U and 3DS. I do plan on getting a PS4 someday :D

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GuSolarFlare

9. Posted:

blaisedinsd wrote:

It's like dropping Slot 2 from Dsi....some games needed slot 2 to function....not a tear was shed.....get a dslite or phat if still want to play those.

the very reason I didn't upgrade to DSi :p

I was once a fighter in spirit alone, but not long ago I found something that was missing and became a fighter in body and mind too.
looking forward to Codename S.T.E.A.M.
salty tears tenderize true beef
my Backloggery
my Banner made by Dark-Luigi!
My Galaxy Bio also by Dark-Luigi!

3DS Friend Code: 3995-7085-4333 | Nintendo Network ID: GustavoSF

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Bulbousaur

10. Posted:

I'll say the same thing as I commented in the article:
"The Gamepad is the only thing that gives the Wii U any identity over the PS4 and Xbox One. Without it, it is just an underpowered system which can't compete on any level with its competitors. Removing it would be the final nail in the coffin for the console."

The average Wii owners were casual gamers, which the majority of have since moved onto mobile gaming, that's the sad truth. Nintendo did not fully realise this, and still developed for the casual gamers with the Gamepad being the main selling point for them, when in actuality they needed to develop a powerful console for the 'hardcore' market. Because they did neither of these things, the only audience the Wii U caters for are the core Nintendo fans. The Wii U simply isn't powerful enough or has the install base for third party developers to seriously consider developing multiplats for the console which appear on the next generation, or even pevious generation systems.

That, along with the consfusion of what the Wii U actually is to the average consumer, is why the console is failing. The Wii U will have amazing first-party games, but it is simply too late for them to either make the Gamepad optional (which very well may confuse consumers even more), or to ditch the Wii U for another console prematurely (which would cause many consumers to lose trust in the Nintendo brand).

I love my Wii U, and I look forward to the games coming out for it, but I highly doubt it will ever be a financial success for Nintendo. We have another GameCube here folks.

Bulbousaur

3DS Friend Code: 5112-3450-2144 | Nintendo Network ID: Bulbousaur

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WaveBoy

11. Posted:

An underpowered 'last gen' looking Nintendo console with a bland traditional controller aka the PRO controller which is practically an XBOX 360 rip off with a working d-pad and awkward analog/d-pad swap would make it look very unappealing imo. The gamepad is what makes it magical and what makes the Wii U feel NextGen. Yeesh, even the Wii U console looks almost the same as the Wii...

In terms of traditional controls, going from something as unique as the Gamecube controller to the Wii U Pro controller is extremely depressing. The Wii U Pro controller is as uninspired and unNintendo-y' as it gets.....It feels nice and th buttons, d-pad and analog feel great and everything, but it's BLAND, nothing new, just a cut & paste carbon copy.

i didn't want to get a Pro controller, but i had no choice because of Super Smash Bros U. Outside of that game, i'll have Zero use for it....Looks like I'll have to get 2 or 3 more. Yay. :P

Edited on by WaveBoy

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blaisedinsd

12. Posted:

OptometristLime wrote:

It really doesn't fix anything about the system, and makes it less attractive even with price drop.

Obviously the Game pad will be a focus going forward, with Nintendo taking steps to advance the technology and improve customer awareness.

Wait now, hold on.

Does it need to fix anything for it to make sense?

How does it make Wii U less attractive? It doesn't seem much different than offering a SKU that has pretty much no memory to download content unless you add an external drive while trying to push digital sales.

They absolutely should do this and here is the bottom line reason why:

If the "gimped" bundle goes on to outsell the standard console than clearly the gamepad was a problem that was negatively effecting the console.

If the "gimped" bundle is only a segment of your market moving forward you still probably sold some consoles to a customer segment that may have passed otherwise and made a higher profit margin on them while enhancing the features for your main gamepad using customer base (that we get the option of using our console with out it).

Edited on by blaisedinsd

blaisedinsd

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catsrnice

13. Posted:

They could make the gamepad optional meaning the WiiU would be sold for cheaper and the gamepad would be sold seperately but that would prevent bundles because some games do and should require the gamepad.
BUT both SM3DW and NSMBU don't require the gamepad so they could still bundle those.
So new users could play those until they buy the gamepad to play future games that need it (Legend of Zelda etc.)
And it would also nerf most of the already installed apps (For the gamepadless users), Goodbye internet brower youtube thingy, goodbye miiverse hand drawing, goodbye universal nintendo tvii remote.

catsrnice

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Big_L91

14. Posted:

it already is optional, Dk doesnt use it at all.

put it on.

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blaisedinsd

15. Posted:

Bulbousaur wrote:

I'll say the same thing as I commented in the article:
"The Gamepad is the only thing that gives the Wii U any identity over the PS4 and Xbox One. Without it, it is just an underpowered system which can't compete on any level with its competitors. Removing it would be the final nail in the coffin for the console."

I hear that but it just doesn't compute.

How would it be the final nail in the coffin?

Either
they sell a bunch with no gamepads- how is that bad?

they don't sell many with no gamepads- well they are not selling many with gamepads either so how is that bad?

This is the big thing that I just don't agree with on this subject. I don't see how it negatively affects anything, and this is the only type of response i seem to get. I just don't see much substance to it. They can still compete with the gamepad just the same if it is not required can't they? How does continuing to require it for the life of the console help anything?

Just like with the 3DS, games will sell the console, not 3D and not gamepad features. The 2DS makes sense. A gimped Wii U bundel makes sense the same way.

blaisedinsd

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blaisedinsd

16. Posted:

WaveBoy wrote:

An underpowered 'last gen' looking Nintendo console with a bland traditional controller aka the PRO controller which is practically an XBOX 360 rip off with a working d-pad and awkward analog/d-pad swap would make it look very unappealing imo. The gamepad is what makes it magical and what makes the Wii U feel NextGen. Yeesh, even the Wii U console looks almost the same as the Wii...

In terms of traditional controls, going from something as unique as the Gamecube controller to the Wii U Pro controller is extremely depressing. The Wii U Pro controller is as uninspired and unNintendo-y' as it gets.....It feels nice and th buttons, d-pad and analog feel great and everything, but it's BLAND, nothing new, just a cut & paste carbon copy.

i didn't want to get a Pro controller, but i had no choice because of Super Smash Bros U. Outside of that game, i'll have Zero use for it....Looks like I'll have to get 2 or 3 more. Yay. :P

I didn't get a pro-controller until 3D world came out, but in my experience it's largely the same thing. 95% of the time playing with the gamepad I am using the same buttons my pro controller has.

I don't want this thread to be bashing the gamepad, I love it, I just would like it to be optional so I don't need to fetch it for silly things if it's not near me.

Anyway, you still are comparing the idea of the Wii U with a gamepad vs. the Wii U with no gamepad. This is a false dilemma. Xbone I believe already made it so the console still functions with out the new kinect....does that make kinect a failure? Will Xbone be doing worse if they launch a bundle with no kinect?

The Wii U, with all it's gamepad glory will still exist just as before. All advantages of the gamepad are not suddenly lost because it is no longer required are they? If it is unappealing with out a gamepad, then it won't sell, but I don't see how it would hurt the Wii U overall to have a "starter kit" as an option especially with huge franchises coming soon that are not going to rely on the gamepad.

I think they get this out for May with Mario Kart just like the got the 2DS out for pokemon.

blaisedinsd

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Super_Gravy

17. Posted:

Why everyone think the Pro Controller is an rip-off of Xbox 360 controller? I understand Playstation rip-off due to Wii Classic controller but Xbox 360 controller? I thought Gamecube controller was introduced before Xbox controller. Did I thought wrong?

Umm… Care to have some gravy?

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blaisedinsd

18. Posted:

catsrnice wrote:

They could make the gamepad optional meaning the WiiU would be sold for cheaper and the gamepad would be sold seperately but that would prevent bundles because some games do and should require the gamepad.
BUT both SM3DW and NSMBU don't require the gamepad so they could still bundle those.
So new users could play those until they buy the gamepad to play future games that need it (Legend of Zelda etc.)
And it would also nerf most of the already installed apps (For the gamepadless users), Goodbye internet brower youtube thingy, goodbye miiverse hand drawing, goodbye universal nintendo tvii remote.

All good points. Selling the console with out the gamepad may help convince people how cool it is. People with a gimped console see all that cool stuff others can do and maybe they decide to get a gamepad.

In that case you would have just hit a homerun with that gimped bundle, increasing your profit margin on 2 seperate hardware sales instead of taking a loss selling both as a bundle.

blaisedinsd

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Donalp15

19. Posted:

You cannot compare dropping the 3D to dropping the gamepad. One is an visual effect that may not be suitable physically for all people, and one is a controller for the system.
If you drop the gamepad, you will not appease all the people who say the third party is bad or that there are not enough games. It also throws away the potential the controller has. Zombiu and Nintendo land made use of the pad beautifully, and there is no reason more games cannot be made like these. Also dropping the controller screws any person you has one, as developers will look the fanbase, realize the majority of people do not have one, and all games from this point forward will ignore it, likely even the off TV features.
If you make it optional it will fare the same, no one wants to buy an accessory to play a game, and since it is so expensive and so it will be just as if they dumped it.

Basically, they need more games to make good use of the gamepad besides off TV play, dropping it entirely is a serious amount of wasted potential.

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AJ_Lethal

20. Posted:

There's a problem. A Wii U without the Gamepad might be percieved as an overpriced Xbox 360. Perfect internet bait, if you ask me.

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