Wii U Forum

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

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blaisedinsd

221. Posted:

skywake wrote:

@blaisedinsd
No, I'm not agreeing with you and if you think I am you misread. I was talking about your statement about Mario Kart Wii being somehow equivalent to this GamePad-less SKU. My point was that Mario Kart Wii allowing more traditional controls didn't suddenly make Wii Sports unplayable for any new Wii owners. Every single Wii still came with a WiiMote + Nunchuck in the box. The same was true of the Kinect on 360, people who got the Kinect bundle could still grab Halo 3 and any number of non-Kinect games and play them because it still came with a 360 controller in the box.

If they made a SKU without the GamePad then the people who brought it would quickly find that a number of Wii U games couldn't be played. That they'd have to go out and get another accessory. That's confusing, entirely unnecessary and quite unprecedented. If you think it's not then you're not really considering what you're actually suggesting here.

I agree that it is quite unprecented in some ways and I think that is why I am pretty far in the miniority in making this prediction. Through all this conversation, if anything, I am more convinced it makes sense from a business standpoint and I haven't heard any thing that convinces me it would be a bad business move.

To keep the 360 Kinect analogy going, it is the same thing only in reverse order. A kinect SKU doesn't mean you can't go back and grab Halo 3, but it does mean the no-kinect SKU can't go and grab Kinect Sports. You have a console and an add-on and games that can be played on all SKU and games that can only be played on some SKU and games that are enhanced by a certain SKU and its just basically a perfect analogy. The only things different are the timelines. And interestingly the success of 360 and Kinect led microsoft to do the same thing as the Wii U with the xbone. But fundamentally, from a business stand point the timeline doesn't change much:

Kinect boosts 360 vs Wii U boosts Gamepad

I guess, from a business standpoint I am saying the Wii U and Xbone strategy is not sound. They are envisioning an add on as the central system feature, and this only works for these expensive type of add ons if they are included with every system. Ultimately, historically this will be remebered as a mistake. In both cases moving to make the add on optional is the sanest business strategy, it frees the add on to affect the console only positively based on it's own merit and eliminates the possibility of a detrimental effect of the add on dragging the console down. Allow consumer choice to determine the fate of the add on.

skywake wrote:

As for your last bit (edit: or at least it was before you edited your post) it's nice to hear you say that you do now agree that the GamePad is a valuable extra. Now that you've come that far please explain why someone would buy this cheaper SKU given how much they lose.

I have never said I don't think the gamepad is a valuble extra. I said repeatedly in this thread that I love it. I don't even like refering to it as an "add-on" while trying to make my point because I almost feel like I am putting it down. I simply acknowledge that the gamepad is just not for everybody and that it is expensive to produce it which makes the console SKU including it more expensive than it needs to be. I don't personally see the gimped SKU as an attractive option but I acknowledge others may see the console as more attractive without the gamepad. Off tv play doesn't provide any benefit for many people. Some people just don't like it and trying to convince them to like it is a waste of time.Smash and Kart I am sure will be just as amazing to some of these people whether they have a gamepad or not.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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skywake

222. Posted:

@blaisedinsd
Ok, so there's an agreement that it's a valuable extra and I'd go further and say that the average consumer would rather have it than not. That's a start. We also agree that Nintendo need to make more content that exploits the advantages of the GamePad and agree that they are doing so. What I want to know is how removing the GamePad from some SKUs helps this. You still haven't explained this.

Also the Kinect comparison. Again, it's incredibly simple. If you got a 360 with Kinect you could still buy and play all of the games that came out before it without any extra investment. If you got the original 360 you had to buy the Kinect in order to play Kinect games. With Motion Plus if you got a Wii late in the life of the console it would have come with Motion Plus, so you could play every Wii game. If you got a launch Wii odds are you got Motion Plus easily because they were basically giving it away with games.

This is not the same as removing the standard controller entirely from a new SKU. Looking at my Wii U game library about half of the games I own state on the box that they require the GamePad. Compare that to my library of Wii games where about 13% require hardware that wasn't in every single Wii box sold. Of those 13% BTW every single game came bundled with the required hardware and I'm including Guitar Hero and Wii Fit. It's an entirely different thing.

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blaisedinsd

223. Posted:

Clearly I am thinking about this too much, I guess it's actually the first time I have owned a struggling Nintendo console.

I was thinking about the sales forecasts and how they were slashed. We know they expected to sell many more consoles than they have. We don't know how much inventory they have, they may have huge reserves.

The stater sku makes more sense than a deep painful price cut to try to cut their losses if they have a huge inventory they need to cut losses on. It's not a drastic move, but it's a good first move.

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skywake

224. Posted:

@blaisedinsd
If you want to convince everyone that it's a good move you need to do more than just assert that it is. As I said we're sitting here in agreement that the GamePad adds value to the product and is a unique feature. Looking at the library of games about half of them require the GamePad in order to get the full use out of it. Put simply you don't make a product more attractive to the end user by making it a less attractive product with a smaller library.

I don't see a GamePad-less SKU moving units if the first move a new owner makes would be to buy the GamePad. It's just unnecessary.

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MAB

225. Posted:

Untitled

MAB

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blaisedinsd

226. Posted:

[quote=skywake]@blaisedinsd
Ok, so there's an agreement that it's a valuable extra and I'd go further and say that the average consumer would rather have it than not. That's a start. We also agree that Nintendo need to make more content that exploits the advantages of the GamePad and agree that they are doing so. What I want to know is how removing the GamePad from some SKUs helps this. You still haven't explained this./quote]
I feel like I have explained this multiple times. Are you just messing with me?

It’s an arbitrary question.

I don’t think this SKU needs to help that goal. I don’t think it will help that goal.

I am ONLY claiming that it would not hurt that goal.

You may as well ask me to explain how this sku helps consume peanut butter sandwiches. Arbitrary question. Are you the one who was saying the gamepad costs $30? These questions seem to keep being centered on your perspective. The thread subject and all my points are centered on Nintendos business perspective. I think it makes business sense to let consumer choice help you.

skywake wrote:

Also the Kinect comparison. Again, it's incredibly simple. If you got a 360 with Kinect you could still buy and play all of the games that came out before it without any extra investment. If you got the original 360 you had to buy the Kinect in order to play Kinect games. With Motion Plus if you got a Wii late in the life of the console it would have come with Motion Plus, so you could play every Wii game. If you got a launch Wii odds are you got Motion Plus easily because they were basically giving it away with games.

This is not the same as removing the standard controller entirely from a new SKU. Looking at my Wii U game library about half of the games I own state on the box that they require the GamePad. Compare that to my library of Wii games where about 13% require hardware that wasn't in every single Wii box sold. Of those 13% BTW every single game came bundled with the required hardware and I'm including Guitar Hero and Wii Fit. It's an entirely different thing.

I said it was unprecedented and a reversal of the time line. But yeah exactly. This time it would mean a new SKU couldn’t play some launch games. Big deal, we are talking about maybe 5 games. There are more than 5 games that require a kinect to play. It is a reversal of time line but say Zombi U as example. This dude who bought his smash bundle for his college dorm room who has no interest in a gamepad or Zombi U isn’t upset he can’t play Zombi U or Nintendoland. Obviously if he was he wouldn’t have bought the smash bundle. If he wants to play those games he needs to get the add on he chose to skip out on just like a person who wants to play kinect sports needs to get the add on. Are you worried he is somehow confused how he can’t have multi screen experiences with out multiple screens or something? Nintendo is not any more worried about this than someone confused why they can’t play guitar hero on their DSi XL or any other type of obscure incompatibility issues. Ubisoft doesn’t even have a reason to be mad. Would they be angry some one can’t play their game with out a gamepad? That their launch day game being playable for well over a year by every single console sold could one day not be playable by some Wii U owner with no gamepad should matter to them one way or the other. It was a launch game I think they pretty much accept is not going to suddenly have a sales spike squashed by this sku.

I am pretty sure we agree most of these games that currently say gamepad required would still be playable on this sku. I am saying its not a problem because these are a small number of games left over that will have compatibility issues. The small number is what makes them not a problem from a Nintendo business perspective. To you that may be some horrible reason this can not be done and would be stupidest thing ever that would make ninendo look silly or whatever random thing that doesn’t matter. From a business perspective it doesn’t matter if some one buys a Wii U and gets zombi u and it doesn’t work. The console said it couldn’t play that game when it was bought, if some one has no idea the Wii U had a gamepad option and bought an incompatible game at some point in the future from a business perspective thats free advertising for the gamepad. Maybe they buy a gamepad instead of exchanging their incompatible game.

blaisedinsd

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blaisedinsd

227. Posted:

skywake wrote:

@blaisedinsd
If you want to convince everyone that it's a good move you need to do more than just assert that it is. As I said we're sitting here in agreement that the GamePad adds value to the product and is a unique feature. Looking at the library of games about half of them require the GamePad in order to get the full use out of it. Put simply you don't make a product more attractive to the end user by making it a less attractive product with a smaller library.

I don't see a GamePad-less SKU moving units if the first move a new owner makes would be to buy the GamePad. It's just unnecessary.

We are talking about 5 games that would be incompatible with out a gamepad.

We are talking about a sku that is intended to appeal a niche audience that would be purchasing it because they preferred the gimped sku on a personal level. Consumer choice working for nintendo to increase hardware sales. These people are opting in for this experience, it is not bad to allow it. This is a separate prong of your sales strategy. Any short term sales gained here are sorely needed because you are struggling.

You still intend to make this gamepad thing work at the same time. Nintendoland 2 is the all time greatest video game ever and selling that SKU was a weird thing because Nintendoland 2 was so amazing a magic rainbow shot out of those consoles and a magical supercharged gamepad appeared just for those special smash fans who bought that obscure sku.

OR

The console still struggles. You sell 2 million starter skus out of 20 million console sales lifetime. Nintendoland 2 is more well received than the original and sells better than the original.

OR

The console still struggles. The smash sku opened a pandoras box and lifetime sales of the sku are the vast majority moving forward. Nintendoland 2 is great, but sells poorly because of low gamepad numbers.

OR

It's 50-50 moving forward

It doesn't matter. The option allows consumer choice to determine the course. It is the way to maximize hardware sales....sell the console and gamepad together...sell them each individually....the consumer buys what they want. Maybe the add-on helps the console, maybe the console helps the add-on, but both should be allowed. You should not assume the gamepad will help the console, well at least at this point where the console is struggling and the gamepad is not doing what you had hoped.....doubling down on the gamepad is fine but you would be wise to hedge your bets by enabling the gimped option in case anyone prefers it....lowering the entry price point is good as we saw with 2DS.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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skywake

228. Posted:

@blaisedinsd
It's not an arbitrary question, it's an entirely relevant question. What does removing the GamePad do to help sell the Wii U, how is it a better product without it. All you've done is assert that it is to some consumers based on an assumption that they don't "get it". You've said nothing that is so convincing that it's worth removing compatibility for the bulk of the best selling games on the platform so far.

And yes, I was the person who said that it was probably a saving only in the order of $30 rather than $100-150. What you've failed to understand is that you still need to include a controller in the box even if you remove the GamePad. The Pro controller has a lot of the same tech in it that the GamePad does especially given that about half of the actual cost of the GamePad is in the battery. The basic bundle is $250 in the US right now, no way they'd be selling a GamePad-less SKU at less than $200.

As for your hypothetical Smash Bros player. You're forgetting that a new user always wants to get a few games when they get the system. The Smash player is probably looking at 3D World and Nintendo Land. Plus you're also looking at off-TV play as a cool extra. If we're talking about ideas to get this player into the Wii U how about a special edition with Smash Bros and a Pro Controller plus GamePad for $300 or so? You're so set on this idea of a GamePad-less SKU that you've ruled out any other options.

Edited on by skywake

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Spoony_Tech

229. Posted:

Lets not attack the op for having an opinion please!

I can see Nintendo doing this even though i think it will just make those that bought the cheaper system mad in the long run because they will eventually have to buy the gamepad which instead of only paying 250$ end up paying 350 to 400 to add the gamepad.

I think @Skywake said it best awhile back just cut the fat out of the gamepad. Make it smaller and lose some features like maybe the tv part and other things. We would be foolish to think Nintendo is not already doing this anyways.

John 8:7 He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.

MERG said:

I'm finding this game way too distracting. I would much rather be playing it right now rather than working!
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MikeLove

230. Posted:

skywake wrote:

It's not an arbitrary question, it's an entirely relevant question. What does removing the GamePad do to help sell the Wii U, how is it a better product without it.

1. With no gamepad, and the inclusion of a pro controller, the price of the console could drop to $200-220. A version with the gamepad could still be sold too.
2. Believe it or not, lots of people have ZERO interest in the Wii-U based on the gamepad alone. They don't want to use it, and don't want to pay for it.
3. It loses the 'gimmick' that has obviously not caught the imagination of the general public like the wiimote did.
4. Developers no longer feel 'forced' to add gamepad features when releasing a game on the Wii-U.

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CanisWolfred

231. Posted:

JohnRedcorn wrote:

1. With no gamepad, and the inclusion of a pro controller, the price of the console could drop to $200-220. A version with the gamepad could still be sold too.

Except I can still get a PS3 or 360 for that price, which have far more features and far more games. Why should I not get a PS3 or 360?

JohnRedcorn wrote:

2. Believe it or not, lots of people have ZERO interest in the Wii-U based on the gamepad alone. They don't want to use it, and don't want to pay for it.

Fair enough, but why would they still want a Wii U if they don't want to use the Gamepad, when there are plenty of other options? What games would they play that they can't get anywhere else?

JohnRedcorn wrote:

3. It loses the 'gimmick' that has obviously not caught the imagination of the general public like the wiimote did.

And then what's left? Just because it hasn't caught their interest now, doesn't mean they'll never catch it. The public is very fickle.

JohnRedcorn wrote:

4. Developers no longer feel 'forced' to add gamepad features when releasing a game on the Wii-U.

When were they ever? Last I checked, most games use the Gamepad for Off-TV play or for simple features like a Map. There are even games that don't use the screen at all. I don't see how they're forced to do much, unlike with iOS or the Wii, where they basically had to reinvent the wheel because of the controls.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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Spoony_Tech

232. Posted:

JohnRedcorn wrote:

4. Developers no longer feel 'forced' to add gamepad features when releasing a game on the Wii-U.

All the more reason NOT to remove the gamepad! This also now applies to the 3ds and developers can get away with not including 3d! As a fan of both 3d and the gamepad this would make me mad as a Nintendo fan!

John 8:7 He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.

MERG said:

I'm finding this game way too distracting. I would much rather be playing it right now rather than working!
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GamecubeMan

233. Posted:

They would lose their proud saiyan pride.

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MikeLove

234. Posted:

Hmmm....you didn't really think this out....

CanisWolfred wrote:

Except I can still get a PS3 or 360 for that price, which have far more features and far more games. Why should I not get a PS3 or 360?

Because you want a Nintendo console and to play Nintendo exclusives. People are buying a Wii-U to play THE GAMES, not because of the controller. And the Wii-U is more powerful than the PS3/360, isn't it??....

CanisWolfred wrote:

Fair enough, but why would they still want a Wii U if they don't want to use the Gamepad, when there are plenty of other options? What games would they play that they can't get anywhere else?

Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Kirby, Wonderful 101, Pikmin, Bayonetta 2, X, ect.....should I go on? The same games that have sold Nintendo consoles for the past 25 years.

CanisWolfred wrote:

And then what's left? Just because it hasn't caught their interest now, doesn't mean they'll never catch it. The public is very fickle.

Exactly. They are fickle and haven't warmed up to the gamepad in over a year. It's time to change things up.

CanisWolfred wrote:

When were they ever? Last I checked, most games use the Gamepad for Off-TV play or for simple features like a Map. There are even games that don't use the screen at all. I don't see how they're forced to do much, unlike with iOS or the Wii, where they basically had to reinvent the wheel because of the controls.

They obviously feel obligated (either contractually or developer-wise) to do something with the gamepad, even if its very little. If you remove that requirement from them, maybe more developers would be willing to produce software, knowing they don't have to waste time/effort/development on implementing some unnecessary gamepad features?

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skywake

235. Posted:

JohnRedcorn wrote:

1. With no gamepad, and the inclusion of a pro controller, the price of the console could drop to $200-220. A version with the gamepad could still be sold too.
2. Believe it or not, lots of people have ZERO interest in the Wii-U based on the gamepad alone. They don't want to use it, and don't want to pay for it.
3. It loses the 'gimmick' that has obviously not caught the imagination of the general public like the wiimote did.
4. Developers no longer feel 'forced' to add gamepad features when releasing a game on the Wii-U.

Firstly, the person standing in the shop wondering whether they buy it or not is looking at the games at the same time. Then they see New SMB U, Nintendo Land, 3D World, Wii Party U, Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, Zombi U, Rayman Legends. They look on the back of the box and see that all of these games state that they require the GamePad. The end result is that they realise that they're basically forced to buy the GamePad either way. There is no saving to be had here.

No interest in the GamePad? Frankly I'm yet to hear anybody actually say that they're not interested in the GamePad. Most of the complaints you hear about the Wii U outside of this echo-chamber aren't about the GamePad. Most of its about the fact that it doesn't have Mario Kart or Smash Bros yet. As many have said and Nintendo themselves have actually acknowledged, the asymmetric-multi-player and the off-TV play features of the Wii U have been popular. A cool feature alone though isn't enough to overcome a lack of games. It losing one of the main things it has going for it, "gimmick" or not, isn't a positive.

As for developers well developers from third parties are already free to not use the GamePad and dividing the userbase doesn't make it easier for them. If you made a GamePad-less SKU then now they are forced to develop for GamePad AND Pro controller. Plus half of this thread has been @blaisedinsd trying to convince everyone that making this different SKU wouldn't mean that devs stop thinking of cool ideas for the GamePad. That everyone who disagrees is just paranoid about losing GamePad support. Now you've listed this abandonment as a positive.

All of this is a waste of time though. I won't happen, it's a ridiculous idea and Nintendo have more or less explicitly said that they aren't interested in going down that road. The GamePad is here to stay, and that's a good thing I'd argue.

Edited on by skywake

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Jaz007

236. Posted:

If a putting a map on the gamepad is takes too much effort from a Dev, then they already wouldn't see the Wii U as a profitable venture. There is now way on earth it would increase third-party support. The Wii U's architecture is the problem there.

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MikeLove

237. Posted:

skywake wrote:

Firstly, the person standing in the shop wondering whether they buy it or not is looking at the games at the same time. Then they see New SMB U, Nintendo Land, 3D World, Wii Party U, Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, Zombi U, Rayman Legends. They look on the back of the box and see that all of these games state that they require the GamePad.

SMBU and Windwaker HD don't require the gamepad (unless you consider touching the screen in SMBU to make a block a requirement), SM3DW barely requires it and the handful of parts where it does could be easily patched, same goes for Pikmin 3. The UbiSoft games need it, but who cares? They are likely going to be done with the Wii-U this year, and Wii Party U could be sold in a bundle with a gamepad, much like the wiimotes are. People have had no problem in the past knowing that certain games are made for the Kinect or PS Move, and that those must be used to play them, so how is that different than the gamepad? They are all peripherals. Just put a sticker on the package "Gamepad Required" or color code the cases, voila, 'problem' solved.

skywake wrote:

No interest in the GamePad? Frankly I'm yet to hear anybody actually say that they're not interested in the GamePad.

They are saying it with their wallets and their apathy towards it. A few of my friends who know I play Nintendo have asked me about the Wii-U as well, and they have asked me if you need the gamepad all the time, if its comfortable, and if it is 'fun' to use. If it was a standard controller, no one would be asking those questions. The few times I have played it with friends they seem uninterested in using it and wanted to play using a 'normal controller'. The only people I know who prefer using the gamepad are my girlfriend (who barely plays) and my cousin's 8 year old son.

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skywake

238. Posted:

@JohnRedcorn
Look on the game boxes of the games I mentioned yourself, they all state that they require it. As I said it's a solution that creates more problems than it allegedly solves. It's removing a feature that people do like in an attempt to ease confusion and reduce the cost which ends with more confusion and more cost.

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CanisWolfred

239. Posted:

JohnRedcorn wrote:

Hmmm....you didn't really think this out....

CanisWolfred wrote:

Except I can still get a PS3 or 360 for that price, which have far more features and far more games. Why should I not get a PS3 or 360?

Because you want a Nintendo console and to play Nintendo exclusives. People are buying a Wii-U to play THE GAMES, not because of the controller. And the Wii-U is more powerful than the PS3/360, isn't it??....

CanisWolfred wrote:

Fair enough, but why would they still want a Wii U if they don't want to use the Gamepad, when there are plenty of other options? What games would they play that they can't get anywhere else?

Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Kirby, Wonderful 101, Pikmin, Bayonetta 2, X, ect.....should I go on? The same games that have sold Nintendo consoles for the past 25 years.

CanisWolfred wrote:

And then what's left? Just because it hasn't caught their interest now, doesn't mean they'll never catch it. The public is very fickle.

Exactly. They are fickle and haven't warmed up to the gamepad in over a year. It's time to change things up.

CanisWolfred wrote:

When were they ever? Last I checked, most games use the Gamepad for Off-TV play or for simple features like a Map. There are even games that don't use the screen at all. I don't see how they're forced to do much, unlike with iOS or the Wii, where they basically had to reinvent the wheel because of the controls.

They obviously feel obligated (either contractually or developer-wise) to do something with the gamepad, even if its very little. If you remove that requirement from them, maybe more developers would be willing to produce software, knowing they don't have to waste time/effort/development on implementing some unnecessary gamepad features?

All Nintendo games require the Gamepad. Sure they can be patched, but the boxes already out there will say they need the gamepad. It's a little too late for them to do that now. And Nintendo basically said they're going to try to prove the worth of the Gamepad already. Chances are more likely that future Nintendo games will require the gamepad. So what's the point of removing the Gamepad?

And no, developers are not so lazy that they won't want to just slap a map they had to program anyways on the freakin' screen! If they're too lazy to utilize a simple solution, they shouldn't be making games. They're already required to do far more complex things, something simple shouldn't be a problem. I have not seen any developer say that the Gamepad was what's holding them back, so why would they suddenly come to the Wii U just because of that?

Also, I don't think you understand what fickle means...just because they have no interest now does not mean their opinion is set in stone. They can be convinced later on, so long as Nintendo keeps up the effort.

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MikeLove

240. Posted:

skywake wrote:

@JohnRedcorn
Look on the game boxes of the games I mentioned yourself, they all state that they require it. As I said it's a solution that creates more problems than it allegedly solves. It's removing a feature that people do like in an attempt to ease confusion and reduce the cost which ends with more confusion and more cost.

I've played through 40-50% of Windwaker HD and didnt use the gamepad at all. I also played through the entirely of NSMBU using a wiimote the whole time.

MikeLove

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