News Article

Wii U and Its Controller Near Their Final Form Factor

Posted by Trevor Chan

Reggie Fils-Aime talks design and tablet trend

Although the aesthetic design of the Wii U controller may look similar to tablet devices, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime points out that the company is not trying to tap into the tablet market.

During a VentureBeat interview, Fils-Aime spoke about Wii U's development and how it took place before tablet devices gained the popularity we see today:

We were well in development before the the birth of tablets and, again, to be clear, this is not a tablet. It is a connected experience to the base console. It talks with the base console. It interacts with other Wii accessories whether that is a Wii Remote Plus or a Wii Balance Board. So it has very different functionality compared to a tablet.

When asked about the functionality of the controller and how close the hardware that was shown at E3 was to the final product, Fils-Aime replied:

... we believe [the controller] is going to satisfy the needs of all kinds of consumers that will allow for new experiences and yet still will be affordable and be consistent with the value philosophy of Nintendo... In terms of the form factor of the console, it is quite near final. Similarly the form factor of the controller is quite near final.

From the images you have seen of the Wii U console and controller, is there anything that you would like to see revised or changed?


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User Comments (49)



DarkLloyd said:

ahh i see what appears to look like a trigger on the back of that controller and those top left and right buttons cant wait to try it out and hold one in my hands and play some games



Gavin_Rozee said:

Both look fine to me, but I'm not buying another white console that will naturally discolour over time and turn yellow-ish.




Corbs said:

It felt good in the hands. I would have preferred regular analog sticks that tilt, but the circle pads were alright. I do hope they tighten up the buttons as they were extremely mushy and soft to the press.



yoyogamer said:

Looks good to me, I just hope it will be avalible in at least one other color at launch. I'm guessing the circle pads were put in to make this thing easy to store.



Token_Girl said:

That's not too surprising. Nintendo doesn't usually show stuff until it's pretty close to what it will be on release. Remember, the hardware needs to be done for a while before launch, so that software can be developed and ready.



NintyMan said:

It looks good enough right now. Another color would be a good idea, though.



DarkLloyd said:

@Gavin_Rozee mine is still white, perhaps it could be the air or u could get whoever it is to stop smoking? i know that smoke air can caused a discolour

but yeah it be nice to have it in another colour other then white but thats because i like black too hopefully a red me wishes



MasterGraveheart said:

The console looks great so far. I'd like an eathernet connection option, though, just in case. Also... I saw on IGN that they think the controller needs joysticks and the shoulder buttons need to be "triggers." What do you guys think? Maybe hope for a more GameCube-esque button/stick offering?

One thing's for sure, though... I want those Start/Select/Home buttons moved closer to my right hand...



WaveGhoul said:

I like the design of the new console, but at the same time i think they're playing it safe....It looks too simular to the Wii. Look at how radically different and creative Nintendo has been with every console and controller they have launched before hand.

The Wii U however looks like a prettier and sleaker version of the Wii, yet totaly generic....Where's the fun and the flash? While the Wii U controller's buttons, D-Pad and white finish make it look like it could be an alternative Wii controller. The Wii and Wii U don't exactly seperate each other in terms of looks.

Anyways, the Wii U and Wii U controller look pretty, but sorry Nintendo you seriously played it generic and uncreative in the looks department this time around.....Actually for the first time ever.

Seriously, for the first time ever in Nintendo Console history, i'm just not thrilled with their design choice....It screams Apple, not nintendo.



WaveGhoul said:


But the design of the Wii was radically different when compared to the gamecube, that's where I'm trying to get at...But you could say the same thing between all of the previous nintendo consoles.

Yet The Wii U, just looks like a glamourised Wii, and they both have the same white finish.....I honestly had zero excitement when i layed eyes on the new console....And the controller was just a let down, or actually...I was just confused more than anything at the time.

Nintendo got far more creative with the Aqua Blue 3DS. That things just gorgeous.



Doma said:

The controller is terrible as it is (like it was designed for kids). They need to:

  • Reduce the screen's size
  • Give it some handles
  • Use proper analog sticks


Shmavey said:

I think they should change it to analogs and triggers. Also whether they move to analogs or stick with sliders, they need to click!



armoredghor said:

I think they need to change the color. I really don't mind what that color is but just make it different like maybe the colors originally planned for the wii. (red, green, blue, Silver, Black & White) Also if they're gonna use a camera for video chat or AR, it needs to be at least a megapixel. The AR on the 3DS is great but sometimes it cuts out if you don't have the lighting just right.



Hardy83 said:

Makes me wonder when in 2012 this system is coming out if the system and console are pretty much done.

I WAS thinking holiday 2012, but I'm starting to think Q1/Q2 now.



WolfRamHeart said:

@Hardy83: I was thinking the exact same thing. If the new console and controller are nearly final will Nintendo try to push this thing out as early as possible just like they did the 3DS?

I personally am not completely sold on the new controller. There are things that I like about it but I am worried that it will not be comfortable to play and I don't like the circle pads in place of analogs sticks. I would prefer if Nintendo comes out with a regular controller like an updated Wavebird in addition to this Wii Pad controller for their new system.



Hardy83 said:

Yeah, I agree with the pushing thing. Considering the only real game left for Wii is Zelda and that's this winter. What's left after that?

I think the controller will be fine. I assume the joypads were a hardware thing.
1. It's probably cheap since it's probably just the 3DS pads (no need to make new stuff)
2. The depth needed to make a real joypad must have conflicted with their design or something.

As long as it works fine right? Just need some hands on, though where you will be able to do that, who knows. Nintendo has an uphill battle selling the controller like they did with 3DS 3D screens.



Xkhaoz said:

I hope they add analog sticks and trigger shoulder buttons, just saying.



Capt_N said:

I believe analogue sticks are not being used due to them being easier to break, as opposed to thumb sliders, &/or thumb pads are the trend right now, & Nintendo doesn't wanna look like they are stuck in the past, maybe?

As for the system as a whole, Nintendo has yet to convince me of getting their system, as opposed to getting a competitor's system instead.However, it is early in the general public knowledge of the console('s existence), & that my opinion may change.



PSICOffee said:

They should have said this during their e3 conference! One of my first impressions was that they were trying to capitalize on the recent success of the tablets. I'm glad this has been addressed and resolved.



TKOWL said:

Wait... so not much is going to change about the controller then?

It needs more time in development. Sorry, Nintendo.



y2josh said:

@Hardy83: Darksiders 2 release date for xbox 360 is Q2 and that's supposed to be a launch title for Wii U if that says anything.



LordChimpington said:

Hopefully no one will call it a tablet on here anymore lol. I think it's a good design. They don't want to make it to complicated. Plus they still have time to change the designs a little bit if they wanted to. i think it will work great on many games. Other game developers just have to try to make fun experiences.



Sakeraf said:

i wish the joysticks wernt circle pads. more comfortable for me (plus u could push them in as extra button)



Hardy83 said:

@y2josh Yeah. I also read an IGN article that shows Sega saying the system is coming out in spring.

Maybe we'll see another rush to get the system out for the 2010 financial quarter like the 3DS was for 2009 and half the WiiU features won't be done. lol



Ren said:

Yeah, I'm not even too keen on the slider on the 3DS. joysticks feel much better. And Corbie said the buttons were Mushy?! THey're not those horribly cheap rubber buttons are they? god, I hope not, that would be a disaster. I don't mind the console look, but I agree it's a little generic looking. Square it off like the Wii or do something that's actually interesting to look at, I say.



rjejr said:

I haven't held one but my initial reaction was that the sides should be slanted like a trapezoid. After 15 years of the PS controller my wrists hurt just looking at that. Plus it would look cooler standing up as a clock/digital frame (still hoping).

I don't care that it looks like an advanced Wii, it is an HD Wii after all. The Wii sold so well (even if the non-dancing games didn't) I think Nintendo should milk that for all it's worth. All the non-gaming casuals would be happier with an incremental Wii update (like HD for their widescreen tv with Facebook and Twitter connectivity) than a whole new system. The hardcore who wanted a whole new name and look will but it for the games. Just b/c Nintendo played it safe doesn't mean it was a stupid move. They should change their name to Niintendo to market themselves more.



CerealKiller062 said:

Console apperal isn't important to me. What should be important is the controller it uses. The controller looks bulky, heavy, and really unconfertable to hold. The playability of a console lies in its controls and not it's body.



aaronsullivan said:

Analog sticks and trigger shoulder buttons, yes. Let's get the third parties to sign up without reservation. mkay?

The controller is a bit utilitarian looking, but that's okay. When you are playing, the screen will dominate the design as it should.

I like how Nintendo keeps the console small and unassuming. It's in direct contrast to the XBox and PS showy gigantor space heater designs. After all, no one looks at the console while you are playing... or while you aren't, for that matter.



SullKid said:

I wish the name would be near its final form...
And yes, black from the launch, since my Wii is too and I love it.



Portista said:

Who cares about console colors! I have had a white Wii for 3.5 years, and it still looks great. Obviously you have to clean it with a wet wipe, but other than that, it don't matter!



phoenix1818 said:

@Gavin_Rozee I'd much prefer a black console to another white one. If Nintendo don't want to be seen in the same market as Apple, they should stop making plain white consoles.

@y2josh That doesn't really mean much, because Arkham Asylum is due out in October and it is also supposed to be a launch title on Wii U, but will be released much later than on other consoles.



Squiggle55 said:

I still like that photoshopped early guess at what the controller would look like. I really like the idea of a nice comfortable playstation-looking controller with a 3 inch screen for everyone. I do like the idea of playing your game on a nice big screen if someone else wants the TV, but I can't think of another reason to want to hold that huge thing besides that.



JayceJa said:

i think it should really have been more of a controller with a screen attached, rather than a screen with buttons attached, it just doesnt look comfortable to use in the way they make it look it will be for extended periods of time



Rapadash6 said:

For the console, I was kind of underwhelmed when I first saw it and thought it was rather bland looking. When I saw better pictures and video of the unit, I've come to love the simple sleek design. Also it might look less bland once the WiiU logo is applied to it. Another plus is the new HDMI port complete with Liniar PCM digital audio, a first for a Nintendo console! The fact it uses the same AV Multi cables and sensor bar as the Wii are a good design choice too.

Now the controller is a bit harder to discern for me. I like that it has all the basic functionallity of the standard classic controllers the Wii uses but the choice of using slide pads instead of analog sticks is a bit concerning. Other than that I can't really comment as I have to actually hold it in my hands before I can judge but from all accounts I've heard, it's actaully quite comfortable to use.



Sir_Deadly said:

I am wandering, why if the console and controller is in it near final stages why realse it a year away??? Only thing i can think of is the games. But we kno a couple of games that are already in development: Lego City Stories, Killer Freaks From Outerspace, and Ghost Recon Online and some others that probably arent in development yet but we kno are goin to be releasing on the console. But of course who knows how long it take to develope a game besides developer.



GEOFF said:

They should make it even bigger so I can use it to smash trolls over the head.



wanderlustwarrior said:

...tablets have been around for the better part of a decade, reggie. My mom had one for hr medical practice before the Wii-basic was even announced.



jimmoon said:

doesnt the psn update sometimes multiple times a week and update with a psone classic at least once a week and nintendo updates a new virtual game... once every half month? all the best games are already uploaded to psn where ninetndo has yet to put out half of their best games.



JustanotherGamer said:

If Nintendo could in the future releases a Tablet controller plus. That can function as a low end computer tablet. Nintendo could easily be on to something. In four years I can see nintendo releasing a tablet controller plus.

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