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Katsuya Eguchi: Wii U Design Philosophy is For Everyday Life

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Wii U Pro controller designed so some gamers don't 'feel left out'

Katsuya Eguchi is one of Nintendo's prominent figures, with credits as far back as Super Mario Bros. 3 and senior leadership roles in some of the company's biggest titles, such as Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Sports Resort. Perhaps his most important role to date is his latest, as hardware producer on Wii U.

In an interview with Eguchi-san spoke about a variety of topics, and the first we want to pick up was his acknowledgement that despite its phenomenal success, Wii's technical limitations damaged its attraction to developers.

When we made Wii, we were really focused on making it very clear to the user what was different about the system. Focusing on these games that relied on some kind of motion without getting too complicated, because it was such a new concept.

...At the time, other platforms were pushing HD. It was a new development in the industry. Developers are passionate about pushing the next big thing. It was hard to get a lot of game creators to aggressively push games for our platform and get really excited about developing when they were chasing other things.

As anyone who's owned a Wii will know, those limitations and the focus of many developers on HD consoles meant that a lot of high-profile and mature franchises of the past five years or more haven't been anywhere near a Nintendo platform. Wii U should help with that, and Eguchi-san also acknowledged that the Wii U Pro Controller was designed to appeal to gamers who've not been pointing a Wii Remote for the last six years.

Adding a Pro controller may make it easier for multi-platform games to come out on the system. Wii remotes don't have things like analog sticks. To make it as easy as possible to enjoy certain multiplayer experiences it was important to have that Pro controller.

We're all gamers as well and we appreciate the interest of those [hardcore] gamers, and we don't want them to feel left out, so we're making big strides and changes in that area.

Finally, Eguchi-san spoke of the desire to make everyday things more simple and enjoyable with Wii U, and reiterated a message that we recently heard from Satoru Iwata: Nintendo won't change it's strategy.

From long ago, Nintendo has always been about creating entertainment and surprising customers. One thing that has changed is the scale of the company and the scope of everything we do.

What we want to achieve as a company has not changed.

Wii U, like any new platform, has plenty of challenges on its hands; what do you think of these comments? Will the Wii U Pro Controller succeed in helping to attract some gamers back to Nintendo, and do you think Wii U is the 'next big thing' to attract developers?


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User Comments (27)



Rapadash6 said:

The design of the pro controller being so close to that of the Xbox 360 pad pretty much says it all. Clearly they've looked at what competitors have done when creating it, and the specs of the Wii U also seem to confirm that they are more serious about drawing in those developers. Whether they'll be able to or not remains to be seen, however.



rjejr said:

Does "included" mean in-the-box or another peripheral we'll have to buy?
And with all the hardware computer developers in the world why can't somebody create a Wiimote - nunchuck combo that functions as well as a Pro? I really like not having to hold my arms so closely together, and I like pointing at things, and I like a little tacked-on motion occassionally, but for the most part Ild still rather play with my Dualshock. The Move - NAv is even worse though the wireless NAv i snice but no motion was a stupid ommission. I want dual-fisted Move's dammit. They should add a stick under the d-pad in fornt of the B. Awkward at first yes, but I think it woul dwork OK for camera movement.



thanos316 said:

Didnt the wii have a classic controller and didnt the wii also have the gamecube controller. And i must say the eii mote and nunchuck was one of the best controllers i have ever used. It has all got to do with power. Devs want more and more power. So lets stop kidding ourselves.



3dbrains said:

I heard a little bird mention WiiU pack and WiiU pro packs...
ie one box has wiiU and wiiU controller... other box has wiiU and wiiU controller and wiiU pro controller and wii remote.
Anyone know if this bird is lying or not?

I dont like the idea of different box sets. confusing.



zeldazero said:

Definitely asking the same question as the commenters before me. Still waiting for confirmation on what the Wii U will be bundled with...a game, wii mote, pro controller, and god forbid maybe even throwing in a damn HDMI cable instead of those worthless composite cables...



shingi_70 said:

One thing I like about the Wii U is the variety of control schemes and hopefully devs use them all and can balance them well.



ThomasBW84 said:

To everyone picking up on 'included' in the tag line, I merely meant in terms of another control option for Wii U, not anything to do with bundles etc. I've changed it to avoid any further confusion.



Cloud-San-VII said:

The Pro Controller should have been based off of the Wavebird (GameCube) and DualShock 3 (Playstation 3)



Alienfish said:

Only time will tell how the WiiU can compete with MS and Sony in the realm of hardcore games. I like the direction Nintendo is trying to take here, but I also think they are making a mistake by not pushing the bar as far as controller design goes. Analog triggers stick out the most as the most obvious omission. I even heard that there wouldn't be a rumble feature. I can understand not putting motion controls in the pro controller, but maybe they should just to leave that option open. Sure, it would be more expensive, but we're talking about the hardcore crowd here which I believe is willing to drop a few extra dollars for something worthwhile. In the end I'm glad they're releasing a separate controller than just forcing us to use Wiimotes and classic controllers, but they could have done so much more.



Shining-Void said:

The wii u pro controller has the exact same layout as the game pad.(minus the screen) I don't see a reason for the complaining. So the shape is the same so what. How many different shapes can for a controller can you make. Not a lot i'd think. All nintendo does is take a comfortable shape from M$, then everyone flips out.

Edit: I'm talking about the general public.



Scollurio said:

I don't think differences in graphics or a (hopefully not too big) gap in hardware power won't make or break the Wii U, it really is about 2 things:

People developing similar (i.e. ports) gaming experiences than for PS and XBOX for the Wii U AND cleverly using that gamepad to not only enhance gameplay or have some gimicky use for it, but create something that will wow people and that nowhere else is possible, not even on PC, then Wii U will win.

It also wouldn't hurt having highly competitive titles on it. Like imagine Dota 2 or Leage of Legends, would be awesome with Gamepad. Or even create something unique with Mario characters - there certainly are enough. Just off the topof my head.



GalaxyWaffles said:

I say that they include the Wii U system, Wii U controller and Wii mote. I wouldn't mind if they didn't include the Wii mote since they are dirt cheap and can be bought basically anywhere.



thanos316 said:

some people looked at the wii and saw games where you had to flail your arms around and got the wrong idea about it. so many devs wasn't trying to get crazy with the motion controls when simplicity was always the way to go. so then they stop developing certain titles for the wii. the controls are there, im guessing people just need to see certain games that are upcoming say wii u also



Alienfish said:

Good point. People don't criticize the chair industry when one company comes out with a chair that looks similar to other chairs on the market. It all comes down to ergonomics and the best possible shape for a controller.



LztheQuack said:

Funny thing too because Nintendo pioneered a lot of controller designs. Nothing wrong with basing their design on someone else's.

And the controller should not have been based on the Dualshock set up. That set up is the worst in my opinion!



collect530 said:

Pro controller is welcome, one of my all time favourite controllers was the GameCube Controller, it just sat in the hands so well!



Ren said:

I like them all, the Wii-mote nunchuk is just sadly short a couple buttons to do some of the big games, but I'm really glad it will still work with the simple stuff, like obviously menus and such, it's the best of them all for really basic clicking games. The new screen controller is also fantastic, and feels just right but takes a little getting used to.
the pro controller is a nice idea but I hope it's not neccesary for all that much. I totally understand the xbox design too. It seemed dumb to copy it so exactly at first, but it's just a great overall design, so why not do it that way? The new xbox one is perfect size and has all the buttons you could ever need.
My guess is it will come with one screen controller and one mo+ Wiimote to encourage the multiplayer pack-in, and retailers will sell lots of bundles anyway.



yuske05 said:

@Alienfish i think you're jus gonna have to trust nintendo on this one. ps3 made a big mistake putting motion controls on their controllers. ppl don't care about it at all. they never did.



sebman30 said:

@ren i looked up a comparison picture and the pro controller has the same amount of buttons (except for turn off button) so i cant see them having many problems at all. and everyone on this site should know by now, nintendo always come through, well eventually......3ds.....




Whilst I can clearly see the resemblance of the Pro Controller to the 360 controller, I would ask everyone to remember that the 360 controller was a mash up of various other controllers over the years, from NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Playstation etc, so its no surprise to me that this design for this particular type of controller has almost been perfected.

I'm all for the Pro Controller and the flexibility it brings for both gamers and developers.



gundam00 said:

Honestly, the lack of HD support in the Wii was the main reason I never got one. I've been a Nintendo supporter from NES and GB on up, and the only console I missed out on was the Wii. But if the Wii U was not in 1080p, I would NOT buy it. We're living in a BluRay/1080p Era now, it's absolutely critical Nintendo jump aboard. And the immense success of the Wii stalled the release of the next gen console. I'm definitely getting a Wii U tho!! I'ma wet my pants just thinking about Zelda in 1080!!!



kyuubikid213 said:

I'm looking forward to the Wii U Pro Controller. It can be used by developers to give us quick and dirty ports of great current gen PS360 games and make multiplatforming to Wii U easier. Developers can use the GamePad however they want in my opinion. But if we get left out because of the GamePad, then I will call BS.

I hope we get Skyrim...or Elder Scrolls VI.



TheN64Dude said:

I like how in 2011 I saw the Wii U and I said "This is the PERFECT console" and then in 2012 they made it even better. HOW DO YOU MAKE SOMETHING BETTER THAN PERFECT!?!? Only Nintendo can do that.

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