News Article

You Won't Be Able To Buy An Extra Wii U GamePad At Launch

Posted by Damien McFerran

Primarily because no games support two GamePads yet

Much has been made of the Wii U's ability to support more than one GamePad. Early rumours suggested anything from one to four GamePads could connect to a single console, but we've since heard from devs such as Blitz Game Studios that the system is now designed to work with two GamePads at once.

Interestingly, we've not seen any evidence of that from the games demoed so far. According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, who spoke to GI.biz shortly after yesterday's Wii U preview event in New York, the reason for this is simple: the feature wasn't available when development was started on the current crop of software.

GI.biz: We haven't seen much about using two GamePads, and in the Japanese event last night, they had a price point for standalone GamePads.

Reggie Fils-Aime: The reason you don't see games with two GamePads [at this event] is the technical ability to make two GamePads work was delivered to publishers after they started this current round of development. So you'll see those two GamePad experiences at a later date; when those games are coming, that's when we'll make a separate GamePad available.

Look at it this way: when we're preparing for launch, I need to make consoles and I need to make GamePads, and I need to put them together in a box to sell at retail. And if I'm using my inventory assembling GamePads that don't support any games in the marketplace, all I'm doing is reducing my available inventory to sell on launch day.

GI.biz: So we won't have individual GamePads at launch.

Reggie Fils-Aime: Not here at launch.

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (21)

Spoony_Tech

#3

Spoony_Tech said:

Don't need what you can't use right!? I'm more curious of the price more then anything! Lets see what 3rd parties come up with if anything at all!

Mk_II

#5

Mk_II said:

i dont think there will be that many games that really support dual GamePads. The installed userbase would be far too small to make a decent return on investment.

hydeks

#6

hydeks said:

yay, lets spend $100 on another gamepad ¬¬ No offence, just buy a pro controller :P I doubt many games will support two gamepads, I think they'll have fun figuring stuff out for one gamepad, let alone two.

NTELLIGENTMAN

#8

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

And what happens if you happen to break the screen or an analog stick or two on your GamePad?

gefflt

#9

gefflt said:

Well, in a way, this is kind of a good thing.
By not selling individual gamepads at launch, we won't have to spend X more dollars to get a second one to enjoy games that would've required two gamepads to play.
Then, a few months (?) later, after the huge hype brought by the Wii U is over, they release individual gamepads and games that require two gamepads, beginning a new wave of hype with this new way to plays games.

Burning_Spear

#11

Burning_Spear said:

I'm sure Nintendo has extras in stock and will provide a replacement if your controller breaks. They just don't want to market their reserve and have it depleted needlessly.

AVahne

#12

AVahne said:

When available I'll buy a second gamepad for other people to use. My black gamepad is too precious for other people to touch.

rjejr

#13

rjejr said:

I sense a chicken and egg problem looming on the horizon. Basically the 2nd Gamepad will be treated like any other accessory that nobody uses and doesn't sell well.

Sir_Deadly

#14

Sir_Deadly said:

Well we all should better make sure we dont rage quite and break the gamepad!!! But i really dont see any developers using 2 gamepads to play one game.

jarreboum

#15

jarreboum said:

@rjejr Which is probably what Nintendo wants. They were very wary of adding the second gamepad to the console because they knew the console had trouble handling it. It was only after the whole Internet yelled at them that they added the function. But at the price of a framerate halved and probably more processing power used. What they did was just adding the possibility and give it to the devs saying "here your second gamepad like you wanted, try to make something good of it but don't blame us if it doesn't work well".

And I suspect the reviews for the first dual gamepad game will be: "second gamepad is nice but doesn't add much to the gameplay and screws the framerate big time." And the gamepad sales will plummet.

grimbldoo

#16

grimbldoo said:

You will be able to replace your gamepad, they just won't be slapped onto shelves for sale in stores.

StarDust4Ever

#17

StarDust4Ever said:

One potential problem I saw with the FPS type multiplayer games, was the use of two screens, including the TV and game pad. For co-op, that's fine, but for competitive play, the player using the gamepad will have a huge strategic advantage since the Gamepad player can view both screens and not visa-versa. It's fine with split screen because all players are equally yoked. Back in the day with split screen games like Goldeneye 007 and Mario Kart Battle, part of the strategy if you really wanted to P'wn the other players, was looking at your opponents screens and knowing where they were at all times.

Tony3DS

#20

Tony3DS said:

Yeah, that’s okay in about a year or two they’ll have a new “slim” or “capacitive touch screen” and several games that take advantage of a second gamepad. I’ll buy one when that comes out.

MeloMan

#21

MeloMan said:

I LOL'd at this topic so hard :D

Well, even if there is/was/will be, just bring over a friends Wii U pad and sync it, problem solved.

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