News Article

Feature: The GamePad - From Waggling Remotes To Dual Sticks and a Touchscreen

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Is the Wii U's controller a revolution or evolution for gaming?

For a number of Wii U early adopters here on Nintendo Life, there have now been plenty of opportunities to try out a variety of games, incorporating various styles and genres while giving us a good glimpse of what the system's GamePad controller is capable of doing. After the Wii Remote and Nunchuk defined the Wii, it's safe to say that Nintendo has once again diverted onto a new path; the question is, has it found a solution to last a generation?

From simplicity to complexity

The Wii Remote and Nunchuk may still have a role to play on Wii U, notably in multiplayer and in upcoming title Pikmin 3, but the vast majority of titles naturally use the GamePad as standard and, in some cases, only the the new controller. Looking at the GamePad compared to its predecessor immediately highlights the change in approach from Nintendo, but let's outline it clearly, staying away from optional controllers available at an extra cost.

The Wii Remote and Nunchuk incorporated analogue control, but titles that required a secondary analogue input (whether aiming crosshairs or manipulating a camera) used either the infrared sensor for pointing or — in the case of camera control — the d-pad at the top of the Remote. The Wii Remote on its own could be used sideways in an NES style, and in total the setup had six buttons (excluding Home and Power), though perhaps they weren't all instinctively to hand for those familiar with more conventional controllers; buttons 1 and 2, for example, weren't necessarily used often when the Remote and Nunchuk were in use together. Then, of course, there was motion control in both parts of the control setup, with the original Wii Remote having limited functionality — prompting the term "waggle" — and the Wii Remote Plus adding greater precision far closer to 1:1 feedback; tilt controls, such as those in Mario Kart Wii, work well with the original Wii Remote.

The default Wii controllers were unique — until Sony's PlayStation Move mimicked the setup — in that you'd hold a separate controller in each hand, and despite detractors gave the Wii its vital accessibility. The Wii Remote motion controls, in particular, made simple activities like bowling, golf and sword swinging instinctive to gamers and, more importantly, those new to the hobby.

So against that context we have the GamePad and, as is obvious, it's a long way away from that simplicity on Wii. An obvious point to address early on is that the new controller is immediately more familiar for experienced gamers and many developers, with the standard two sticks, d-pad, four face buttons and four shoulder buttons all included. Aside from the back shoulder buttons (ZL and ZR) being digital as opposed to analogue, all of the expected button inputs from the Wii Classic Controller, Xbox 360 or PS3 equivalents are there. Motion controls are accommodated with an eight-axis gyroscope being joined by an accelerometer, and an NFC sensor that is unused to date, but about to be called into action when Pokémon Scramble U arrives in Japan with separate figurines available to buy.

What gives the GamePad its noticeable size is the 6.2 inch touchscreen right in the middle of all of these inputs. It's an integral part of the controller's functionality, and is resistive, so once again is single touch only and most effective with a stylus — as opposed to capacitive multi-touch screens familiar on smartphones and tablets.

How the GamePad is used

With the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, control variety was predominantly delivered via pointer and motion controls, yet the GamePad has already gone well beyond those approaches. Below are some basic outlines from various games, with each entry choosing a particular control "feature" that's a little different.

Nintendo Land - Asynchronous multiplayer: Nintendo Land is a terrific showcase of a number of GamePad control features, and we're choosing its demonstration of how multiplayer can have a new approach. While a number of players use Wii controllers and follow the TV, mini-games such as Mario Chase give the GamePad player a different view as they play exclusively on the controller's screen, enjoying a broader perspective of the action to see more than the other players. The single GamePad player has the advantage of greater oversight, but faces the odds of a team of rivals.

LEGO City Undercover - A personal computer: The latest LEGO game certainly isn't the only title to take this approach, as it literally frames the GamePad as a tablet device used by the in-game character. As Chase McCain you use the GamePad to answer calls, set way-points on a map and scan the area via motion control.

New Super Mario Bros. U - Off-screen play: A feature highlighted a great deal by Nintendo, as it advertises Wii U as the key entertainment for the living room TV and, when necessary, able to play remotely. Within the streaming range of the console, this Mario title like various others allows you to continue play solely on the GamePad's screen.

ZombiU - Real-time inventory management: A feature used in various titles, and a truly definitive part of Ubisoft's survival-horror title. Inventory management and maps are likely to be the go-to option for developers on the GamePad in many cases, and in this case it allowed an experience not possible without the Wii U's controller. Rather than pause the action when managing items, you have to deal with your inventory while the world continues as normal, all while your eyes are dragged away from the TV; you never know when a zombie will creep up on you.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Good-old motion controls - The motion controls on the GamePad have been used for "scanning" worlds in a number of titles, as mentioned in the LEGO City Undercover entry, but this Sonic racer showed that there's still life for motion control steering on Wii U — the recent patch for the game also improved this control option. Sumo Digital's game also used the screen for rear-view mirrors and following weapons; with Mario Kart for the system set to be playable at E3, we can expect to see plenty of GamePads being tilted on the show floor, even if analogue steering will also be an option.

Too complicated, or a natural progression from DS/3DS?

One ready and natural comparison to make with the GamePad is with the DS/3DS family of handhelds. It's in the portable space that Nintendo has popularised dual-screen play, and while the Wii U controller does have valid comparisons with tablet devices in its standalone capabilities, it's with the use of the extra screen to influence gameplay where the most impact is felt. It's a comparison that Shigeru Miyamoto made himself in a recent interview with CNN.

There was a period when we first released the Nintendo DS that people would say there's no way people can look at two screens at once.

I almost feel like, as people get more familiar with Wii U and these touchscreen interfaces, that there is going to come a point where they feel like 'I can't do everything I want to do if I don't have a second screen'.

In a sense that's a valid point, as besides the second stick and additional shoulder buttons, the setup should be largely familiar to those that enjoy playing a 3DS. We explained LEGO City Undercover to a keen handheld fan of the franchise by often saying "it's similar to playing a game on 3DS", and that player often lets the in-game camera do the work — ignoring the second stick. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is an example where Capcom literally took the touchscreen controls from the 3DS version and bolted them onto the Wii U GamePad, even with the original ratio. Moving a viewpoint with the gyroscope? That was done in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

Even with that said, there's no denying that the "one controller does everything" philosophy has its sticking points, as it can scare some away that would happily recreate a golf swing with a Wii Remote. That's why, alongside the reportedly high cost of the Wii U controller, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk's days are far from over, as they're borderline compulsory for most multiplayer experiences on the new system, and the preferred control method in some new releases such as Pikmin 3. The GamePad is less pick-up-and-play, and in most cases is a far more detailed controller.

So, a revolution like the Wii Remote, or an evolution?

This is where we want to know what you think. With a good variety of different experiences now available to play on Wii U, we've seen a lot of what it can do, where it enhances experiences and where, potentially, it makes things less intuitive. As the primary controller it's a major change from the humble Wii Remote, but the question remains whether, five years from now, we'll be talking about the GamePad as a controller that helped define a new generation of gaming. The Wii arguably achieved that, so let us know whether the Wii U and its hulking, do-it-all controller can do the same in the polls and comments below.

What's your favourite gameplay feature of the GamePad? (292 votes)

Off-TV play


Asynchronous multiplayer


I like the motion controls for "scanning" or steering


Use of the touchscreen for maps, inventories etc


"Conventional" inputs (two sticks, shoulder buttons)


Using the touchscreen for drawing, writing or swiping


I'm not sure if I can pick a favourite feature


Please login to vote in this poll.

What's your least favourite gameplay feature of the GamePad? (261 votes)

Off-TV play


Asynchronous multiplayer


I don't like motion controls for "scanning" or steering


Use of the touchscreen for maps, inventories etc


"Conventional" inputs (two sticks, shoulder buttons)


Using the touchscreen for drawing, writing or swiping


I'm not sure if I can pick a least favourite feature


Please login to vote in this poll.

Do you think the GamePad is a revolution or evolution for Nintendo gaming? (285 votes)

I think it's a revolution


I think it's an evolution of what we've seen before


It's too early to say


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (79)



SCAR said:

I think Wii remotes were an evolution, while GamePad is a revolution. Everything is still relevant. They just spread the focus, but everything is on the same level. You get a Gamepad with the console, and other options are available to use that are deemed important by the consumer.
Call of Duty or Sonic with motion controls? There's the Wii remote, w/ or w/o the nunchuck depending on the game.



Peach64 said:

I don't think we've seen a good use of the gamepad yet. Using it as a map or inventory isn't exactly creative or particularly useful.

The difference with the Wiimotes were that everyone saw it and immediately realised how awesome it could be. How many people saw it and pictured some kind of Star Wars light saber game? With the gamepad... there's no real obvious way for it to benefit in the same way, so for now, I think it's biggest positive is the off-screen play. I'm not saying Nintendo won't find that amazing use for it, but it's just not obvious to us regular folks like the Wiimotes were.



Sanqet said:

I know for myself I've still to make up my mind if I prefer a standard controller or the gamepad it'll depend on the games on the wii u in the next year



SCAR said:

I guess I should broaden the scope a little. Everyone can use motion controls with a remote that is mostly considered just as standard moving into a new generation. Pro controllers will still be there, but Wii remotes are still relevant and just as effective, especially when you've had Wii remotes and nunchucks since Wii launch.
I think Wii U is doing a great job of making the console super accessible no matter what game or other activities you want to do. There's no drawing app, etc. on there, but that doesn't mean it won't show up.



ThePirateCaptain said:

My shoulder buttons have never leaked

I think Nintendo is right in saying that people need to give the Wii U time. With the Wii you could see the potential right away with it's motion controls, but the Wii U is a bit more complex. I think we'll start to see some really creative stuff but it's going to take a while.



snax007 said:

The GamePad is a failed gimmick, the poor sales is proof that the consumers are simply not buying is it the same way as Wii's motion controls. Nintendo's only chance now is to attract core gamers with quality Nintendo IP titles, and not try to hype the GamePad or touch-screen features.



MrGawain said:

At the end of the day, the controller is what it is: It defines the console, just like the Wiimote did the Wii. I know some people have complained about how hard it is to play ports like Arkham with it, but I never experienced it on a 'normal' controller. I don't think you can say people would not want to play the console BECAUSE of the pad, but I bet there are a few that do because of it.

Saying that, I bet there are a few developers that are annoyed that they have to come up with something different and extra from the other 2 consoles.



19Robb92 said:

I love the GamePad, the potential is really big. I just hope we'll get to see its full potential at some point throughout its lifetime. Cause right now, it's pretty underused.

I hope some of the upcoming Nintendo titles show of how the GamePad can be used in a natural way.



Reala said:

My first reaction to seeing the wii u pad was disappointment, not sure what I envisioned for my next gaming console but touch screen definitely wasn't it, there aren't a lot of wii games that I played and thought I know what would make this better touch screen controls, I do like it for maps and menu's but not exactly anything to get excited about imo.



Sanqet said:

I think any console is judged on the games on the system not how powerful it is or what the controller is like



Nintenjoe64 said:

I love every feature but it makes me sad that we're unlikely to see a decent game with controls like Skyward Sword. I hope that Nintendo has a few games that have a gamepad campaign and a wiimote+ campaign so you can play simultaneously with a friend or just choose which way you want to play. I think Off TV play and some sort of ZombiU style game are great for the Wii U but I can't help but feel they were really on to something with the Wii's control set up and now they're going back on it somewhat.



Haywired said:

I never particularly liked the Wii remote/nunchuk as I found the motion controls to be mostly annoying and tacked on. I suppose in that sense I prefer the Wii U Gamepad as it will allow for more traditional control without so much miming and flailing, but it does seem to have the potential to be just as (or perhaps even more) gimmicky. I think some of its functionality is neat (like the three multi-only games in Nintendo Land), but I haven't really seen much so far that's made me think that its features are essential (it's mostly seemed contrived at worst, tenuous at best).

To be honest, I just prefer a simple old-skool controller without all the modern bells and whistles. I kind of feel like Nintendo focuses too much on wacky controllers these days. The controller is just a device to play the game. The game itself is the main event. I sometimes feel that these days Nintendo thinks the controller is the main event.



AaronB said:

Highly recommend this article
He says the GamePad makes possible things that have previously been done on PC but never on consoles; I think he has a point.

The GamePad's potential is huge; it's just a matter of getting software that takes advantage of it. I hope games like Metroid and Zelda do things that make everyone think the 2nd screen is the best revolution in gaming since the analog stick.



Reala said:

"Do you think the GamePad is a revolution or evolution for Nintendo gaming?" why no neither option? I don't think its too early to say so



VeeFlamesNL said:

A controller with NFC, a sub tv remote, 6inch touch screen, normal controls...
The thing has potential. I love it. And also loved that experience when I first held it it my hands.
Oh, and the Gamepad is NOT a failure.



SkywardLink98 said:

I'm sorry, but I hope it's not a revolution, or an evolution, because after 5 minutes of it at gamestop I was sick of it.



pikku said:

@VolcanoFlames pretty much my thoughs as well. I don't like whne it's used as an overhead map for games though. In theory, the overhead view for Sonic Racing Transformed would work and feel exactly like it does in Mario Kart DS/7, but it's so much harder to glance down at the GamePad and look back up at the screen in a split-second like you could on the DS. I really like off-tv play and local multiplayer with it though. I definitely think it has potential, developers just have to think about it a little differently than they did for the DS's second screen imo.



ChrisT99 said:

GamePad makes my hands cramp after awhile; Pro Controller is really, really comfortable though, more so than GCN controller in my opinion.



I-U said:

I definitely don't consider the gamepad a revolution nor do I consider it an evolution. It has yet to improve two screen gaming, DS will likely always remain the king, and it has yet to really deliver anything better than the Wii in terms of motion gaming. It's more so a product of revolution than a revolution itself, as it really hasn't taken off and is failing to capture the same magic as the DS and Wii.



ULTRA-64 said:

Would like the tvii feature to work in the uk......other than that it's the best of modern technology condensed into one controller and follows Nintendo's philosophy of family, sociable gaming in the living room.....I'm happy =) just need more games out for it!!!



gsnap said:

Evolution. It has everything modern controllers have and more, but doesn't do anything that is genuinely new.

It has no real negatives (unless you personally find it uncomfortable), but it is more like the next logical step for the modern controller, rather than a revolution.



WaxxyOne said:

When used effectively, every feature of the gamepad can serve as a fantastic addition to the game. Off-TV play is very nice when you need to share the screen or you just want to kick back and relax on the couch. Asynchronous multiplayer is incredibly fun when done right — Unfortunately the only game I've personally played so far where it's done right is Nintendo Land, but I'm hoping there will be more on the way. The motion controls for "scanning" and "steering" are my least favorite feature, but that's not to say horrible. Scanning the environment with the pad can serve as a way to naturally bring the player deeper into the game setting. That said, this is the feature most often abused or handled poorly, which is not so much the fault of the controller as the developers utilizing it. Drawing on or using the gamepad as a touchscreen is very natural and feels great, again only when done right. If the game mainly uses the "standard" button controls but with some funky ability that requires use of the touch-screen, it's usually a gimick that could be done just as effectively without the screen's involvment.

In light of this, I don't see a large difference between the motion controls of the Wii versus the gamepad in terms of whether the features Nintendo has provided are "good" or "bad." When used effectively, the Wiimote+Nunchuk controls could put to shame so-called "standard" control styles handily. When used poorly, you get the feeling you've been sucked into a gimicky game that's not doing Nintendo's console any favors.

I will say that Nintendo made the smarter move this time around in building in controls that mirror other console's input methods so that the developers can more easily decide to use them instead of having to force an alternate control method on the player. Last time Nintendo provided the Classic Controller as an alternative but because it was an add-on device it was ignored far too often.



idork99 said:

3DS(XL/LL) - Miiverse + TV on = Wii U

I've said it many times, playing games on the Wii U is like playing a DS/3DS with modern graphics (minus the 3D). This is my reason for not making the purchase yet. Besides having some third party titles such as CoD, Batman, AC3, Zombie U, etc. that I've yet to play, the system itself has nothing to offer me in regards to new gaming experiences. Motion controls, Wii. Dual screens, DS. Modern graphics, 360/PS3/PC. Off TV play, Vita/3DS with TV on. You get the point. And besides, there are a number of great titles on the 3DS, more so than the Wii U at the moment.

So, although it may be a revolution for some, it's an evolution for others such as myself that have been following the Big N over the years. I'm not denying that it's a great system because it is. But with the gluttony of games nowadays on various platforms, it's hard for Nintendo to reach out to consumers to show the system's true value and potential.



Ren said:

I'd like to think it could just use some more time but if it was a system to ramp up to like the DS/3DS there really needed to be more powerful specs from the get-go. The Wii came out swinging because of that controller and some fantastic games. Zelda:TP was enough for me to get the Wii all by itself.
I like the idea of inventory/ maps screens but it doesn't set it apart from regular in game features, and often going to another screen to choose items is a welcome pause to think in a game. Game and Wario has some cool uses of the Pad but, again, it looked pretty basic and still isn't out yet, that should have a been out at launch to showcase more creative use of the gamepad.
Frankly I still love the simplicity and function of the Wii Remote alone. I'm a long time gamer but to be freed up especially splitting the hands apart felt really nice. The Gamepad is basically what the Dreamcast controller might have been in a perfect world but it's still not really necessary. I don't think we really needed more than a really hi-spec HD Wii with the same controls, and streamlined services. I would still pay money for that now. If they had done that those ports would all flood to the WiiU, but no one wants to design for that screen AND it's not up to spec with the next machines, it's a very dangerous gamble. The Wii remote was both less and more in it's simplicity while adding great motion control and buttons with the nunchuk, it has not been outdone even by a stretch. I'll come back to WiiU when there is a WiiU2 and I've seen what the other machines can do this winter. (or a hefty price drop). 3DS will get all my money otherwise.



DreamOn said:

The gamepad sold me to make it the first console I've bought on launch. Off-TV is the reason I turn it on as much as I do compared to previous consoles I've owned.



FluttershyGuy said:

I love the GamePad, and the possibilities it presents!

Here's the problem, and it's the same problem Nintendo's had with past innovations: Third-parties really don't want to deal with it. I think it's one reason third-parties constantly skip Nintendo systems. When Nintendo has something special like the GamePad, the Wiimote, etc., third-parties feel forced to somehow utilize it in their game. They actually have to use their brains to figure out something new to add, which wouldn't be present on other systems. So, they'd rather just program a regular old game requiring nothing extra, for Sony and Microsoft.

It becomes a situation where about the only games utilizing special Nintendo technology are first-party games. Then, people feel like it was a needless "gimmick", because it's rarely used. So, sadly, it could be said that Nintendo shoots itself in the foot by innovating! That doesn't, however, mean I want them to stop innovating.



Haywired said:

I partly agree, but the DS had excellent third-party support (and had third-party games that made just as good, if not better use of its unique features than Nintendo's).

The poor third-party support for the Wii was probably more down to the lack of power and the largely casual install base compared to the other consoles. Companies will go wherever the money is at any given time (which also applies to Nintendo's sudden post-GameCube quest for "innovation").



Giygas_95 said:

I voted off-TV play as my favorite feature, maps as my least favorite feature (rather have off-TV than a map), and an evolution rather than a revolution. I think in theory the Wii U is a lot like a home console version of the DS so that's why I chose an evolution.

I love the gamepad though. It's shaped great and feels perfect in my hands, and it's much lighter than I ever imagined it would be.



rjejr said:

Its an evolution for gaming in general - Sony will follow suit w/ the PS4 and Vita, MS w/ 720 and Surface- BUT it may be a detriment to Nintendo as the casuals who just want to play Wii Sports and Just Dance dont upgrade, and the system probably wont win over a lot of Sony and MS fans either. The days of PS3Wii and Xbox360Wii are over as people cant afford 2 new systems along with their smartphone or tablet, so WiiU is odd man out. Not saying it will only sell 22 million like the Gamecube, but it will only do half of this gen or next.



gameboy1975 said:

Funny thing is, there is nothing sudden about Nintendo & their innovation. It's what they have ALWAYS done. That is why there were things like the powereglove, the virtual boy, gameboy connectivity & tons of other ideas; successful or not. So I don't get where you even try to insinuate that it is sudden dude. That's just been what they've done. Sudden as you put it would be kinect & move.



Dyltheman said:

i like nintendos new tactic. and it looks like we'll be able to use a 3ds as a wii u controller eventually, lolz. just need some more games for the system now.
@Ren it isnt under- powered (not as much as the wii was anyways) ubisoft said while making watch dogs the system is closer in architure to the ps4



Haywired said:

I assume that was directed at me. Absolutely, Nintendo has been innovative, for sure, but not particularly more than any other company (until after the commercial failure of the GameCube, when they started basing their consoles on a specific gimmick/innovation). All video game companies have made kooky peripherals like the ones you listed (such as the Power Glove, which was actually made by Mattel, not Nintendo). Or Sony, who made the motion-controlled EyeToy before the Wii (I'm assuming you're saying that Kinect is a copy of the Wii, then surely for you the Wii is a copy of the EyeToy right, as it's the same difference?) It even had motion-controlled fitness games: though I'm sure you'll tell me that that's a genre Nintendo innovated with Wii Fit five years later?

Nintendo did have a sudden change of attitude towards innovation after the GameCube. Hence why Nintendo fans barely uttered the word "innovation" before 2004... Nintendo were very high on their innovation selling the DS like hotcakes, but I don't remember them mentioning innovation quite so much when they were happily selling GBAs like hotcakes with ports of old SNES games. We can use just as many examples of Nintendo being uninnovative: New Super Mario Bros. series, Mario Kart series, Pokémon series, I imagine the new Animal Crossing is incredibly similar to the previous ones, etc. (not that I'm complaining, I absolutely love those games, but I'm not the one on the innovation high horse).



tloc365 said:

Until people actually own the wii u, they wont truly appreciate what an amazing controller the gamepad is.
I am typing this right now in bed, then i will check miiverse and maybe play a game of blops2 or nfs before i go to sleep.
In the morning i will bring gamepad downstairs turn on tv with it, play on tv if free, if not off tv. This thing is amazing.
Also off tv play for people in busy houses is the greatest evolution in gaming, well since gaming was invented.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Woah, this must be one of the most thoroughly written articles i've ever seen here.

Anyway, i'm really surprised how alive the GamePad seems to be on its own. I know it just streams from the console, but it's nearly like its own little handheld.

I only really played Nintendo Land and the ZombiU demo with it so far. I don't plan to use it in Chasing Aurora's single-player (not much use except for off-screen play), am playing Little Inferno with the Wiimote since it's more relaxing that way. The same can be said for the Wiimote and Nunchuk option in "Sonic Allstars". So i'm very glad that option's still there and wouldn't mind games that go for Motion+ and Nunchuk controls and completely ignore the GamePad (especially shooters). Don't put it in where it doesn't make sense, it's as easy as that really.

There were a few things not so intuitive in the ZombiU demo like using the scanner when i just wanted to aim. And for a while i always tried to look around with the gyro after using the scanner. If i was just a casual player i guess i'd have given up shortly after that. (And that's what gaming has to overcome, unintuitive controls should not be the reason for people to lose interest in a game.)

The co-op and single-player games in Nintendo Land are pure controlling and showcasing genius though. I wish more games would be designed that way. Imo they're just intuitive enough while providing for a nice amount of depth that challenges but doesn't really frustrate too much.
Of course it's harder to know what to do than it was in Wii Sports, but that game (while nice) was too shallow for me. Gaming lives off gameplay highlights and these weren't really found in Wii Sports imo. The game got harder the longer you played but it didn't really get too different.
Which brings me to Zelda Battle Quest. That's by far the most impressive demonstration of how co-op can profit from the GamePad. (Metroid Blast is good too, but not as effective as the Zelda game imo.) The different roles you have to play to succeed really make you feel special instead of just player one ,player two and so on. That's something that couldn't been done this well before i think.
A dream come true would be a clever co-op game with a hacker on the GamePad and a shooter on Wiimote + Nunchuk (and vice versa while the shooter's on the back of pickup that the hacker drives). That would be an experience i wouldn't wanna miss.
The Wiimote was and is genius in its versatility, i love holding it as a NES controller, using it on its own, in the Zapper or together with the Nunchuk.

All in all i hope the touch-screen controls of the GamePad will make complex games comfier to play. Dedicated buttons might be important for the most frequent actions in games, but the rest is easier to do and understand as a GamePad command imo.

/end rant



aaronsullivan said:

Yeah, Zelda Battle Quest is fantastic. The poll kind of doesn't include AIMING and looking which is what you do in that game for archery so the poll item suggests "Scanning" which is not quite the same and sounds boring and steering which I've never used it for. Anyway, that and asynchronous play and even synchronous but second screen play (like Sonic or COD) is a huge leg up over the competition. You just can't do that with the second screen stuff that PS4 and Microsoft will offer at the same latency as the Wii U. It will remain an advantage.

It's very easy to scan the comments and know who has given Nintendo Land a real try with multiple people and know who hasn't. So frustrating that people basically have to play it for awhile with a group to understand how great it really is.

Can't wait until the big games start arriving.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I should add that after a few weeks with my Wii U it truly wouldn't be the same without the GamePad. It really gives the system some special feeling.
I hope many games will use it in good and clever ways so that my great first experiences don't get overshadowed by thoughts of so much wasted potential in the next months and years. (I'm not so naive to think multiplatform games will make the best use of the GamePad though. That'll probably only happen when the devs tailor-make the game for Wii U.)

PS: I also applaud Nintendo Land's take on Pikmin, the co-op aspects are great. I just don't enjoy the neverending tapping very much.

PPS: So many people said the Wii was too casual. Seems to me that now just as many say Nintendo Land is too complicated. I don't think it is. If you just let yourself in for it you might enjoy it a lot more than you thought you wold.
For a better price and with the right marketing i could see the GamePad appeal to nearly everyone out there who likes to play with others. Hopefully there soon'll be a wider range of exceptional single-player experiences too.



Schprocket said:

@JSuede You are my friend
What Nintendo needs to encourage both internally and externally - before the other two next gen's rock up - is take a look at what PC gaming genres haven't been successfully translated to consoles because of the whole "mouse & keyboard only" stigma.

For as much as people want to see the same old Nintendo family favourites or the standard multi-platform fare, such as John Madden's Call of Battfield: Ninja Cabaret HD, I believe that an RTS experience on the Wii U is just one of those "PC only" mind-set genres which can only be better than previous attempts I've played on the PS3 (Red Alert 3, EndWar, R.U.S.E (demo)).
Even sims like Sim City or Civilisation could better utilise the Gamepad and would showcase the Wii U's almost-superior* controller flexibility as a console.

It's bringing traditional games to a non-traditional platform which won't translate as well on competing consoles that is needed in the Wii U's catalogue "arsenal"; something to make gamers who are only semi-interested in playing the multi-platform or first-party titles on consoles give the Wii U a second look.
After all, with the proliferation of touch-screen devices such as phones and tablets "in the wild", it's not like the Gampad would be unfamiliar territory, is it?

*I say almost because to not include at least a couple of analogue shoulder buttons leaves the Gamepad just a tad short of being a great controller, IMO.

[Edit] It's now one hour after my original post. I just got back to the PC and read @JSuede's link and realised what I've attempted to say is said in detail in that article - so I'm posting that link again in case anyone else skipped it in @JSuede's post



WaveGhoul said:

The Wii remote was most definitly a revolution(Pointer + 1:1 + tilt controls when done right are outstanding) and it's what the industry needed...Hell, It's what I needed including the DS(lite). The majority of videogames for me were becoming pretty darn stale during the Cube/PS2/XBOX era(I feel the exact same with the PS3 and XBOX 360) and it's where I jumped ship. Thanks to the Innovative Wii and DS, I was once again hooked on gaming. The Wii has been pure gaming bliss for me, i was at a point where i even favored it over the SNES. I'm either full on retro or modern gaming with motion controls(Elebits, Metroid Prime 3, RE4: Wii Edition, Zack & Wiki, Zelda SS, Wario Land Shake it! ect ect)

I'm burnt out and bored over the majority of traditionally controlled '3D' videogames. I had the Saturn, PS1, N64, Dreamcast & gamecube and dabbled into other 3D specific platforms and i'm just not a big fan of it anymore. I typically need a gimmick attatched for me to become interested. The stereocopic 3D on the 3DS has me playing games i normally wouldn't be playing if they were just 2D. Cough* PilotWings Resort.

As for the Wii U gamepad? It seems a bit half baked and underwhelming. Not the next gen leap in innovation i was expecting. But it's god compared to the PS4 controller.



GraveLordXD said:

@snax007 how is the game pad a failed gimmick? Its hasn't even been used to its full potential if at all.
I speak for myself when I say this but I love the game pad and the potential it has, the fact that i can play bo2 with me and my friend online setting next to each other not having to share a screen its pretty nice to me and as far as I know hasn't been done before and lets not forget the possibility of rts and tbs games that can be done with the game pad that have always been for mostly pc games only ,so gimmick I personally don't think so, awesome I think yes
The only reason the system isn't selling as well as it should is because it has absolutely no system sellers that's it



ajcismo said:

I'm enjoying the Gamepad much more than the Wiimotes. Mostly because the gp doesn't make me flail my arms around like an idiot.



MAB said:

I liked the Wiimote/nunchuck but these days the gamepad is the control of choice I pickup when I get home from work. It has replaced my laptop for web browsing/movie streaming duties and for games like Monster Hunter the added ability to customise what goes on the screen should be a mandatory feature that all developers should implement into their titles

Maybe they should have added a purple share button to get the Sonyheads screaming omg, omg, omg evolution/revolution.



MitchVogel said:

I'd say it's an evolution to the industry as a whole, but a revolution to the home console industry. The DS was the true revolution because it changed the whole indutry and the handheld. Wii U does not turn as many heads because 2 screens has been done before, however, it has not yet been done for home consoles. To further back up that it's an evolution, not a revolution, is because it progressed the 2 screen concept in the sense that the 2 screens are completely independent now. With the DS, it was basically one screen that had 2 halves doing different things. The Wii U now allows the second screen to not only display something different, but to do things like "scanning" and other motion control related things that have yet to be touched upon.



Mahe said:

The Gamepad is a devolution. Not anywhere near as useful and comfortable as the Wiimote. Dump the Gamepad and focus back on the Wiimote.



Mahe said:

@Digital-Deviant Motion controls are bad for the Gamepad. It just doesn't work the way it's being used. The Wiimote was and is the superior motion controller.



VeeFlamesNL said:

@I-U Yes I agree, but I know that the Gamepad has given us gameplay not seen on the DS. Take these games in NintendoLand for example: Takamaru's Ninja Castle, F-Zero Twister Race, Metroid Blast etc. This cannot be replicated by the DS. But anyway, DS has truly given off innovative gameplay



VeeFlamesNL said:

@I-U Yes I agree, but I know that the Gamepad has given us gameplay not seen on the DS. Take these games in NintendoLand for example: Takamaru's Ninja Castle, F-Zero Twister Race, Metroid Blast etc. This cannot be replicated by the DS. But anyway, DS has truly given off innovative gameplay



gameboy1975 said:

Not even close homey. You can say all that you want about what you believe the entirety of Nintendo's fans uttered, but like most would acknowledge they've always innovated well before the gamecube. They've always marched to their own beat whether it was popular, a success or not. And that's why when you try to say that it was sudden I'll say that it wasn't.

You try & make a point about they weren't touting innovation when gameboys were selling, so why not just keep it gameboy & keep selling? After all the gameboy was still selling. And they could've perhaps continued selling snes ports, but wanted to do something different. THEY pretty much killed it off. There was no need for them to do what they did except for them wanting to do it. Plain & simple.Doesn't explain why they went out & made the virtual boy either when they were undoubtedly doing pretty damn well back then. For all we know 3D gaming was on their horizon before you had a clue. Guess that was all in response to the gamecube's "failure" as well.

And as far as the whole eyetoy quip that you made, it's a big difference when you just make an item to use on a system & you make a whole system dedicated to an idea that you envision. And when that vision influences a generation & beyond, the difference is even more pronounced. Also, nobody ever said Nintendo does it all or that nobody else did anything, but please dude. Do we really need to list how many times they've come up with (or expanded/improved upon) an idea & then the others have the same epiphany?

And your "point" concerning no innovation in the game series that you mentioned, I think that's more of a question of originality, but I hear ya. And then again, some of that can even be debated, but at this point I am feeling nice & don't really care.



WaveGhoul said:

I agree. Acually, i can't think of many things that the gamepad can replicate as far as gyro/pointer controls go....Maybe a shield or a sushi table? The Wii remote can mimick a sword, flashlight, gun, baseball bat, hammer, hell a corn dog ect ect. It's far more versitle in that sense, where as the GP is severely limmited. but it's streangths lie in the screen itself....If the Wii U didn't support the Wii remote/plus + nunchuck as an alternate control scheme for certain titles i'd cry myself a river of shy guys.



MAB said:

Yeah the Wiimote did revolutionize the casual party game genre but nobody apart from Ninty really wanted to use it properly



Schprocket said:

Just a follow-up of the earlier post and one I hope NL will pick up:

Battle Worlds: Kronos is a turn-based strategy game and whilst it's not immediately destined for the Wii U under the kick-starter, the developers, KING Art Games, are not averse to the idea of a Wii U port - I'm sure the Gamepad (and Nintendo's improved indie-friendly manner) would have played some part in the consideration.



Moshugan said:

Off-TV play is just plain useful!
Especially for VC games and browsing. It's a great feature in a small apartment. I use Youtube regularly on the GamePad.



Haywired said:

Well, I'm not sure if I can accept "not even close" from someone who thinks Nintendo made the Power Glove, but then you'll probably also tell me that Nintendo invented the wheel and sliced bread! I'm only kidding dude. Look, we seem to be coming to the conclusion that Nintendo has been innovative and other companies have also been innovative (which was my point), but you seem to be trying to suggest that somehow Nintendo's innovations are more innovative than others' using rather tenuous reasons.

For example, you seem to be dismissing the innovative-ness of the PS2 EyeToy because it was just a peripheral (which is a strange change of tune as your original list of why Nintendo is the most innovative was mostly peripherals... The first of which, as we've established, Nintendo didn't even make...) whereas the Wii was a whole console. Well, I'm sure I can come up with an equally flimsy reason. Err... let's see... The EyeToy was more innovative because it came out first and Sony were riding high and crushing the competition, so they had absolutely no need to do anything innovative, but they did anyway. Whereas Nintendo's was born out of desperation at the time and if the GC had been as successful as they'd hoped, there's no way their next console would have been anywhere near as innovative. There, I don't entirely believe that, but I'm just trying to show we can all clutch at straws.

I also can't see how we can deny that there was a marked and sudden shift in Nintendo's attitude towards innovation post-GameCube. Their previous console progression NES > SNES > N64 > GC was the traditional console progression with each new console being a next-gen graphical powerhouse (because yes, Nintendo has focused on graphics and power just as much as anyone else, but let's not shatter too many illusions at once here...) and also each new Nintendo console was released as a direct response to a competitor who made the first move (innovated perhaps...? No of course not! Only Nintendo can!) despite Nintendo supposedly "marching to the beat of their own drum". Then there was a clear change in their console/innovation strategy with GC > Wii > Wii U.

Anyway, Nintendo isn't an exclusively innovative company, and it's somewhat unfair that other companies' (like Atari, SEGA, Sony, etc.) innovations are conveniently ignored and wiped from history by the more smug and sanctimonious section of the Nintendo community who have deluded themselves into believing that Nintendo did everything first. And this all without even mentioning the fact that innovation in video games doesn't just come through wacky controllers. If being innovative (like Wii Sports, etc) makes Nintendo money then that's what they'll do, if being uninnovative (like New Super Mario Bros. etc.) makes them money then that's what they'll do. Just like anyone else.



WaveGhoul said:

Capcom did it right with Zack & Wiki and RE4: Wii Edition's motion controls. And don't forget Silent Hill: SS. Rayman raving Rabbids, Monkey Ball, LostWinds, World of Goo! ect ect are a few other decent 3rd party examples, but're right. The Big N basically layed down the law and showed us how motion controls were ment to be done.

While a large chunk of the the 3rd party pie dissapointed. I fear this will be the case with the Wii U, be eh..what do i care, 85% of modern videogames that i do play are in fact Nintendo. The other 10% being Capcom and 5% being pure randomness. And it's too bad Konami has completely sold out their franchises to Western devs....Silent Hill and Castlevania have completely gone down the toobular tubes, while good old Contra seems to be on an endless vacation. Bill Rizer's seriously been slackin!



Haywired said:

"The Wii remote can mimick a sword, flashlight, gun, baseball bat, hammer, hell a corn dog ect ect. It's far more versitle in that sense, where as the GP is severely limmited."

I suppose, but in a way that list is actually pretty limited itself because really it can be condensed into one thing: "objects you can hold in your hand". If we believe that video game controls have to be a 100% literal interpretation of the actions on screen (so video game controls basically become glorified charades), then fair enough. But surely the beauty of video game controls is that they've always been more free and abstract than that. So in that sense the Gamepad is surely more versatile because it's a completely blank canvas to do anything you want regardless of realism. As long as you have an imagination you can do anything with the Gamepad because it's not desperately trying to mimic real-life objects. Pressing A to jump in Mario isn't realistic at all, but it works beautifully (jumping up in your seat each time would be more realistic, but it would also suck). Wii Tennis may be more realistic than Mario Tennis, but I had much more fun with Mario Tennis despite the lack of "realistic" miming and flailing.



TheAdza said:

I love the Gamepad. If there were a few things I would change with it it would be to have analogue buttons and triggers, and possibly some trigger placement, and a multi touch screen. But I accept the way it is other wise the cost of it would be unfathomable. Ever since the VMU on the Dreamcast controllers, I knew there was something special about having a 2nd screen. Then the DS came along and proved it was awesome. Now if only the Wii U would catch on.

I don't own a tablet, so instead of going to my laptop, or using my smartphone to onto websites, I find myself using the Gamepad a lot. It is excellent for browsing. It's fast and clear and just generally awesome. But when in that browsing mode, it is instinct to want to use pinch to zoom for pictures. I can get by without it, but I can see how it could be dismissed by the general public. That, combined with the low portability, short battery life, all compounds to make it seem less attractive than a stand alone tablet, but that's not where the Gamepad really sits. It's somewhere between the gaming, TV watching and Internet browsing crowd. Feeling connected to these things as opposed to just using device A and device B at once.

I hope it finds its audience. I love it.



FullbringIchigo said:

"all of the expected button inputs from the Wii Classic Controller, Xbox 360 or PS3 equivalents are there"

and yet developers are still using the controller as an excuse to not bring their games to the WiiU, which i think is total bull****, they are just waiting to see what the next PlayStation and xbox have to offer before they commit to the WiiU but wont admit it

also they have the Pro Controller too so this excuse has no ground what so ever

on topic i think the WiiU gamepad is a great controller it easy to use and hold despite it's size but i will say this, the battery life of the gamepad is crap you only get a few hours before you have to charge the d**n thing, nintendo need to bring out a better battery for it



BestBuck15 said:

The failing of the Gamecube (which was one of Nintendo's best consoles) and the success of the Wii were major factors in the birth of Wii U. Nintendo are desperate to repeat the success they had with the Wii but it won't happen with Wii U. The Wii was a revolutionary way to play games and hats of to them but because of its success the company has lost its focus. Its like we have to have a gadget with every console and lets forget about what really made us the greatest games company of all time 'the games'. The Wii U is not a revolution or evolution it is something I think most gamers don't want. I'll tell you what I want an evolution of the Gamecube controller and some proper Nintendo games.



zool said:

It is interesting reading the multi format website reviews of Wii u games that have previously been released on playstation or xbox. The comments in general are that the Wii u controlled does not really add anything that would increase the score of add to the games play.



kyuubikid213 said:

I'm certain it is an evolution. No one has been "copying" this yet like they mimicked the Wii's motion control.

I love everything about the Wii U...just give me more games to enjoy, Nintendo. That's all.



Sun said:

I don't like a lot of things about Wii U: instability, lack of power... But I particularly like the Wii U GamePad. It's a shame some games look blurry on it and the sreen looks so whitish but the screen is quite big, the speakers are alright. The pad itself is big and comfortable in my big hands and I love the fact that it relies mostly on the buttons. I am also happy the designers added the big analogue sticks and the big grip area on the back at the last minute. It would slip otherwise and the circle pad is not so comfortable after a while (I own a 3DS XL).

And forgive me for not being a fanboy doing lip service all the time. I said on my presentation that I am honest and I am not changing.



e6666 said:

Well i'm in the majority in the first two (maps/inventories [oops just saw that most people voted for off tv play, which is what I figured people would say, but the maps thing is even better in my opinion) and can't specify least favorite feature) but I voted "revolution" because I had the same "wow" experience I had with the Wii with Zombi U and Arkahm City. I can't even imagine how I could play Arkham City on another console without the map and gadgets on the go like that, and I did play Arkham Asylum. Amazing.



hYdeks said:

The gamepad is taking something very old and making it relevant again, PlayStation 4 should have really followed suite on the whole gamepad thing, not some weird laptop touch thingy Maybe Xbox will be smarter?



MarkyVigoroth said:

To be frank, I think that the Nintendo Café pad is a capitulation to the ever-whiny 'hardcore' crowd... even though the screen is resistive instead of capacitive.

/prefers the codenames/



Ultrasyd said:

With all the games I played on Wii U so far, only a few ones made good and interesting use of the Game Pad : Zelda Battle Quest, Donkey Kong Crash Course in Nintendo Land for example ... But most of time, you have to switch between TV and Game Pad for uselesss things in Nintendoland.
I'm totally in love whith Lego City Undercover. TT did a pretty good job. It's convenient, funny, interesting. It was fine in Zombie U too but I didn't like that game. Ahh and in Mass Effect 3 I thought it was cool to have a permanent map, but that wasn't much. Really looking forward to more games like Lego City. As the devs said, I think it wouldn't be the same at all on other consoles.



WWammy said:

This controller has been done many times before and promised with GBA and NDS connectivity to the Gamecube and Wii respectively however few games utilised that. GBA faired better in this respect had some titles at least that utilised the connectivity with the link cable the NDS I can't think of any that really used it and I was expecting to download demos from Wii to NDS but the selection was lack lustre. The Wii U is an evolution of that idea and personally I think it's a great concept I also like the traditional control scheme to be available and have no problem with the touch screen being point to point as opposed to multitouch although it would have been better...
The main point is the two screens now 3DS to Wii U games would make sense and contain the same functionality we have enjoyed on the NDS



EdwardCORE said:

I absolutely hate the Gamepad as a main controller. As a add-on for a game that uses a map or a second screen like the 3DS for the upcoming RE Revelations I might find it ok, but I'd still like having the Pro controller anytime over the Gamepad. The Gamepad wasn't the drawing point on the Wii U for me, I bought the Wii u because it is a Nintendo system. I'd wish Nintendo could make the Wii u fully operational with any controller we had, and not only the Gamepad. The real revolution for me would be having a "normal" videogame from Nintendo, a thing I seriously miss since the GameCube.



xinoeph said:

I think that if the gamepad had analog triggers, and had a capacitive touchscreen that works with styli (like I've seen some samsung devices use) it would be the best controller ever made, oh and a higher quality screen . Its got every method of control you need for a game built in and its not anywhere near as weighty as i thought it would be im not saying the wii U itself is anything special but its controller is very near perfect imo



Dpullam said:

I really don't think that at this point in time, the Wii U gamepad is an evolution of the idea that the Nintendo DS brought about in the first place. They both have the same basic idea with different principles. I am certainly a fan of the idea of off-screen play and also being able to play multiplayer with friends without using the same screen. I hope that in the future Nintendo and other video game developers bring the system up to its full potential so that consumers can see how the gamepad can add to the overall experience. As for right now, I am just glad they went back to traditional controls.



Tender_Cutlet said:

Wiimotes were a revolution - against the grain, highly controversial and not without flaws. The Wii U controller is an evolution of what we already know, love and expect of Nintendo gaming - from the generic button configuration to the now all familiar touch screens.



EdwardCORE said:

And this poll is not done right. Every option is favorable in some degree to the use of the Gamepad, when it should at least include one negative option to note some problem or non-preference for the Gamepad. I, for instance, haven't voted because none of the options reflects my thoughts about the Gamepad. In the end, it will give the same answer to Nintendo: that they made an incredible Gamepad and it will only take some time for everybody to get used to it. That couldn't be so far from the truth. The Gamepad is gimmick and is totally useless from the perspective of a core game player. I love the Wii U despite its flaws, but when I bought it I thought it would be my choice playing with the Gamepad or not, and its not like that. To configure the system, to enter the shop, for the most basic actions on the Wii U we have to use the Gamepad. The Gamepad is only useful when playing with friends or off-TV. If I'm using the TV, I want the pro controller to be the only controller I need to use from the time I turn it on till I turn it off. This is Nintendo biggest mistake and this is why many gamers can't see the Wii U as a core system. I'm a loyal fan of Nintendo, but others won't take anything Nintendo goes for. And I thought that when they showed the Pro Controller they've learned their lesson, but apparently not.



EdwardCORE said:

@WWammy I can see that happening, and the best game to prove a point would be a re-release of Four Swords with online multiplayer. But I'd rather like a smaller Gamepad than that uncomfortable gigantic device. It's too big to the point of being goofy. I'd have embraced it way better if its use wasn't mandatory within the system. But I see that Nintendo wanted to tackle some DS/3DS functionality into the Wii U, although Nintendo is also famous for not taking any of this functions much further. I'm afraid we end up playing with a 10" TV monitor for a controller because Nintendo finally realized it is not everything they hoped for. It happened before and it can happen again. That's because I think we desperately need a system update that enables full control of the Wii U with whatever controller we are using, the Remote, the Pro or the Gamepad.



ninja89 said:

I think once a developer actually does something innovative with the gamepad, something that no one would of thought of before, you're going to see more people on the bandwagon. Right now I'm all in because of the potential. I haven't really seen anything that blows my mind, but after years of playing PS and Xbox, I'm getting to a point where I have evolved from mainstream school of thought when it comes to games.
It's been mostly really boring playing recent so-called blockbuster games like Halo, now of days the line between movies and games is too thin for my taste. It's almost as if the games are playing themselves. You do a mission, big cinematic. You do the next mission, then another big cinematic. Rinse and repeat. Hell, I just saw the MG5 trailer and literally thought it was a CGI movie that would be released in theaters (your basic PS/XBOX fanboy would probably see that as compliment lol). However, I've come to really appreciate Nintendo as they're not budging from keeping games and GAMEPLAY fun. I literally think the Wii is their greatest console, and this is coming from a guy who loved the GameCube. I sincerely hope that Wii U games will start getting better and more praise because I think Nintendo is keeping things fresh with their fun controllers.



MadAdam81 said:

I love the gamepad - I wish Wii U added more tablet like apps, such as e-book readers (or just had flash for the internet browser).
Also, I would love to be able to play DS games on the Wii U. Either a DS U in the same vein as Super Gameboy or just via eShop.



DarkKirby said:

I am still upset at how Nintendo says the 3DS, which is in 3D, doesn't need a 2nd Circle Pad, but apparently the Wii U does.



Yoshis_VGM said:

I think the GamePad will revolutionize the home console gaming market - it can be used in SO many ways and SOOO many original games can be created that take advantage of the second screen.

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