When Nintendo released the Wii U last year it focused the majority of its messaging on what the all-new GamePad could bring to gaming. Of course, there's off-TV play but one of the biggest selling points is asymmetric gameplay, which allows one player to use the GamePad while others use Wii Remotes during the same game with the tablet holder seeing things from a different perspective.
Nintendo Land was the big game that was released alongside Wii U to show off all the asymmetric features, for example there was Luigi's Ghost Mansion that saw the GamePad holder take on the role of the ghost who would only be visible on the tablet screen. However, the game didn't appear to have the same impact Wii Sports had when it released with the Wii all those years ago.
In an analyst briefing at this years E3, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata acknowledged this and said consumers who have played Nintendo Land were most likely struggling to find the words to describe it, which is a bit of a problem when trying to build up some useful sales from word-of-mouth.
We have received a lot of comments from consumers that the gameplay in “Nintendo Land” is interesting. However, we presume that they have not yet come up with the best words to easily explain how interesting it is to other people.
I would say that Nintendo Land has not fulfilled the same role as Wii Sports did when we bundled it with Wii.
Of course, we won’t remain silent and do nothing. We are going to release a variety of Wii U software, and with each title, we would like to show how convenient and delightful it is to have the Wii U GamePad controller, and how it changes the gaming experience.
Iwata went on to say Nintendo would need to find a "different expression" to describe the Wii U experience as asymmetric gameplay isn't really cutting it:
In addition, we have also learned that the name "asymmetric gameplay" does not fully explain the GamePad’s value to consumers. As for the software going to be released from now on, we would like to describe the experience that the GamePad provides with a different expression in order to adequately convey its necessity to consumers and increase the number of consumers that think, "Indeed it is good to have a GamePad." In this sense, starting with Pikmin 3, we aim to include functions that make good use of the GamePad that consumers can appreciate.
It appears Nintendo is still coming up with new and innovative ways to use the GamePad, but is still searching for a popular buzzword for consumers to grasp onto when describing it.
What are your thoughts? How would you best describe the GamePad's gameplay elements to someone? Let us know in the comment section below.