News Article

E3 2014: Reggie Fils-Aime Reaffirms Nintendo's Commitment to the GamePad

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We believe that the GamePad is an integral part of Wii U"

A vital part of Nintendo's messaging at E3, so far, is that the GamePad is to become increasingly integral to the Wii U in the coming months and years. Shigeru Miyamoto has been focused on it exclusively, with Splatoon also being given a lot of time on the Treehouse broadcast.

Speaking to IGN, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime was asked whether the company would contemplate dropping the controller, in a similar manner to Microsoft offering a Kinect-free Xbox One.

For us, that is not part of our vision. We believe that the GamePad is an integral part of Wii U.

During this week, we're going to be showcasing other ways for utilizing the GamePad, and this has been a priority for Mr. Miyamoto. He, himself, has dedicated a lot of his personal energy to showing what can be done with the GamePad to really bring it to life.

We're committed to it. We believe that it is a key innovation that, otherwise, all you're doing is making prettier pictures and using faster processors, and not bringing a lot of uniqueness in terms of gameplay.

There's little denying that Nintendo's showing so far has offered a distinctive alternative to those of Sony and Microsoft — as per Fils-Aime's reference to "making prettier pictures and using faster processors" — and the GamePad has been near the centre of the stage.

The GamePad is definitively going nowhere, so let us know what you think about these comments from Fils-Aime.


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User Comments (88)



XCWarrior said:

Good. It SHOULDN'T go anywhere.

Microsoft, by making Kinect optional, basically admitted they made pointless hardware and throw it in bundled with the system for no good reason. They also couldn't think of good ways to use the device.

The gamepad is awesome, especially if you have a signifiant other who wants to watch TV. But I am looking forward to seeing gameplay features with it. It's 2 screens, just like DS, so it's very doable.



fluggy said:

Why does the gamepad get such a bad rap? .... Its comfortable and works. Yes, the uses so far haven't been great... ZombiU was the best use and a very enjoyable game. Given that Mario Kart 8 doesn't even have separate screens for local multiplayer (like in Black Ops 2) ... I'm guessing the Wii U isn't powerful enough to pump out 2 screens of MK8 at once which is disappointing. The WiFi distance is also appalling. Apart from that its great.



micronean said:

Perhaps the problem is that the gamepad is being forced to fit into the established conventions of the software, rather than creating new concepts to fit into the gamepad.

Personally, this is the perfect time to go on a completely radical tangent instead of making the gamepad fit into a "controller's world".



unrandomsam said:

The Gamepad is pointless for most of the things other than off tv at the moment.

I think I would rather have the treehouse setup of 2 proper screens.



Einherjar said:

@XCWarrior Well, the Kinect HAD a very good reason to be bundled with the console. It made the whole package ridiculously pricey for the consumer and catered to the whole "new way to play games" harmonica.
That it failed in every way possible should be no secret anymore, not even to microsoft themself
When it comes to revolutionizing the way you play a game, the best example at the moment would be Pikmin 3. The many ways you can play that game are insane, the next patch will probably add ballance board support.
And yet, the gamepad is an integral part of EVERY controll scheme offered.

@fluggy The gamepads reach is appaling ? I can use my pad without any problems 2 storys apart from my console, without lag or connection losses. Maybe you should get that huge lead wall out of your room

@unrandomsam Maybe you played the wrong games then. Every game that used it, used it pretty well so far. I said it countless of times: If it would be used in every game, people would whine about it being gimmicky, using it just when its needed, people are whining that its pointless.



GrimSh said:

Great! That's exactly what I wanted to hear from Reggie. I'm very glad that Nintendo's view of the controller is that of an essential feature for the console and not a gimmick. There's just so much potential to tap into. Keep exploring Nintendo!



Azooooz said:

One of the reason that I bought a Wii U a year and a half ago is the Wii U Gamepad. It's light, comfortable, and amazing piece of tech, and after playing with it, I can say it's the best controller I've ever used.



MetaRyan said:

Good. The Gamepad needs to stay.
However, hopefully the 3rd party studios that aren't making games for the Wii U don't see the Gamepad as an entry barrier. The game doesn't need unique Gamepad functionality, just release the dang thing for Wii U.



ikki5 said:

isn't there more streaming happening in 10 minutes? I thought the treehouse was doing more at 9:00am Pacific.... where is the stream here?



AJSjedi said:

Oh we go again...I hope nintendolife has plenty of cheese because their will be a ton of WHINE all day on this topic. The several usual suspects who shall remain nameless (as we all know who by now) will chime in with their usual "GAMEPAD SUCKS, GET RID OF IT, WIIU SUCKS NINTENDO SUCKS" and the rest of us who live in a little place called reality will laugh and shrug our shoulders. The gamepad IS wiiu, it's not like a gimicky kinect that nobody wants. I wouldn't play without it, ONLY mario kart 8 I play with the wiimote, other than that it's gamepad all the way



Captain_Toad said:

Heh, after Squidtoon, the 2 miamoto projects, Yours truly having his own game, other games i may has missed during e3. Yeah, it's not going anywhere.



AJSjedi said:

@timtimdaunholy and onebagtravel.....

The extended battery on the nintendo online store is AWESOME, it's only $30 here in the US (not sure elsewhere) but worth every penny. It's added weight is barely noticable but for long play stretched it's a must own



AJSjedi said:

@Einherjar said "If it would be used in every game, people would whine about it being gimmicky, using it just when its needed, people are whining that its pointless"

EXACTLY, you hit the nail on the head...people whine too much regardless, JUST USE IT it's great



eaglebob345 said:

@MetaRyan They either see the console as a kid's platform, which is not true, or a place where third party games don't sell, which I can see. It's hard for them to compete with Nintendo's first party.



sinalefa said:


They did, there is a longer lasting battery available.

And I am happy to hear that. I love the Gamepad too, it has all the features of a regular controller, plus many other things. I hope Miyamoto and the rest of the Nintendo designers and indies make the most out of it.



daniruy said:

A good use for the GamePad: in the next Zelda Open World, would be totally handy to scribble on the map, as seem in Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass. And the drawings that can teleport you from one point to another. The concept is there!

A new Okami would be amazing in this thing.

And we could use a upgraded version of ZombiU scanner in a new Metroid...

Well, a boy can dream...



unrandomsam said:

@Einherjar The range in my house is very poor as well. Only works in the same room. (Certainly not in the garden) which has perfect 5ghz wifi. (Or did anyway not tested it when the Gamepad is also in use because it is never going to happen). If I can get it working in the garden from one accesspoint Nintendo should have been able to. (That would have been nice).



ikki5 said:

TREEHOUSE EVEN STARTING IN 7 MINUTES. Come on Nlife, where is the stream!



MajinSoul said:

Good news. There is so much truth in this quote, especially in the last bit:

"We're committed to it. We believe that it is a key innovation that, otherwise, all you're doing is making prettier pictures and using faster processors, and not bringing a lot of uniqueness in terms of gameplay."

This pretty much sums "next gen" up. It's all about being prettier without adding anything to the gameplay experience. I've played with the gamepad for 1 year and a half and it added so much to the gameplay. Yes, in some cases it could have been integrated more efficiently, but it doesn't have to be all the time.

On a side note: while typing this the news were running on TV and they showed off E3. There were mainly shown people playing on their 3DS, playing Smash Broth. Melee, Nintendo character cosplayers (Pikachu, Pit, etc.) and even a small report on Splatoon and an interview with Reggie stating something like "We want Splatoon to become the shooter equavilent of Mario Kart 8". Nintendo is rocking it!



0utburst said:

Whoa, my gamepad works only on the same room. I wish I could bring it on the bedroom. What I also love about the gamepad is I can bring my Wii U without needing aTV on my destination.



MamaLuigi said:

This is what I was hoping for anyway. A big part of the Wii U's underperforming was due to the lack of titles that utilized all the Gamepad's technology. At least now we can anticipate NFP/Amiibo adding value to Smash 4 and MK8.



MamaLuigi said:

@AJSjedi Yup, no better way to voice criticism of Wii U and the Gamepad than typing in all caps as you pull off an impression of a loud, baby-screaming Steven Tyler.



Raptor78 said:

My gamepad is on main TV in living room and works all in that area... Doesn't work in the next room (the kitchen) but I can use it outside the living room window on our bench and even in bedroom above main TV. I think it isn't necessarily the distance mabey it could be affected by other WiFi devices.



Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam Well, i was talking about the connection between the console and the gamepad and i thought you did so as well. But the same could be said about the Wi-Fi internet connection on my system.
Our connection here is pretty bad to begin with, and while my PS3 barely has connection at all and lags like hell online, the WiiU is actually one of the systems with the strongest and most reliable connections. Downloads are increddibly fast, online play works like a charm, completely lag free even worldwide and all of that while the router is located in the living room, 2 storys below me (attic).
So maybe your walls are litered with lead pipes / thick wireing. Stuff like that can drasticly reduce all kinds of wireless connections.



dkxcalibur said:

My gamepad only works in the room in which the system is located. If I take it into other rooms it starts to get laggy. I am refering to the reach of the Gamepad to the Wii U, not my internet connection which works great in every room of my house. My house has no lead in the walls and is fairly new with modern wiring, but maybe houses are built better where I live. My house definitely does not have lead pipes?????



AugustusOxy said:

Thank you nintendo. Don't fall for the moronic pressure that somehow dropping the gamepad and upping your graphical power will equal automatic improved games and sales. It wont. Anyone who thinks that is a norbit.



dkxcalibur said:

I love the Gamepad by the way. It's awesome. I'm happy with even small features on the gamepad such as Mario Kart's radar/horn/screen.



WiiLovePeace said:

As it should be. The gamepad is awesome, anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong. End of story.



unrandomsam said:

@Einherjar Both use 5ghz wifi one works one doesn't. Its the difference between a £20 chip and a £5 chip. Nintendo always takes the cheap and nasty option unfortunately. 5ghz outside with a tablet and a half decent access point full signal. No mod's or anything to the tablet.



MinecraftGreek said:

Sounds familiar sadly.
"We believe that the Kinect is an integral part of the Xbox One."

Although, I like the gamepad, and the tech behind it is extraordinary, I feel like so many games have trouble making use of the gamepad and TV at the same time. It is great for singular experiences that focus on one or the other, and in the case of Pikmin, it's touch controls are unique. I think Zelda will use it for item selection and maybe even to keep the screen HUDless which would be great. Hmm...



MinecraftGreek said:

Sadly I have a 15 ft half circle radius from the TV for use with the Gamepad, I wish the range was better.



Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam Again, i have no problem with it whatsoever. Quite the opposite, the WiiU is the device with the least connection problems and the strongest signal no matter were the console is (even in our garden).
So i highly doubt that a "cheap wifi antenna / chip is the problem.



Shambo said:

Gamepad was put to great use in games like Pikmin 3, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Nintendoland, Sonic ASRT, Deus Ex, Wind Waker HD,... It IS Wii U. They shouldn't abandon it, and we shouldn't even be having this discussion. Console wars is fought between MS and Sony in my opinion, Nintendo has no competition.



zool said:

Well I guess that since everyone with Wii u has a gamepad they won't be going anywhere. But also there has been nothing to convince non Wii u owners to buy a Wii u because of the gamepad.

Nintendo have had two years to convince us that it has changed the way we play games, except that it has not.

I am looking forward to playing the new Zelda and a few other Wii u games but I don't want 'gimmicky' game play just because we have the game pad.

I have a funny feeling that Nintendo will utilise the gamepad a lot with the Captain Toad game and may turn what could be a good game into a 'gimmicky' one.



Hero-of-WiiU said:

My only problem with the Gamepad is that I wish I could travel around the house with it. And there's only about 4 rooms from one side to the other.



kobashi100 said:

Couldn't care less about the gamepad. Always use the pro controller now.

Gamepad is uncomfortable and most software doesn't even use it.

It wasn't needed. People are happy to play games using a normal pad.



Sir_JBizzle said:

@dkxcalibur yea my Gamepad's reach is abysmal it just barely works in my room which is about 20 feet away from where my Wii U is located. Of course, living in the city with a bunch of other neighborhood wireless interference doesn't help. Compound the fact that I have a laptop, PC, wireless printer, all my 7th and 8th Gen systems, a Vita, 3DS, Roku 3, Chromecast and my phone and tablets, Signal degradation is to be expected, really. I find that when I turn off my extra devices and disable Wifi on anything I'm not using, it helps with my Gamepad strength.

Though I'm not complaining because I absolutely love the thing!



KillScottKill said:

The Gamepad is hit and miss. As a piece of hardware, it needs a lot of improvement. It's range of function when offscreen is terrible and they need to start prepackaging the strongest battery available for new Wii U's.

In terms of gameplay, it all depends on the game. I didn't mind using it at all for SM3DW and WWHD. Then there's stuff that insists on using it in funky, unnatural ways like Nintendoland. It works fine as a second screen, a mini-map, a quick menu to edit inventory etc., but please, for the love of God to Nintendo and all developers, do NOT make me hold that thing up to the TV to where I HAVE to look at both screens at once to play your game.



Romeo said:

i like the gamepad, but stop developing your games around it…

or in the future we’ll only get all these “fun” robot games etc. that are currently in development

i just want amazing games. great story, great characters, great gameplay and lots of fun!
i don’t give a sh** about motion controls, just give me fantastic games



ricklongo said:

I honestly can't imagine myself ever again browsing the internet on a console if it doesn't have something like the gamepad. That alone justifies it for me, but if they want to surprise us with more and more gameplay dedicated to it, bring it on (as long as it doesn't feel overly gimmicky, that is).



Marshi said:

This constant nit picking of the gamepad is getting so tiresome. When are people going to understand the point of the gamepad is CHOICE, not inovation. You CAN use the gamepad in inovative ways,but having it as a simple pad with simple (but brilliant) uses like having a hud or map is also great. You have a CHOICE to play off tv if you'd like. You have a CHOICE to use the system as a tv remote or touchscreen interface for services like netflix or the web browser. You have a CHOICE,but if you prefer you can just have it as a very comfy pad,or neglet the gamepad altogether and use the pro controller.

Choice,not inovation. And I love the gamepad for all the choices it gives me,end of.



HeCaster101 said:

This is good. Nintnedo's gamepad controls are a thing of beauty, that only people who have played, and own a Wii U can truly understand the potential of. Nintendo is making all the best choices this E3.



smikey said:


100% agree with the first comment.
in addition the Game pad is by far my favourite ever.
Love off tv play & some games do already use the pad to good use but like the wii & motion controls there will always be plenty who take a lazy option of doing next to nothing or worse still trying to add stuff that doesn't work just for the sake of it



rjejr said:

Instead of people asking Reggie if they are going to drop the Gamepad, how about asking him - if the Gamepad is so great - when are we getting the 2nd one? SSB, MK8, Splatoon, Star Fox - all these games could use dual Gamepads, and the amiibo NEED the Gamepad for the NFC connection. so please, next time somebody sees Reggie, ask him a question that matters.



Giygas_95 said:

Good because I love the gamepad. It's super comfortable, and I love off-tv play. As far as I'm concerned, they ought to keep doing what they do best and not listen to any whiners.

If Doma were here, he'd probably be telling us about how the Wii U is a failure and how Nintendo's best course of action would be to abandon it completely.



james_squared said:

I really like the GamePad as well and it was one of the reasons I was drawn to the WiiU. I hope it gets more attention and is used in more creative ways.



Mochtroid said:

I agree! Nintendo needs to stay committed to the Gamepad and devise new uses and ideas for it.

BUT... I also believe that Nintendo needs to show full support for the Pro Controller as well. It can't continue to be a back-seat option. As much as I love the Gamepad, I'm finding myself playing more and more on the Pro Controller because:

A) It has much more battery life.
B) Is surprisingly lighter and more comfortable.
C) If dropped, it's far less likely to break than the Gamepad.

I'm extremely protective of that Gamepad and really don't like to let others handle it because I know that if it ever breaks, I lose a lot of console features that can't be used with the Pro Controller.



Mahe said:

Meanwhile, Wii U continues to sell pathetic numbers. Not even Mario Kart 8 can prop it up.



audiobrainiac said:

Yay! The gamepad is awesome in my book and I refuse to play without it (unless of course i share it during multiplayer )



kyuubikid213 said:

@Chriiis I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page and commented. I didn't even see. I also took a few minutes thinking of what to type. Ah well. Mahe will be Mahe.



kyuubikid213 said:

I think he's just attacking the Wii U as a whole now. Hasn't the Wii U sold more units in Japan than the PS4 these past two weeks? With the aid of Mario Kart 8?



AJ_Lethal said:

@kyuubikid213 Nah, it's still the same "Gamepad is the root of all Wii U's woes" argument. Which at this point is white noise and he doesn't realize that.




0utburst said:

Haha. Same. I am the only one who touches the gamepad and even put/change the game discs. My wife and my kid have their own special edition wiimotes. I always remind them that if the gamepad breaks, it's gameover.



Clandon said:

And if you don't like the GamePad, Reggie will "come back and kick your ass!"



Sceptic said:

Talk is cheap Reggie. So far, even Nintendo has been moving away from the gamepad and I haven't seen anything to indicate you've had any great revelations since Nintendoland on how to build unique and engaging gaming experiences around it. Sadly. But again, talk is cheap. That Robot Game concept was cringeworthy. Don't waste your resources expanding on that kind of stuff please.



Hotfusion said:

The gamepad is the most expensive dedicated console controller in the world. Just the other day, a couple days before MK8 launched my gamepad refused to turn on or charge. In a panic I perused the internet looking for a solution, fearing I would have to buy another wii u as the controller is not sold seperately. Thank the gods I found a fix.
Yes, I know you can use a different controller but thats not the point. I then realised that athough I dont really think about it much, how much I would miss the gamepad if it wasn't there.
Here I am watching E3 on my TV through the Wii U and typing up this post on the gamepad.
It also highlighted that a broken gamepad pretty much means a new wii u.



Iggly said:

I love using the Gamepad, it definetly brings some unique/convenient features for games. Sure some games make use of the Gamepad more than others, but it's something that I personally enjoy compared to the Wii Remote. This is why I can't really see a lot of generations for consoles if the new consoles aren't going to add something new that the previous consoles could not perform.



KillScottKill said:

@Hotfusion this is an excellent point. I haven't seen too much about Gamepad failure, but you can't help but wonder if it ever becomes an issue someday with the oldest Wii U's that were shipped at or near launch. Sometimes consoles just fail and you have to replace - ask the countless 360 owners from the last generation. The Wii U setup basically doubles the odds of massive replace/repair costs because you have two things that can fail; the console itself and the Gamepad. Luckily Nintendo has a good track record with this sort of thing, but double the odds is still double the odds.



Genesaur said:

Well, duh. They've made that clear, already. And no, they're not going to make it so that you can use multiple GamePads on one system. That'd be silly. The Figure Characters in Smash Bros. likely are scanned in at the character select screen, which means you can probably assign them to whichever player is using them. As for Star Fox, there will likely he a "classic" control option with the Pro Controller. Splatoon... well, I don't care about Splatoon, so I don't feel like coming up with a likely way around GamePad use for every player.



Zombie_Barioth said:

The only thing I disagree with is the end. You don't need special new controllers or what have you to create new/unique ideas, so claiming the other platforms only bring "prettier pictures and faster processors" is shortsighted and steps on their own toes as well. Thats the industry's fault, not the platforms'.

They can certainly help though, I can't imagine the floating parts of SMG working without pointer controls for example.

I don't think removing the gamepad would help much. It won't lower the price much and if the Gamepad is a problem bundling in a pro controller or some other alternative as a standard feature would work better. It solves the 'stuck' with the gamepad issue, allows out of the box multiplayer, and wouldn't cost them much. The mark-up on accessories is high, if I remember right the DS4 costs around half it's MSRP to make or less, the Pro controller is likely the same.



GN004Nadleeh said:

from my experience the people who don't like the gamepad or wii u have never tried it. a lot of time when people come over and see me playing wii u they try it out and end up liking it but still think the price is the problem when you put it next to the PS4 and x1. now to dream on how the new zelda is going to use it



Hazardous_Banana said:

I'm like the #1 Nintendo fanboy!!!! Love that Nintendo didn't give up on the gamepad. It has a lot of potential!



D2Dahaka said:

Enjoy the gamepad and its great they're still looking at unique ways of using it. Just hope they don't force it where it doesn't make sense and offer alternate controls wherever possible. It broke my heart how many good games on the Wii were compromised due to forced waggle where it made better sense to just press a button. That being said priority for me is software quality - creative gamepad use is important, but secondary to me,



xevious said:

And that's exactly how it should be. The Gamepad is a fantastic piece of hardware, now it just needs to be used to it's max potential.

Besides, if you look at the comments here (or pretty much anywhere, where the topic is discussed), people really like the Gamepad. Leave Mahe out and the feedback is really positive.



Turbo857 said:


If the Wii U can do split screen in 60fs then it can definitely handle 2 screen gameplay (with each player taking a screen). They just didn't go that route because they believed looking at the other player's screen was integral to 2-player competition. I disagree with that philosophy but that was their reasoning. It wasn't due to lack of horsepower. Who knows, maybe it'll come in a future update?



Turbo857 said:


Ordering a better battery from Nintendo would've solved your battery issue. And please tell me you tried off TV play with the gamepad?

Ok, so it's a big controller. It's also very comfortable and happens to be the most high tech controller available for any home console. I foresee delivering many ass whippin's to Smash bros competitors with the Gamepad and I credit Nintendo for crafting such an amazing device.




The gamepad is great for people with huge hands like me, and off tv play is realy great, l also love putting on a video and then continue to search other things on my gamepad, no portal for the nfc because its built in already is brilliant!



fluggy said:

Displaying the same screen on gamepad and tele is far easier to do do than pumping out two separate streams. Combined with the level of detail in MK8. ..which must be close to the max of what the Wii U is capable of ... I think it must be too much of a strain on the circuits! There is simply NO reason not to accommodate this functionality if it were possible.

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