We're stepping into a vital period on the market for the Wii U. It's certainly far too early to say it's the definitive moment for the system, as releases such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. will also be maximised by Nintendo to achieve notable sales and momentum. With that in mind, it should still be recognised that the arrival of Super Mario 3D World, alongside other major releases and a series of hardware bundles, are important in giving the Wii U a strong end-of-year shopping season and, by extension, some momentum into 2014.
The level of competition is fierce, of course, and the outcome will be fascinating. Recent weeks have seen some positive examples of perceptions shifting in the mainstream press, along with the occasional instance of negativity as well, but that matters as it's those noises that reach the wider market, rather than enthusiast and game-specific press that, to an extent, is speaking to and preaching to the converted. Nintendo's advertising, in multiple regions, has also gone the only way it could — up. After a dry year of limited marketing, the company has upped its game to spread the word and convince those looking for a new home console that the Wii U offers the most fun and affordable option.
In North America, particularly, messaging has focused on the 'upgrade' angle, targeting Wii owners that perhaps still don't see the value of the Wii U offering or, in the worst case scenario, think it's simply a tablet-style add-on for the previous system. This confusion can be put down to various factors — the name itself, the marketing of the product, the similarity (albeit rounded) of the console's shell — and the GamePad has, to an extent, been an unfortunate victim. There's also a loud argument, often heard in debates in the Nintendo Life office, that the concept has been muddied, and simply releasing a 'Wii 2' or 'Wii HD' that utilised the same controllers would have been cheap, cheerful, and a big seller.
We're not going to focus on the name debate here, but the idea that a new system without the GamePad may have achieved success. The reasoning is very simple for what could have happened — combine a new name with a relatively budget price, with £199 / €250, $250 being the magical numbers, and watch the sales follow. It's an argument suggesting that simplicity and low cost is all that was required, as Nintendo had already helped reshape the home console industry with the Wii and Remote and, essentially, just needed to improve — rather than rewrite — the existing formula.
Yet that's not the modus operandi of Nintendo in recent generations, as the company — under Satoru Iwata's leadership — has purposefully stepped away from the graphical arms-race and opted to focus on innovation and new gaming experiences. It was a focus that delivered spectacular results with the DS and Wii — Iwata-san's critics have a habit of overlooking the significant profits of those years — and has worked to a reasonable degree, after a rescue-mission and lots of hard work, with the 3DS. The current handheld will have a tough time matching the DS family in raw numbers but, frankly, those sales may never happen again with the rise of smartphones and tablets. Debate over figures aside, the general sense is that the 3DS has evolved into a successful platform for Nintendo, defying plenty of cynics in the process.
The same scale of challenge — perhaps greater — faces the Wii U. Perhaps it's the innovation of the product, the GamePad, that raises the most questions. Of course the system innovates in other ways, but the new controller is the new input to take the spotlight from the Wii Remote and Nunchuk; yet it's undeniably divisive. Some, such as this writer, are big fans of the concept — expect a Soapbox from multiple members of the team in the coming period — while others are less so. In some cases the sentiment is that, though functionally reasonable and with potential for new game ideas, doesn't do enough to justify its price and prominence; others just don't like it, and we do have some of the community asking whether they have to use the controller in certain games, like it's a punishment to do so.
We've outlined the uses of the controller in the past in our article "The GamePad - From Waggling Remotes to Dual Sticks and a Touchscreen, and it would be churlish to say that it doesn't offer some new styles of play not possible before. Those ideas aren't always used to their potential, however, and it can be asked whether the Wii U has partly struggled due to failing to hit the Wii launch price of 2006, even if recent price drops bring it close. Throw in consumer confusion and the lack of immediacy compared to what the Wii Remote delivered, and the argument that the new system would have been better $100 cheaper and using legacy controllers has some legs.
And the price of the GamePad comes to bear, with estimates earlier in the year placing its manufacturing cost at $80, though that may not be spot on in addition to the fact that it could have been brought down since. In any case, it's a scenario that's perhaps similar to that seen with the Xbox One and Kinect, with the mandatory camera sensor seemingly driving the cost of Microsoft's system above the PS4. With a year now passed of the Wii U's time in the market, perhaps we can reflect on whether the controller's contribution to the concept has justified the cost it's undoubtedly added to research, development, manufacturing and then, of course, the consumer.
Yet with Microsoft and Sony's efforts bearing a number of similarities, and tablets such a familiar concept in the market, perhaps a Wii U with its lower price and expanding library stands a better chance of standing out, giving it sustainability and a concept that Wii 2 at $200 and minus the GamePad would have failed to deliver. There's also the perspective that the GamePad should have been an optional accessory, though its odds of having any sort of role with that status — it would be a pricey extra controller — are surely slim.
These are hypotheticals, of course, but as Nintendo gears up for a vital second year with its home console they may have appeared within some minds in Kyoto.
We'd love to know where you stand on this in the poll and comments below. Is the GamePad an important part in the Wii U's long-term success, or would a cheaper HD console without a new controller have served Nintendo better over the past year? We'll never know, but it's fun to wonder.
Would you have preferred a 'Wii 2' or 'Wii HD', minus the GamePad, at a lower price? (499 votes)
- Absolutely, I think it would have been a big success11%
- I think so, though it's hard to say whether it would have outperformed Wii U9%
- Not really, but it may have performed well19%
- Not really, and I'm not convinced it would have sold well16%
- Definitely not, Nintendo was right to switch it up39%
- I'm not sure6%
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Are you pleased that the Wii U included the GamePad as a new control method? (496 votes)
- Definitely, I love it and think it'll play a big role in future Wii U success50%
- Quite pleased, it's been a good controller so far28%
- I'm on the fence and not sure yet5%
- Not fully, it's not quite hit the mark in my opinion8%
- No, I'm not a fan of the GamePad and think it's disappointing5%
- I've never played a Wii U, so how would I know?3%
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Honestly I like the idea of the gamepad for off tv play or remote play or whatever you want to call it or using it as a second screen of another player for example or a map or inventory. However in some games like Lego City Undercover that makes use of it I wish it was more of an option. (Yeah I know I am going to get attacked here).
The Gamepad is let down by a rubbish non-HD screen and equally rubbish battery life. Nice idea though, but off-screen gaming always feels 2nd class thanks to that sub-par screen.
I also strongly object to the deliberate compromising of first party games, which force you to use the Gamepad to get full functionality. Pikmin 3 is a good example.
The bizarre and confusing array of controllers required to play games such as Nintendoland haven't helped either.
I find the gamepad good but very heavy after a long play it's very weighty.
Wii 2 would have been a better name for the console people woud have known what's what then.
Then when nintendo make the next console use a totally different name like the N64 did and gamecube.
The wiiU is just starting to get good now like after afew years the wii got loads of games not careing so much about selecting games pickly.
Anyone who has a Wii U and a few games will appreciate the gamepad even if they don't love it. I have a feeling some of the people who answered the above poll should have actually voted "I've never played a Wii U, so how would I know?".
I wouldn't worry about it. The Xbox One and PS4 are enhancing their controllers as well. Controller wise, Nintendo has the best ones, IMO.
I think Nintendo will be enhancing the UI in the future, so having the second screen will be important for navigating menus and multi tasting. Miyamoto said himself, that the GamePad is meant to be built into the system on an OS and software level.
They definitely haven't taken full advantage of it, which has left some "sour" first impressions. I've been riding off of the potential it has in unison with the Wii U hardware, so I'm not discouraged to support it, even though the system may not have recording features and such as the other systems right from the get go.
I think it's great for the off-screen play, but if Nintendo haven't made a game that really makes it feel essential by this point, it suggests to be they don't really know what to do with it. Instead of having ideas for games and building the controller they needed, the first built the control and then tried (and failed) to come up with a reason for it.
Like I said, the off-screen play is great, so they should make it an optional extra for those that want that, but just make sure every game can use it for that. This allows them to put out a Wii U console for a price that makes it hard to ignore. I actually think the gamepad itself is kind of ugly. There's too much plastic and it makes the screen look small in comparison. Maybe they can come up with a Gamepad Lite.
I like the gamepad but I do think the pro controller should have been included with all wii u's and be able to be used with all games, maybe then some of the third party developers would be more on board with the wii u
@Le_Gazman The gamepad is high def if I'm not mistaken. its just not 1080p. why do you need 1080p for a small secondary screen?
I'm loving my wii u so far. All nintendo consoles have been great, and wii u is no exception.
Honestly, if they just went with the pro controller + their wigglesticks and made a more powerful, more connected console with their great franchises, things would have been much better. My opinion.
@oreqano you are mistaken, it's very much an SD screen. Blacks and colours are washed out too. Very poor screen, especially compared to the Pioneer plasma I stop playing it on to use the Gamepad.
That doesn't make any sense, though. The GamePad is essentially a Pro controller with a screen, NFC, a camera, and motion control. Why would they exclude the GamePad for a less capable controller?
The only issue I could see happening, is figuring out whether or not they should be utilizing said features on a multiplayer mode. Single player wise, the GamePad can add to your game.
Even if they don't use the GamePad features, that's no reason to put it down.
The fact I'm commenting on this on the gamepad whilst watching Qi on the telly sort of justifies the gamepad alone for me. They needed the gamepad so they could do something to set it apart from the super duper graphic boxes. The only way I could have seen it working otherwise was to release the U with an ordinary controller, and sold the gamepad as an additional add on, perhaps bundled with Nintendoland.
I think Wii HD would make it seem like a somewhat superfluous upgrade and rely far too much on HD being a selling point.
I like the Gamepad but its seems more like a welcome addition (map in Pikmin, off-tv play) than a necessity. Nintendo has yet to release a game that makes you feel like it couldn't be played without it.
If Nintendo just did the same thing only with better graphics, then how can they be any different than Sony or Microsoft. Difference is what the competition wants as well as the industry. And because Nintendo reduces the price so that people can take risk into trying their system, it feels a lot better than how PS4 and ONE where you buy the systems only to get graphics and repetitive gameplay out of it.
I think they should have ditched the Wii name all together. It would have made it easier for the typical consumer to distinguish between the Wii and Wii U. The Gamepad isn't all that essential to the gameplay atm, but hopefully Nintendo will make a game that shows off what the Gamepad can do. I think the Wii U will sell because of games like MK8 and SSB, but it won't live up to the Wii in terms of sales.
after a year on the market and with titles like zelda hd, mario 3d world and some others released it is certainly not too early for the wii U to get more sales in order to survive this generation but sadly everything point on another gamecube era sales for the wii U.
The control is what made me dig deep & buy the console in the first place. I love the off screen play & using it for the internet along with the features it offers in some games. But with you saying above calling it Wii 2 or Wii HD I think a better name would have helped the sales & avoid the problem even today still people thinking it's the same console as a Wii.
I'll put my hat in to say I love my GamePad, though I understand the counter-arguments. Long term, I think it's valuable to the system.
People saying they use it to browse the internet when watching TV, that's great for you, but that screen is awful compared to even the cheapest tablets out there. With so many people out there now owning tablets, I doubt these features will sell many consoles.
I'm glad it exists, purely for the off-screen play, but I really think that's the best use for it, and that means it doesn't have to be forced into every box, bumping the price up for those people that don't want it.
@SCAR392 many developers have said that nintendos stipulation that the second screen must be used is what's putting them off so if the pro controller was the main controller and the gamepad was optional many more developers might be more inclined to make games on the wii u
Nintendo doesn't even make games that fully use it anymore. Nintendo Land is the one that really uses the Gamepad, and the line up of Wii U first party games don't use the Gamepad in anything big.
You don't have to differentiate yourself through hardware. You do it through software. Sega had no trouble at all being different from Nintendo in the 8 and 16 bit eras, and it wasn't because of controllers.
No. If even Nintendo not ready for hd pikmin 3,its worthless having wii super hd at all
I guess Nintendo just need to make sure to be chosen as second console and it will be fine, you know same as second screen aka game pad, so be the second console is not too bad
That still isn't really a good reason. The problems developers are having are trying to figure out whether or not they should just mirror the game or actually add some menu options on it.
I'm guessing devs aren't all that keen on the second screen offered by PS4 or Xbox One, as well? The point is that there's a feature that's available on all platforms and Nintendo is the only one that has made it mandatory.
If developers buckle down and make it worth while instead of being reluctant, we'd see better stuff happening. Xbox One and PS4 will benefit from developers taking advantage of the second screen, too, especially since it's optional at that point.
Personally, I don't think the GamePad having a screen should have been basically the whole focal point of the console, like it was something so revolutionary and unique that is was worth buying a brand hew next-gen console for alone, which it actually really isn't and certainly not how it's handled on Wii U. Instead I think it should have been handled just like the touch panel on the DualShock 4 controller. It's an interesting little addition but it's just one extra element to the controller and the console can sell itself on it's own merits, even if it didn't have it. If you take away the screen from the Wii U however you're left with a decidedly last-gen under-powered console with some decent first party games, Miiverse and that's basically it. Pretty pathetic when you actually think about it, if you don't consider having the touch screen that important/compelling a feature. In which case you might as well just get a much cheaper PS3 or Xbox 360 which both have far more compelling game libraries at this point, that's both released games and upcoming third party games, and are also still more feature complete that the Wii U.
It probably would have actually been a pretty strong concept if it had been included on the new Xbox One or PS4, in conjunction with all the other stuff they are offering/doing too, but on the Wii U it's just one slightly gimmicky feature that isn't really enough to make the console more attractive than the other current-gen systems or even the last-gen systems in most ways.
Basically; The idea of a touchscreen wasn't the flaw in the plan. It was everything else Nintendo did around that (or more precisely; didn't do).
Off-screen play is one of the greatest methods of playing I have ever experienced. You can't get that on any other console (At least without having to buy 2 consoles just to make it work)
Oh, yes! I don't have much games, but I very much like the GamePad, because of it's vast potential.
@SCAR392 oh I agree 100% but we know developers won't they will take the easy route that the PS4 and XB1 offer
I like the GamePad so far, pretty much because it allows for small things like launching my digital games straight from the controller, no switching discs or anything like that. I also like that I can use it for off-TV play and it serves as a nice map. The GamePad is quietly brilliant.
The Gamepad was a horrible, horrible mistake by Nintendo.
Nintendo were idiots to make it. In the words of the Angry Video Game Nerd, "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!"
The GamePad has the most functions of any gaming controller ever. Nintendo WILL crack the code and make it an essential part of gaming. Even as just a standard controller with a second viewing option, it still performs well. Its still in its infancy. I have no doubt Mario Kart and Smash Bros will make Wii U a great online gaming system as well.
@SanderEvers Yeah, like the Wii wasn't different from PS3 and Xbox 360? Get a grip. Because of the Gamepad, the Wii U is more similar to other consoles, and it's not helping at all.
If this Wii 2/HD had the same amount of power the Wii U currently has then I don't think it would of fared any better most likely worse due to not having anything to distinguish itself from what was available on the market at the time, I feel the gamepad is a reel unique and interesting idea that has not been given the time to develop properly should every game use it no and I find that developers should not use it as an excuse when choosing not to release a game for Wii U.
@27ShowStopper It's more likely that Nintendo will crack under the pressure and release a Wii U without the Gamepad. But by then, it will be too late.
The Gamepad has already doomed the Wii U.
I picked up my WiiMote yesterday and have to admit I kind of missed it. So i certainly think its a great idea they kept the WiiMotes around for multiplayer. The GamePad is the future of Nintendo gaming. I guess we'll see next gen if the dual screen sticks around or was just a gimmick.
@27ShowStopper Yeah, I won't be around for that future. I'm not even using the Gamepad right now, I'm operating my Wii U with Wiimotes whenever possible.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize that this is an option, thanks to Nintendo. They put the stupid Gamepad in front and center with the Wii U, resulting in catastrophically low sales for the system.
@SanderEvers People are saying that Nintendo has to make different hardware to be different. I just destroyed that point.
In no way shape or form did I mention the success level of Sega.
You're using an irrevelvant argument against mine.
Do I think Nintendo would have been better off with a Wii HD without a GamePad? Not really, but I can't argue that it would have done poorly.
but am I glad the Wii U came with the GamePad? Absolutely! It's an innovative controller, one that allows for a truly anytime, on-demand entertainment experience--while at the same time adding a new layer of gameplay that DS gamers were already familiar with. I knew when I first saw the controller during E3 2011 that it was gonna shake up the playing field in ways. Now Sony's pushing PS4 Remote Play via Vita even harder than with PS3 and the PSP, and Microsoft is trying its hardest to make SmartGlass relevant.
I still use my Wii remotes, nunchucks and other Wii accessories, but I'm personally glad Nintendo went with the GamePad. Not to mention, along with the Pro Controller it offers a gameplay experience that both casual and hardcore gamers can enjoy together.
Speaking of, I can't wait to play Super Mario 3D World.
To me the gamepad is great. The off tv play is a great feature and it is a much easier controller for my 4 year old to operate because of the size and the ability to set it in his lap and use his whole hand to move the sticks. It isn't vital to the system but I use it way more then I thought I would and haven't touched my wife's iPad since I bought the U
@Peach64 every single thing you said I agree 100%
Off topic: where the heck are the next gen nunchucks already? You know, the ones that would bring with it improved motion and a Wii U clickable analog stick?
TBH, I've only played NSMBU and SM3DW on the Wii U and neither of those titles have enticed me to pick up the Game Pad; I prefer the Wii Classic Controller set up and use it for all the games I play. The Game Pad is distracting to me. It makes me want to focus on the controller's screen and prevents me from looking at the big picture! If I wanted a handheld experience, I would've just stuck with my 3DS (which have already introduced me to using touchscreen and voice controls that the game pad also has).
But I can't say that it's pointless; it's just not for me. But let's not forget what the system is trying to accomplish; unity. Look at many living rooms in the evening and the picture is all the same. You have little brothers on the tablet, sister, mom, and dad with their phones, the television is on, and they are all spending family time together with isolated experiences. Enter the Wii U, you can have little brother with the tablet controller (Game Pad) that he loves because the big screen is up to his face, and sister, mom, and dad can all join in on the fun. This is the purpose of the Wii U: to Unite.
I'll be bringing my Wii U for the holiday family gatherings this year for some SM3DW multiplayer mayhem. This is going to be the first time for many people to try out the Wii U. We'll see how it goes but I'm thinking it's going to be fun. Also, I'll see how popular the game pad is amongst all the players.
I personally love the gamepad, it's probably my favorite controller ever.
-Having it for off-tv play is sooooo useful for anyone who shares a tv and even if you don't it's cool to have if I wanna watch something on tv while playing less focused games or for having a sporting event on the tv that I can hear and look up at when big plays happen.
-Whether the screen is HD or not doesn't matter to me it looks great anyway
-Having maps and inventory in my palms is so much faster and convenient than pausing the game to check or rearrange. And it's nice to have the full map when playing COD online and I love how it's utilized in Pikmin
-assyncronous multiplayer a la nintendo land is such great fun and really inspires cooperation and good times among friends, plus for the fist time ever that I'm aware of 5-player local co-op
Calling it the wii 2 or giving it a new name completely may have been better but it'll be fine, I love love love my wii u and any other owners I know feel the same. Plus anytime I bring friends over to play they are immediately smitten and want one for themselves.
My biggest concern with the GamePad is that people cry foul if there is no off-screen play which greatly limits the amount of innovation you can have in a game. ZombiU would never have worked with off-screen play and it was a pretty unique experience because of it. It's a nice feature and not every game should push every feature of the GamePad, but I would much rather have some new play ideas than the ability to not play on a TV.
Oh and I love the GamePad.
@Mahe - "Nintendo putting the stupid Gamepad in front and center with the Wii U, resulting in catastrophically low sales for the system."
4 million in the 1st year is hardly catastrophically low. It is actually fairly consistent with the launches of many consoles and if anything is average. More then likely PS4 and Xbox1 will both sell in the 4 millions over the course of their 1st year.
The Gamepad's issue is that its a jack of all trades, master of none.
EDIT: it has many neat ideas and concepts, but feels like a beta. Battery life, screen quality and overall appearance hold it back from being great. Also, the developer of the wireless tech in the pad stated the distance could be repeated (doubled) via software updates. Where is that update, Nintendo?
I look at Pikmin 3 as a form of the GamePad's innovation but also it's drawbacks. Using the map to send other members to other areas while working on an area yourself is great. But controlling the playable character with the Gamepad is not as good as the Wii Remote and nunchuk combo with the pointer controls. Yet the "Wii Sports" game for the Wii U hasn't arrived yet. Maybe it never will. Wii Remote and Nunchuk was a better control scheme for Zelda & Metroid. I don't see much the Gamepad can do past touch controls or inventory/maps & the token asymmetric section.
@Gerbwmu you do realize Wii U is currently selling worse than the Gamecube, right. I'd file that under catastrophically low any day of the week.
@FJOJR i saw all i needed to know about the Gamepad when I saw Miyamoto time after time playing Pikmin 3 with a wiimote nunchuck set up. Your top dog in your company wont even use the damn thing. Hilariously embarrassing.
I have no interest whatsoever in any form of multiplayer where all players don't have the same controls.
Getting 4 people with 3DS's together would be easier for me to do for multiplayer that needed individual touchscreens.
Nothing wrong with it being an option but it should be that it adds cost.
Nintendo seems to not like giving people choice.
(If I could get a Wii U with the system built into the gamepad (No drive) none of the delay that would be very different and it would instantly be the most powerful handheld.)
He was using it, though. The GamePad still acts as a map and database regardless of your control setup.
@unrandomsam Yeah, the worst problem of the Gamepad is that you can't decide if you want it or not: all Wii U console packages come with the Gamepad, and it's mandatory for simple features like the settings, eShop and internet browser, as well as many games.
It should be completely optional, and at least there should be a console package without the Gamepad. Even better, it would have been optional accessory, released in a bundle package with Nintendoland perhaps.
I think the Game Pad has lots of potential and can help Nintendo stand out. It can't just be a graphical arms race (that said...Nintendo is behind in lots of features, like the way the eShops are handled, so they have a lot to learn).
I just think that no one's really hit on really great ways the Game Pad can be used besides, say, a move list for fighting games and a map or inventory. Its nice to see the map/move list at all times, but you still have to take your eyes off the action.
I think where the Game Pad can really differentiate itself is with multiplayer. The ways you can change up the game are really interesting, and Nintendo Land shows that.
As far as a "Wii 2" or "Wii HD"...I don't think that would help just by themselves. When I hear people talk about the Wii U it is less "I don't like the Game Pad" and more "What is Wii U?" or "It has no games that appeal to me." Really, you need marketing to get your message across and the software to back it up...and we might see that happen now after a very low-key year.
Wii U is a great name in my opinion, Wii 2 sounds plain, and Wii HD is more confusing cause it sounds like a Wii capable of doing HD
Also,I think the gamepad is the best thing since motion controllers to hit video gaming! Honestly, if the gamepad doesn't catch on and we go back to just plain traditional controllers, I really doubt I will be playing many video games in the future, cause it would just feel like the same old boring stuff.
@SCAR392 you're missing my point though. The main input device for your latest console is bring relegated to a map screen, courtesy of the most respected individual in your company.
A Wii HD sounds like a good enough idea, but seeing the GamePad at that E3 Reveal was what got me excited. If the GamePad hadn't existed and the Wii U was as powerful as the One or PS4, developer would likely have still shied away because of the non-traditional controls and having to work around the Classic Controller's non clickable analog sticks.
The GamePad is a brilliant idea by Nintendo and I hope developers keep doing what they're doing. Using it as a map and menu is very helpful and cool. Experiences like Lego City and ZombiU are great as well, but if that was the Wii U's norm, people would only complain about it's gimmicky nature.
Next generation, maybe Nintendo can find some controller design more widely accepted, but the GamePad works beautifully and justifies the price of the overall system.
Personally, I think Nintendo just needs to gradually make games that utilize the GamePad more and more. I feel like it's mostly made subtle contributions to games so far, contributions that do create an experience that couldn't be had without the GamePad, but that aren't necessarily enough to justify the price. Of course, if every game relies too heavily on the GamePad, a lot of people will get mad and won't even buy the games because they want more traditional controls. But I think if Nintendo takes small steps, inventing uses for the GamePad that gradually become less subtle and more a necessary part of the gameplay, more people will be won over by what the GamePad can do. Of course, Nintendo doesn't have all the time in the world, so gradually making the GamePad more important in the actual games is probably easier said than done, but I still think Nintendo should at least attempt to do this in some way.
As for Wii HD with the same controls as the Wii, I say no way. People already harp on Nintendo enough for being too 'safe' with their games; should Nintendo really take that route with their hardware, too? Personally, I don't think so, and I'm not even one of the ones who thinks their playing it too safe with their games. I think Nintendo's already decided they're going to do things differently, rather than take the easy way out by copying their rivals, and I personally really respect that. I don't believe it's worth being guaranteed to sell more units if they're not giving up their identity in the process.
I can not imagine Wii U without gamepad, my children prefer off TV play for most games, there is just one they play on TV - Lego city. The only thing that could be changed is to allow gamepad control for old Wii games (for those which don't use motion control). I know it is not easy to achieve because wii remote is bluetooth and gamepad is wifi but there has to be some way to do it. Wii U might have been more powerful of course.
@SanderEvers Not sure : If it was priced at say £500 might mean the 3rd parties actually do good ports if every sale got them £60 and there was no used. (And by extension then they could work on the Wii U). Never did any harm such as the Sega Nomad and Turbo Express existing.
To get a maximum input lag of less than 2 frames at 60fps you need either a digital signage screen or a gaming monitor. (Even with a CRT you have a minimum of one frame). I am not willing to put up with more than 2. Not many TV's with < ~16ms
It's only one of the options. You can play on the GamePad and TV, GamePad(off-TV), Wii remote and GamePad with TV, or Wii remote and GamePad(off-TV).
Notice how all those control schemes still require the GamePad. I've read just as much that people are using the GamePad without a Wii remote. It's just an option, so I'm not missing your point, because the GamePad is being used in one way or another.
It's better than pressing pause and doing it that way. That's why the whole "The Wii U difference" ads they had in the UK made sense, because it gives you more options in game and can make something good, better.
Just my take. I understand the appeal of the Wii U, so that's all that matters to me in the end.
Wii U without the Gamepad simply would not work. It's like the Xbone can't work if it doesn't have Kinect. That Kinect thing is the reason of why that console cost $500 and if you think about it for a moment... that Kinect device is in certain way, useless, because you just use it as a gimmicky way of navigating the menus with voice controls, but you can EASILY navigate through it with the control and yet, nobody seems to complain... But with the Gamepad, everyone is like "yeah the Gamepad is the problem of why Wii U it's so expensive and a confusing console, it's just a gimmick device, Nintendo is doomed for ever!"
Why? The Gamepad REALLY works and it's totally necessary for the console, lot's of great games use it in brilliant ways, while Xbone and Kinect just have a few LAME games that use Kinect and look how awful the reviews have been doing with those games.Oh, and don't forget they are at the $60 full retail price...
In my opinion Wii U would start 2014 with decent numbers, not huge numbers (or who knows?) but enoug to keep momentum until the arrive of the very first big seller: Mariokart 8. Everyone with PS4/Xbone are loving the new menus, the new controllers... but what about the games? Another generation full of FPSs? Sports games? Realistic and boring racing games? For reference, the most anticipated title on Xbone right now is... yep, a FPS (Titanfall). Those games would continue being boring, monotone, repetitive, etc. But of course, nobody cares because if it has guns, a movie-like story and beautiful graphics then is going to be a smash hit blockbuster title (cough -The Last of Us, GTA V- cough.) I choose to have fun while gaming, that's why I continue supporting Nintendo, their creativity would never cease to amaze me.
@SCAR392 i dunno, i just think its silly to see Miyamoto playing his favorite game on his companys latest console with an input device other than the main input device that ships with the console. There really is very little justification for the Gamepad up to this point except for the non gaming applications.
Like I said, the GamePad was still being used during his demos, so your claim that he wasn't using it at all isn't true.
What about ZombU or Lego City? The GamePad makes those games more streamlined to alot of people.
I can see the GamePad making the menus AND games better throughout this generation.
The gamepad is amazing. It has a ton of potential. The only problem is that it has not been used to that potential. The only game to fully utilize the gamepad was zombiu which did a great job. I can think of so many more ideas that use the gamepad fully. That is why I bought the system, because of the gamepad.
At first I didnt care much for the gamepad but after playing with it and using many of its features that has changed (still prefer the pro controller though), I know Nintendo said they would add a patch that allows two gamepads to play at a time, when that happens I suppose they plan on selling the gamepad as a seperate controller but how much would it cost?
@SCAR392 trust me, i love ZombiU more than any game on Wii U right now. Wii U REQUIRES experiences like that to be a major player in its current iteration
I dunno, it could result in a catch-22 for some devs. Don't include gamepad support, and people accuse you of making a lazy port. Include it, and you'll have to spend extra money towards development of a feature only present on the Wii U, which can make it a little of a loss for the devs of some third party games. Of course, it makes for some great exclusives
@oreqano because he is a troll that's why
I think the gamepad appears as an odd or clumsy thing for most of the people who haven't owned it. Even trying it out in a shop doesn't reveal its value. But once you become a WiiU owner it becomes a love story. Sure the screen definition could be better or the battery life should have been sorted straight away. But still, it offers so much and at the same time the developers can choose what to implement. So much more possibilities such as:
and I think we haven't seen everything yet. And not only for games it's a blessing, look at the WiiU browser with youtube and its use in the karaoke from joysound. I think it's somewhat a hard thing to market and sell but once you adopt one it's really hard to go back.
@gatorboi352 - GameCube sold 4.7 mill, PS3 sold 5 mill, XBox360 sold 5 mill.....Wii U had 3.9 mill with over a month left left as of that figure (all internet estimates)....yeah it may fail to sell better then GameCube over its life but its numbers for year 1 are pretty consistent with most. Years 2-4 are when most consoles get their legs....if it still chugging along at 4 mill a year then catastrophic is a good word.....right now it's too early and unjustified especially given the current market. Of course that's my opinion only so......
Even though there are trolls, a lot of people are honestly misinformed so I thought I should point it out. cause I think the small screen looks great. Loving the off-TV play and other games that have used it for gameplay. Looking forward to see what comes of it. I don't see how the gamepad hurts any games though if it doesn't use it. To each (developer) his own.
I forgot to add that I really hope the next Nintendo home console will also come with a gamepad
Keep on mind the Gamepad costs will go down with time, it's not a very complicated/expensive piece of tech compared to a tablet or a smartphone. To be honest, dropping the Pad would be a big mistake for Nintendo since it's one of the selling points of the Wii U. Take it away and you will get a relatively underpowered Mario-only machine. And that's not a good picture.
What Nintendo should do is make more games that show what that controller is for. Period.
@AJ_Lethal That's ridiculous. The Wii didn't have the Gamepad, and look at how it did.
The Gamepad isn't a "selling point", it's an anti-selling point. The Wii U is selling less than it could because it was mistakenly focused on the Gamepad.
The Gamepad is diminishing Wii U's potential sales and customer base.
The Wii U needs more creation/ level editing games. They would make perfect use of the GamePad. WarioWare DIY with Miiverse integration comes to mind.
I think the Wii U should've been the Wii 2. Wiimote plus ONLY, as well as a "pro" type controller (gamepad controls minus the screen) as an option.
This Wii 2 could've been VERY similar to the Xbone and PS4 in terms of parts and could've been cheaper on account of it using an already existing controller. i.e. no R&D cost or new production cost of a new controller.
Or if it had the same parts as the Wii U does, without the cost of the tablet the console could've launched at $250, had a bigger HDD, and had an enormous price advantage over the new offerings from sony/microsoft.
Oh well. Tablet is cool though, i do like it, it's just something you have to look at with a Pros vs Cons lens, and while it has it's pros, it might just be outweighed by the cons.
The pad is good, it just needs getting used to. Just like alot of people now prefer wii mote and nunchuck for fps. It's also great for surfing the web. The controls for that are great
It's funny: in the last couple of weeks I had two different friends come over, and not even to play games. They're both Playstation owners (one a big gamer, the other is pretty much a FIFA-only player). Neither had ever seen a Wii U in action before.
In both cases, I used my Wii U to set up a music album streaming on youtube, because, like I said, those visits had nothing to do with playing video games. In both cases, they got curious about the tablet thingy I was using to control the UI, and ended up utterly impressed by it.
Which is to say: the gamepad is awesome. It just offers so many possibilities, both for gaming and non-gaming uses. I really wish Nintendo would nail the advertising, because the console has so much potential.
One of my aforementioned friends (the big gamer one) even works for a big electronics store, and commented on how he would finally be able to be convincing when selling a Wii U to a customer. This illustrates the big problem we're all aware of now: even people who are supposed to sell the console have no real idea how it works, and just how the gamepad can be helpful with overall navigation.
Coming from someone, who hasn't yet bought the system, I cannot say whether or not the Wii U Gamepad has revolutionized or will revolutionize gameplay. As an artist, I can see how useful it is, but the costly price of production, bad marketing rep. and lack of proper implementation in some games has given me a skeptical outlook on the future success of the system.
The Wii U is a perfect example of a good idea with flawed execution. When the rumors about Project Cafe were flying around the internet, I couldn't wait for it to be revealed. Everyone agreed that there would be a touchscreen, and I practically dreamed of everything Nintendo could have done with it. Instead, the Gamepad has simply become an extra TV. I bought a HDTV for my Wii U! If I don't want to play games on a TV, I use a handheld, it's as simple as that. If Nintendo wants to justify the existence of the Gamepad, they need to make a game that would be impossible to play without it.
It certainly doesnt help that you can only use one per console and they arent sold individually.
The only thing I dislike about the gamepad is the battery life. Even if developers haven't come up with concepts that make the most out of it, time will tell if they can get there.
If they use it for all games, it will be called a "gimmick", and if they don't use it then it will be an "overpriced, useless piece of junk".
The gamepad would be a great tool, but even Nintendo themselves can come up with only mediocre ideas of how to use it. It doesn't bring the added value that it brings in added cost.
As a pure controller it's inferior to everything else they have and what you're left with is off-TV play, which is nice but not killer. Asymmetric and 'symmetric' local multiplayer was what was promised but it's only implemented in very few games, even by nintendo.
That said, the local multiplayer in ZombiU is genius.
I don't like the gamepad and for that reason I don't want a Wii U. I just don't want to play games with that thing. Call me self-conscious,but I don't want to be sitting on the couch and for people to walk in the room and see me holding it, just doesn't suit my style.
Oddly enough, I didn't want a Wii U because the gamepad looked uncomfortable. Playing the entire New Super Mario Bros Wii U Demo in walmart changed my mind. I'm on the fence about how they should use it though. I like the games that have off screen play, but would like to see some more creative ways of the gamepad being used, that could take out off screen play. Just depends on the game I guess.
I'd really like to see some interaction between the 3ds and the wii u. The same kind of stuff Nintendo was talking about doing with the wii and DS, that we didn't see much of.
I do dislike the battery life on the gamepad as well. Sure, you CAN play with a cord plugged into it.. but who wants to?
the other problem with the gamepad that the article failed to mention is that you can't have more than one (because it is too expensive) which is a bad idea especially for Nintendo who focuses in local multiplayer... For example developers of SSB U have acknowledged that they couldn't use the gamepad features for anything because only one player would be having a gamepad while the other 3 would be holding wii-remotes or CCP
The article pretty much sums up my thoughts.
I can see why they wanted to try another wacky idea, it worked so well for them last time. But as Peach64 said they cleary designed the controller before thinking up enough game ideas to make it worthwhile.
I don't blame them for trying, but when their own games are using the gamepad less and less it's time to face facts.
This very well might seem like wishful thinking but I think it would be nice if they released a different gamepad in the future that was able to play 3DS games and use your TV as the display. It would basically be 2DS Super XL lol
I got the Wii U because of the gamepad. It's the only thing that's truly different in this "Next-gen". The PS4 and Xbox one are pretty much the same thing as their 2002 iterations, just with upgraded graphics cards (and higher failure rates). I don't care to share or stream online, and I certainly don't care to talk to my console in order to turn it on or change the channel.
I was initially really excited about the 2nd screen and even though I've played a lot of NintendoLand and ZombiiU and think it's implemented well there, I don't think we've seen its full potential yet. I was doubtful about the DS at first as well, but that eventually worked. I'm hoping the same for the WiiU, but so far I don't see it standing out as a feature enough and unfortunately don't see any games in the future either, sadly enough
I'm sure Nintendo have a lot of ideas on how to put the gamepad to good use in the future. Using two gamepads at the same time will become avalible at some point. I'm sure they have some cool ideas for that. And I really hope they use all of the gamepads features in innovative ways for the next Zelda and Metroid games
Say what?? 10 years earlier and me and my mom wouldn´t have so many argues over the tv!!!
Wii u may be not the best hardware but the gamepad is definitely the best controller ever made.
Guys.... I'm not sure where you're going with this article. Or really the purpose. Nintendo made a decision to bring to market a value proposition around the concept of the gamepad. That was the major concept behind their next generation offering. Asking whether they should have released their next generation as just an HD upgrade is kind of pointless. That's not what they were after in the least bit. And if a simple HD upgrade was ever on the table in Kyoto, whomever proposed it got the major stink eye from Miyamoto. Releasing a new hardware platform without some kind of innovation for Nintendo these days is not what they do. Why even ponder the point?
The only thing I could say that they could have done differently, staying within their original product concept, was to give it more muscle in the graphics array, introduce the system at a slightly HIGHER price of $399 (which, BTW, PS4 and XB1 (+$100) is coming to market with) but compensate for the higher price with Mario U bundled.
I tend to agree with Iwata San that price is not the factor. He's right. Games are. But so is the value of an shiny, muscular machine and the backing of the media, which really turned their nose up to the system because they focused on the gamepad vs. upgrading the graphics ability. History has shown that people WILL PAY $399 to $499 for an experience that will blow them away. So charge $50 more and give the market a new innovation in gameplay via the gamepad, plus a shinier, sexier machine that the graphics lovers and media can dig their teeth into, a then give them GAMES! Bundle Mario U from the start. And you have a completely different launch.
But this is all hindsight. It's easy to sit back and say, "should'a, could'a, would'a". To be fair, look at what Nintendo did with the Wii. They scrapped the graphics upgrade for a lower price point and a brand new control method. Everyone, media, pundits, gamers panned on the system leading up to launch. I remember clearly. But look what happened? They presented a brand new innovation in game play and unlocked and tapped a brand new market segment. Then they followed up with incredible 1st party software (2 Mario Galaxies, NSMB, 3 Metroids, 2 Zeldas, Pikmin, SSB, etc.) and there you have an under-powered system that went gang buster. So how can you fault Nintendo for trying to repeat that formula? Everything else is 20/20 hindsight.
@AdanVC Biased as usual and all the way off topic what the heck your comment talking down the PS4/XBone has to do with talking about the Gamepad and the Wii U??? Ok i'm just going to go off topic too and state this people bought what they wanted it's called preference ever heard of that probably not.......- _ -
I may be the odd one out, but the one sticking point for me before I purchased the Wii U, and even now, is replacing the darn thing (Gamepad)! It breaks, Okay, I'll just run over to (store of choice) and purchase another. (You can't, for those not in the know). And even if you could, At what price!?
I find myself using the gamepad soooo gingerly; to the point that I've seen a few game over screens because I was afraid to handle the buttons, or control sticks too harshly. It's pretty pathetic, actually, but I can't help it, lol. The inaccessibility of a new gamepad controller is always in the back of my mind.
That aside, though, I think a second screen is a neat idea, and of the times. Obviously, there must be something to this since XBox One and PS4 are pursuing second screen ideas, too. (Nintendo paved the way, as usual).
I think it's too soon to knock the gamepad. Two or three years from now, if we're still trying to find a reason for a second screen, then maybe the gamepad wasn't the way to go. There's nothing wrong in failing, though. At least they are trying something different, and keeping it's competition on it's toes.
it appears you are right. it is optimized 480p. But with the size of the screen you would have to be really stingy to see the difference.
The problem is with the gamepad is that it just doesn't work for alot of games I play for instance if I wanted to play TTT2 I use my converter for PS2 to play the game because of how fat the damn thing was in my hands also trying to do moves just doesn't suit my style of play. Also i'm no fan of handheld gaming so that was more of a huge turnoff for me.
I think the first question is kind of a loaded one. I strongly believe the Wii U should have been called Wii 2, Wii HD, Super Wii, or possibly something else. While I am against Nintendo offering the Wii U without the Gamepad as it would fundamentally cripple the need for the controller at all and developers would opt not to use it.
Having a Wii U without the Gamepad would be like a Wii without the Wii Remote, and would challenge the need for having the Wii U or Wii at all. If I want all out performance I play on my PC. If I want unique immersive gameplay I turn to my Nintendo systems.
The GamePad serves many functions that I have come to love. Off screen play, touch screen maps, radio scanner, keypad, touch functionality, Wii Mode gamescreen. Games that make the best use of the second screen are Lego City Undercover, Batman Arkham City, Game and Wario, and Wii Party U. Others like Zelda for maps alone are great.
"That's ridiculous. The Wii didn't have the Gamepad, and look at how it did."
But it had the equally "gimmicky" Wiimote as standard. Your point?
"The Gamepad isn't a "selling point", it's an anti-selling point. The Wii U is selling less than it could because it was mistakenly focused on the Gamepad."
It's not a secret Nintendo screwed the pooch when it came to advertise the Wii U with the Gamepad as their biggest focus. They should have presented it as a part of the whole deal, if you ask me.
"The Gamepad is diminishing Wii U's potential sales and customer base."
Care to elaborate? Because what, price? Price is not the real issue here. It's awareness and games, full stop. Taking out the Pad now would be a huge mistake in face of the PS4 and XBone, since you will have a similar machine as them, but rather underpowered (aka screwed); not to mention burning early owners who sank 350 bucks for it.
@BadSeed Worst comes to the worst you can import one (They sell them separately in Japan). Not sure for how much.
Love my Gamepad. Now I want MadWorld part 2! It was awesome on the Wii!
Is the situation still the input lag you get on the TV is what the normal input lag would be + 1 extra frame ? (Would be better if it was an option if that was the case. Choice is good).
I would like them to release a Wii U Core version just for the reason I don't need off tv play and I would rather not have to buy a new TV to get the latency down enough. (Only ones I know for certain are ok are digital signage screens).
You know...I think the GamePad would have been a MUCH more successful idea if the off tv feature actually worked anywhere in the house rather than basically just in the same room.
People say they don't care about off tv play and wish developers would utilise the GamePad better in their games, even Nintendo, but if the off tv play actually worked anywhere in the house I really think it would have been a MUCH better feature.
Nintendo's biggest flaws with the Wii U was offering features and ideas that don't actually deliver quite what you'd really want of those features and ideas; limited range off tv play. TVii that's almost completely useless. An eShop and VC support that's too limited and restrictive in there being no unified accounts or cross play and a slow trickle of games.
It's like the Wii all over again where it's a system that has so much more potential than Nintendo's clearly ever going to allow it to realize.
Off screen play is irrelevant ... Most families have a tele in every bloody room these days! The gamepad looks smart but finding ways to apply functionality to games in a way that actually improves the experience is the hard part. Zelda WW and ZombiU are the only 2 that seem to enhance the overall experience! ZombiU in particular, just couldn't be played on any other system. We need more games like that!
I prefer the Pro Controller in all honesty. A good example is Super Mario 3D world. I exclusively play on the Pro controller because it reminds me of Super Mario Sunshine. I think the game pad is too gimmicky, and too much of a risk for developers to develop exclusively for it. I think Nintendo should have just made a good console. They should have focused on processing power and OS. I think if they would have matched, or got close to 8th gen graphics they would have a competitive console. The Gamepad was fun and cool for the first week or so, but after that I lost interest.
@Kirk In a Japanese residence it probably does. (Other than say the emperors palace.)
But I'm sure very few families have a Wii U in every room.
This feature shouldn't have been about freeing up the tv in the living room, which is almost meaningless in most cases, but about being able to play in any room at any time.
Just imagine being able to lay in your bed or sit on the toilet playing Virtual Console games on your Wii U GamePad.
Giving gamers the option to play their Wii U games in any room in the house SHOULD have been a major USP. Instead it ended up being kind of useless for the most part.
Wonder how quickly the entire 5ghz spectrum can be saturated by large quantities of Wii U's.
I'd also like to say, 'Wii 2' wouldn't neccessarily have been a bad thing.
The Wii remote still has so much potential unfulfilled. They were just about begginning to get to grips with it when Nintendo choked off it's game supply.
Skyward Sword was like a glimpse into that potential, but we'll probably never see games like that again.
Whereas I've watched the Wii U at three E3s now (kind of) and they've still not shown me any software that makes the gamepad a must-have item.
I admit it felt a bit odd at first, but after getting used to it over time it feels wayyy better now, and the offscreen gaming is wicked.
Nintendo should of made the Wii U with better RAM, xbox one and ps4 has 8gb RAM and Wii U only has 2gb. if Nintendo upped to 8gb or something like 6gb or 4gb then the graphics will be more closer to xbox one/ps4 and there would of been more support from third parties
But I'm quite happy with my Wii U, looking at this comparison video of ps4 and ps3 graphics on assasins creed black flag there isn't much difference, and the Wii U is more powerful than ps3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIHH_PNwcVE
For my part, I love my Wii U, and I love my gamepad. Off screen play is great for when my brother wants to watch a movie or play CoD on PS3. However, Nintendo really seems like they don't know what to do with the gamepad. The only game (demo) I've played so far that I think really uses it in any special way is Wonderful 101 as it's used for making menu selections, drawing battle formations, and looking around inside buildings. Oh and Nintendo Land used it quite well of course.
123akis Yep, I agree. Kind of a shame that a lot of big name developers are only interested in the most powerful consoles, but that's the way it is.
Yeah, probably the only place where that feature actually delivered on it's full potential.
@Giygas_95 They are interested in most profit for least effort.
What they missed was a new add on TV or a new name like Wii 2 HD. The parents dont even know its a new console BUT Nintendo is good on suppport and controllers, they have many controllers and its good to see it within most games. Nintendo do some adds this xmas and say Wii U new console with HD and then show prious Wii familys using the old controllers too. IE a parent waving a nun chuck and say Wii U then handed the game pad! 2014 will be Wii U I know!
@Wesker Luckily, you don't have to use the Gamepad for all Wii U games. There are many games that work without it, like New SMB U and New Super Luigi U, Trine 2: Director's Cut, the Mighty Switch Force games, Just Dance, etc.
However, for the same reason, it's really stupid that it comes in all console packages and that it has been made mandatory in some apps like system settings(!) and the eShop. Sheer stupidity from Nintendo.
@AcesHigh The point needs to be asked because the Gamepad sucks, it's useless or cumbersome for most games, it makes the Wii U needlessly complicated and expensive, and it's driving away customers.
It's not innovation, it's a devolution.
I think it's about on par with the Kinect being manditory. When I look at the XBOne vs PS4 I'm personally swayed towards the XBOne because of Kinect being both better than the PS Camera and included in the price. So if I want an all-round device with awesome wide-angle-lens Skype etc I'll go with the XBOne. That's an added value.
With the Wii U it has remote play included in the box whereas the PS4 has it as an extra feature you have to buy a Vita for. This is a feature I'd happily pay extra for but it's included in the Wii U box as an integrated and better performing feature.
Really I think the naysayers will come around once they realise the local game-streaming isn't a fad. It looks to be one of the big features of this generation and the Wii U is in the box seat. Killing it would be like killing the Kinect on the XBOne, it's something some will demand to drop the price but it's a bad idea given it's a key point of difference and a compelling feature. PS4 has value gaming performance, Wii U has Nintendo and off-TV play, XBOne has all-round device status.
@Peach64 I have thought the same thing with a gamepad about 80% the size of the current one. I have large hands so don't mind he gamepad size as it is suprisingly slim and light.......I too love it for OffTV as it is the ultimate handheld in the living room. Not sure they should make a no-gamepad model at this point as it would further confuse consumers. I think making games that better utilize 2 screen console gaming is the best strategy. Every type of game that could really show of gamepad with no one has made. Imagine a depthful rpg like skyrim or draon age on WiiU with all menu and character management on gamepad...or a damend SRPG like Fire Emblem or even Advance war or Starcraft. How about a battling card game like the upcoming Hearthstone from blizzard. A game like eye of judgement would be cool if it supported multiple gamepads and online play and let you play the cards on the gamepad but battles played out in realtime on the Tv. Just doing somethng that requires the gamepad and is appealing would help so much. They need to work on handheld to console ideas and games as they have this 35mil installed 3DS base they could be won to WiiU with the right type of cross play/buy experiences. I just hope they wake up and figure out how WiiU ganepad could be used.
The Wii u should have been a very strong console (on par with PS4 and XboxOne), with a enhanced Wiimote, at a decent price (250 Euro)!
Now we are stuck with a pretty good controller (quality wise), but a console that's miles behind PS4/XboxOne (graphics wise), and a console that's pretty cheap made in any way (especially in the download department)! And at a awful price!
So far I used the controller most for off-tv play, wich is great! But I hope to see very good and original use in single-player games, not just multiplayer!
I say it again: People never wanted a tablet-like controller, and all the combinations of controllers doesn't make any sense to the masses! It confuses people! All those controllers, all those peripherals, it feels like Sega! And we know how that ended!!
The definition of evolution: "the gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form."
So, by your own definition, the Wii U is "devolving" because it's getting more complex? Your comment sir, is an oxymoron.
Very simply, the gamepad only adds more options for control and viewing certain aspects of the game. It also offers the ability for the game to be played remotely on it's screen vs. the TV. A feature which, yet again, has been quickly copied by it's competitor - but yet is included in every box. Unlike the Vita/PS4 streaming offering.
Question for you. Do you think the DS is too complex?
@QuickSilver88 Yeah, they can't drop the gamepad now. It's just not going to happen because then developers (1st, 2nd and 3rd) would then have the paradox and added development cost of developing for one, both or neither gaming configurations. That will drive 3rd parties further away. They need to stick with it.
I honestly think this question is pretty much moot at this point. This is the platform they developed and they need to support it. If anything, they're stuck with it because of the charactaristics of the hardware and platform. I also think that it's moot because the games are now starting to come out, they have a major hit with SM3D world (the highest rated among all new releases leading into Black Friday), they have 2 great new bundles (Wind Waker and SMBU) in stores competing against next gen machines that will be, for the most part, out of stock this holiday season and media that are starting to come around and changing their stance on the Wii U. I honestly think this Xmas season will be their break out. This is why I think asking this question is kind of senseless at this point.
I think it's strange that people are so put off by the Wii U. It's just a giant DS. They've been making DS games that take advantage of the two screens for almost 10 years now, why is it suddenly throwing them off because the screens are bigger?
Arguing these points is pointless. We have the Wii U. It's not going anywhere. Who cares if the GamePad was the right choice? The choice has been made. You can either look forward to the innovative titles for the Wii U, or try to dream up the next bit of hardware from Nintendo in another 6 years or so. Trust me, you'll never guess it. And you'll be missing out on some incredible games. I STILL regret sitting the Gamecube out.
The Wii U Gamepad really offers a next generation controls! With good placed buttons, the touch screen, the camera feature and the motion controls! This is absolutely the best controller ever created! (IMO of course)
@Mahe "It's not innovation, it's a devolution."
I respectfully disagree. The Wii U Gamepad offers many features that makes it innovating.
"it's really stupid that it comes in all console packages and that it has been made mandatory in some apps like system settings(!) and the eShop. Sheer stupidity from Nintendo."
So you find it annoying to use some apps only with the Gamepad? Next time, bring another good reason.
I love the Wii U Gamepad it's Awesome
I am kind of torn on the subject. On the one hand I believe the gamepad has an incredible amount of potential to create new ways to play, and in some ways it already has from what I have seen. On the other hand, I am worried about the possibility of damaging the gamepad and not being able to get a replacement controller for it. The gamepad is an expensive piece of tech, and the fact that you can't even find them in stores is enough to make me a little paranoid about damaging it. If this issue could be resolved then my mind would be put at ease, though the price of the gamepad would be would still be enough of a reason to be extra careful.
Well they could go the Sony route, Playstation 2, 3, 4 and let me guess...5, 6, 7.
Even the controllers are 90% the same in terms of design, which unfortunately I have never grown accustomed too. I like having a joystick in the top left area, and I like a cross pad that is not broken up into four pieces, my finger nails get caught in them, and just now on ps4 they have added real trigger like buttons that are curved inward. Even the buttons feel odd, cause my finger nails get caught too, and the overall controller is not really comfortable. The xbox controller is more ergonomically contoured to a persons hands and easier to rest on for long periods. The pro controller even took notes on it.
So far though, the gamepad is my now my new favorite controller. the screen is super handy to have at your finger tips. also, my hands are not as cramped in together when holding a traditional controller.
If you play Wii Party U, you can see the many uses for strictly the gamepad touch and gyroscopic features.
@SCAR392 I love the gamepad most in multiplayer when it removes split screen for two player local multiplayer.
Love the gamepad. I've ALWAYS loved the gamepad. Whether it will help Nintendo commercially is yet to be determined, but perhaps it's not my place to ponder such things. All I know is I love the Wii U- I love the gamepad- I love the games... I love everything about it!
Doesn't really matter how well it "sells". It's the best console I've ever owned and at the moment I'm having a hard time imagining Nintendo, MS or Sony topping the Wii U as far as amazing experiences. Matter of fact, my PS4 has been sitting on my floor unused since I bought it. Why? Too busy playing the Wii U. And THAT'S the truth.
*** On a side note, almost everyone I've spoken to that actually owns a Wii U loves the gamepad. Everyone talks about it's "potential", but, at least for me, I feel it's already become a necessity. It's hard to go back to screen-less controllers once you've adjusted. Even for the little stuff- even for maps or touch shortcuts or the like, it's incredible how much I hate not having it on other consoles now that I've acclimated.
I think people are forgetting that the GamePad isn't exclusive... Really, it would add more value for games across the board if devs utilized it.
It's a win-win. Regardless of which system you have, you SHOULD be supporting this. It will add more value to software in the long-term, because anything 2nd screen addition going on will make it easier for Wii U to get games and get the 2nd screen on to other systems via Smartglass or PS Vita going when they most likely would have been ignored.
3rd parties just need to be more open to the idea of getting a second screen going, no matter which system they're making the game for.
the only thing i disagree with nintendo about is the name wii u. Should have been Wii 2 OR SUPER WII
i try to find every which way around having to use the gamepad.
i couldnt put it anymore simple.
I think the Gamepad is what made me have to get the Wii U. I already have a PC more powerful than a PS4 so multi-platform games were never a concern of mine, but the Gamepad gave me a different experience that I couldn't get on my PC. I grew up on Nintendo games (and Sega too), but the different gaming experiences in what has brought me back to Nintendo consoles/handhelds in recent years.
@Specters Totally agree brother, PC and Wii U is the best choices for next-Gen.
I believe Nintendo just need more 3rd party games, ever since the game cube, it seems Nintendo didn't have as much 3rd party games, but Nintendo do have more exclusive. It's sad for me to know that games I would definitely buy aren't coming to Wii u: kindom hearts, final fantasy, metal gear 5 which is coming out for PS3 But not Wii u which is more powerful, think of how the game pad be utilized in metal gear 5 would be awesome, not a sport fan, but lots of sports game as well didn't make it to Wii u. Nintendo just need 3rd party games more. If the other gamer know Nintendo have 3rd party games being cheaper prized and free online gaming, definitely sells would be better. I believe ever since game cube people didn't see Nintendo getting enough 3rd party games.
I think the idea that a successor to the Wii with just remote would have sold better is probably a fallacy - you would have had even bigger problems with brand confusion which the inclusion of a new controller corrects. As nice as HD is, the fact is that when you're displaying big colourful graphics on a flat screen the level of detail often goes unnoticed. "The Wii, now with HD!" just wouldn't have had the same impact.
Having said that the Gamepad is kind of a nice add-on and doesn't feel essential, however having a Gamepad and Classic Controllers I cannot understand the point of the Pro Controller at all. Playing with that would feel like something is missing. I like the second screen for menus and additional info display and off-tv has come in handy (I refuse to have more than one tv in the house) - if for no other reason than a quick eShop purchase or Wii Fit update without having to switch on the TV.
What's needed is better and more consistent implementation. I'm playing the Wonderful 101 right now and aside from not being terribly interested in the story or impressed with the one-dimensionality of the sole female playable character, the fact that you have a shape-drawing mechanic which only works with the touchscreen some of the time is frustrating and inexcusable given that Nintendo published the game. Crack that and a lot of griping will cease.
Another issue not mentioned in this article is the fact it took Nintendo over a year to get a must have game out for the system. This is obviously in addition to a low overall output of first and third party titles in the consoles first year.
I don't think we should be surprised at the low sales when you consider the confused marketing and lack of software support for the machine (and initial high price).
ZombiU and Deus Ex DC. I wouldn't want to be without those games. I know Nintendo is having trouble in the 3rd party area, but if they DO continue to develop for Wii U, I want more games like that that make use of the pad in fun, immersive ways.
I think the gamepad was a good idea the problem is that it has some big design flaws.
1- It is too big and uncomfortable. it is not possible to grab/hold it properly on the back
2 - Battery life. It is ridiculously small. Everybody ends up playing plugged-in all the time so making ti even more uncomfortable. It has enough space for a larger battery so you spend an extra 30€ (cutting costs=pay even more for it) for the upgrade and then it is still not enough. I never gotten more than 4 hours with the upgrade battery with the screen brightness set at 3 out of 5
3 - Off-TV play is great but the range is as small as the battery life. I live in a small apartment and I cant go play in the room next to where the Wii U sits when my wife is watching TV. It´s about 4meters away and a wall (not to big) in between you get lots of disconnections.
Urg not this again. The gamepad is what makes the wiiu,without people would be shouting how its just a current gen system all the more. The gamepad is an awesome peripheral and I love been able to play big budget console experiences in bed,next to my wife while she watchs tv or even when im on the loo! I see the gamepad as a very comfortable controller that has the OPTION of having touch based controls of second screen features. Its alot like how people treated the wiimote (thus inventing the term"waggle") to begin with. The option to utilise the gamepad is there and arguabley hasnt seen its potential maximised yet,but even if that never comes to fruition we have the awesome off tv play. My only complaint is that this has not been advertised as much or as well as it should
What I don't get is how they came up with so many new game ideas for the DS, yet they're drawing a blank when it comes to the WiiU. They're pretty much the same setup.
The gamepad has a terrible batterylife. Nintendo would have done a better job with using tablets like MS is doing now.
Watch the sales of the X1 and PS4, they both don't have a tabletcontroller so it seems that gamers not really want that.
I loved the Gamecube controller...light, responsive, accurate and very comfortable. The Xbox 360 controller was near perfect as well. The new PS4 controller seems to be top notch. The gamepad just doesn't deliver all these things.
the gamepad is only a issue
people wake up
I really do love my WiiU, but if I were completely honest with myself, the only time I really use it is for off-screen play; Otherwise I am using the pro-controller or Wii Remote and Nunchuck. At the same time, I don't think a "Wii2" would have sold any better than the WiiU with the gamepad. I actually think it would sell less, since most people would think "been there done that". In a way I feel that the WiiU is what the Wii should have been all those years ago.
The Gamepad is criminally underused in the majority of games IMO. The only games I've seen it been used to it's full extent is NintendoLand and The Wonderful 101. Even Pikmin 3 pretty much ignored the uniqueness of the controller. The Gamepad is THE UNIQUE selling point of the Wii U and every game should be using it to the full to help drive those sales!
I love Nintendo, but I hate that GamePad. Off-TV play has no appeal to me. I have a beautiful HDTV, so why on Earth would I play my games on that small screen? 3DS games on a small screen is one thing, but not beautiful HD titles. Second, besides Nintendo Land (hardly a game that I return to often) I have yet to play a Wii U game that was enhanced or made better because of the GamePad. I have beat Mario 3D World to completion, and I wish I could have played ALL of the levels with the Pro Controller. Having to stop in certain levels to blow into the mic and swipe the touch pad were pointless additions; Nintendo just threw them in there so that they could justify the GamePad as doing something.
Nintendo should make the GamePad optional. Release a bundle that comes with a Pro Controller, not the Pad, and that has a lower price point. The GamePad will still be available for those who actually care about it, but it gives another option to those who might want a Wii U but don't dig the tablet controller.
I like new ideas, but I think now many innovative games are dulling down back to thumbstick controls, because of GamePad controller. Developers and mainly gamers doesn't bother to experience anything new so majority of games doesn't use GamePads full potential as virtual screen and as aiming device or motion controls, usually GamePad is used only for off-screen playing. Maybe it would be better if Nintendo would have continued to use WiiMotePlus as standard controller along with Wii U. Name could have been also changed to Wii 2 HD. Then every gamer and developer would know that Nintendo Wii U is different kind of gaming console, not anything standard. I still think it is time to change how people are used to play video games, Wii was definetly on the right way to change this practise. Hopefully there will be games that use all the new features of Gamepad.
The gamepad is the reason I bought a Wii U day one(I love off-tv play).If Wii U would have been just an upgrade in graphics I would have waited for Super Smash Bros 4 or a brand new Zelda to get it
I won't get around to buying Mario 3D World until next week, but did they seriously make some levels ONLY playable with the gamepad?? If so, thats garbage.
Also, I think the only people who play off-screen are those who still live with their parents and don't have access to a television whenever they want. I've owned a Wii-U for over a year now, and I think I've only played games off-screen using the gamepad screen for less than five hours.
@Falco Worst thing? What about The Virtual Boy?
@SCAR392 the battery life is plenty reason to put it down. I really like the gamepad but the pro controller is more comfortable I think. Those are both reason to put it down for some. Especially the battery life of maybe 4-5hrs with the screen dimmed completely vs 80hrs. No brainer
The connection signal from Wii u to gamepad is pathetic.
It's a great example of what I consider a potentially very compelling Unique Selling Point of the console that has been gimped just enough as to make it basically worthless for most people.
This is where Nintendo keeps dropping the ball as of late imo.
They have a really cool off TV GamePad where there's really not much excuse to play it off TV other than to demonstrate to someone you can play it off TV.
They have this potentially awesome new GamePad but you can only use one per console so part of the uniqueness of it becomes totally pointless since only one player can actually take advantage of it.
Imagine if you could realistically have 4 players each using their own GamePad during multi-player games... FPS with 4 players...in different rooms of the house all competing against each other...Imagine; 4 player scrabble with each person having their own screen with letters that no one else can see. 4 player Madden, with each person able to secretly call plays on their own touch screen...4 player Poker with each player having their own hand of cards on their private screen...
They have this potentially paradigm shifting GamePad but it's battery life is short enough that it becomes a bit of a hassle.
They have this cool new GamePad but gimp it by not making one set of the triggers analog so it doesn't work perfectly for certain types of multi-platform games, like racers.
Potential destroyed by reality.
A HD Wii, with the same control scheme as in in the old Wii would have been not only the most obvious thing Nintendo could have done but also an extremely boring and predictable thing to do. One of the most important things that made the original Wii a success was that it offered something new and fresh. A console with focus on motion detection control is hardly a fresh idea anymore, not to mention the fact that motion detection is one of the most broken ideas in the history of gaming. It's good that they held on to the concept, because wiimote control can be the definitive control option for some game types, but I respect Nintendo for boldly going with something new. The concept behind Wii U/Gamepad still is excellent, but we just need the games so to exploit that potential.
Honestly, I think that the Gamepad could play a huge part in Nintendo appealing to Indie gamers and developers. The gamepad features a touchscreen and motion sensitivity, which is a trait that many Android and iOS Indie games have. If Nintendo can really rally the Indie market, the Wii U could make a far better dent in that market than the PS4 or XBO.
I'm pretty late to the party and not wont to read all 166 earlier comments, so forgive me should I repeat someone else; but I believe Nintendo ought to consider a scaled-down version of the Wii U with just a Wii U Pro Controller and / or Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. It will require an across-the-board system update for all current Wii U owners to re-create the OS so it can be easily used without the touch-screen (or better yet: allow 3DS owners to use those consoles as a sort of GamePad, if it's technologically feasible). A $200 Wii U would be possible without the GamePad.
Nintendo doesn't have much of an excuse here, as literally none of their own games except Nintendo Land and The Wonderful 101 require the use of the GamePad, and WaraWara Plaza is pretty useless as a start-up screen.
I can agree that the battery life is somewhat ridiculous. I use it for everything I play. Even if the bottom screen only shows a menu or map, I still find it more worthwhile to have around.
TBH, alot of the complaints or criticism here sound very similar to the DS days.
The only problem with the controller is the battery, which I believe can be upgraded in Japan and not yet in the other territories. I purchased Nyko's battery extender, which works well for me. Otherwise, it's a phenomenal controller and offers many options that were otherwise not available. I've seen complaints that it has too much plastic or otherwise a bit heavy but we need to remember that Nintendo is making a device that must be lab tested for drop durability. For example, how many drops can the PS Vita sustain during PS4 Remote Play? We'll see.
Also, off screen play is not the only innovation that we can enjoy at this point. I recommend trying Nintendo TVii while watching your favorite shows. There are small regular communities that post some rather humorous statements and doodles during commercial breaks. I found myself watching episodes of Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Agents of Shield, etc. live and not on DVR only to be able to live post on TVii. It adds a pretty cool experience to just watching alone.
Lastly, in terms of gameplay, let's be patient. I have to believe that Nintendo will soon release some eShop games or DLC that will utilize the Gamepad in better ways. I can see some games or Mario levels (for example) that will utilize Stylus only or other types of gameplay that will not be possible on the other systems. They just need to get their footing.
@Memeboy3 WiiU is worse. Nintendo were at least smart enough to kill that thing quickly, learn from their mistake and re-plan. With the WiiU they're just going to let it flop around in its near-dead state...
@Mahe I know and if it wasn't for Nintendo's competitors I would put up with it, but Sony have managed to position their products much more closely in line with my needs. Despite the fact that their 1st party games are no where near as good.
I would just feel like such a nob engaging in 2 screens at the same. I know people use Ipads and watch tv at the same time, but they're often not actively doing both at the same time and the Ipad is so sleek whereas the gamepad is so plasticy.
The novelty of the Gamepad's features and its innovations is clear when you hit the power button and use it to control your TV and console.
Miyamoto said himself, its primary features are to make traditional gaming more convenient (using touch screen menus and off tv-play) and enhance the motion control experience when working with the remotes and nunchucks (Pikmin 3, Nintendoland).
Not every game is going to take advantage of all of the Gamepad's features. But even in games where the gamepad is used minimally, like Ninja Gaiden 3:RE and Assassin's Creed 3, having that 2nd screen makes things a lot more convenient (quickly hopping to Miiverse, navigating maps/upgrade menus) .
Wii U games don't require you to engage 2 screens at the same time. When designed appropriately the 2nd screen is there to make gaming "convenient" even when it's just a map. With games that use map navigation, the map on the gamepad is usually much bigger than maps displayed in a HUD and you don't have pause the game to glance at it.
@Diddy_kong: My experience exactly. Nintendoland is the first, last and only game that had me thinking "heh, this is cool." Every other game had me wishing I could use the Wiimote or Pro controller.
Even (or especially?) ZombiU. Imagine swinging that paddle or shooting a gun with the wiimote. Now that would have been immersive. Infinetly more immersive than being able to use it as a "scanner" at the cost of clunky analog stick aiming.
Gamepad is a good controller but the battery is just rubbish. Also I haven't seen much of a creative use for it outside Nintendo Land. That thing would be great for level editors, bring it for Smash Bros at least. At least it's been good for maps and inventories.
The Original Wii should have been HD, folks were just starting to buy HD televisions then, that said we now have a Wii u which is HD.
An expensive upgrade just to get HD.
So I guess it is the Gamepad that was suppose to sell the Wii u and it has not convinced the majority of Wii owners, who already have smartphones, tablets and 3ds's to play games on, they don't need yet another screen.
The only real use it has is to play a game away from the TV screen. No to far away because the range is very limited. So having spent £250 for an HD console we then play the game on a gamepad. That could have been done via a 3ds and Wi-Fi.
Then along comes Pikmin and we are told the gamepad is not the best controller to use, similar advice for some other games. At best it is an expensive screen for maps. For the most part the gamepad does not add any value to a third party game when compared to the Xbox or Playstation.
People buy the Nintendo console to 'play' Nintendo games because those games are not available on the other consoles. I bet a good percentage of Playstation and Xbox households also bought a Wii for that reason; and the fact it was reasonably priced.
On paper the gamepad must have looked like a good idea, but it has turned out to be a non started. It is just a heavy controller that seems to have limited use for most games.
Edit. A lot more memory for the Wii u was also overlooked, as well as good launch games. All in all a rush job to get the console into the shops. And now Nintendo are having to 'up' the price of game to try and re-coupe some cash.
I hate the Wii U gamepad.
It seems in Nintendo's games it is giving more attention to that option than the Wii U pro controller. My example is Wind Waker HD. The item select menu is TERRIBLE when controlling with the Pro Controller because of the way everything is placed. I'm not saying they should have made it just as easy, because that would be impossible with the gamepad having a touch screen, but make it a user friendly menu for both controllers. This is what I mean:
Everything is diagonal and it is hard to get to the item you want to select.
Everything is grid based making ti easier to pick.
I got so tired of this, I actually played with the gamepad in my lap and then had the pro controller in my hands which was a huge pain.
Why don't you just use the GamePad by itself for Wind Waker HD? I'm afraid alot of people won't be able to take your complaint very seriously if you're complaining about using 2 controllers when you don't have to.
The GamePad and the Pro controller have the exact same buttons and analog sticks, so there's no reason to use both.
I think because Nintendo has been chastised for peripherals that were optional in the past they wanted to handle the GamePad differently. You can't deny the balance board is a sales success, but it's only used by a handful of games. WiiSpeak is a joke and the headset isn't capitalized on at all. Even WiiMotion+ is an option, not a requirement. If WiiU was offered at a lower price without a GamePad or could play bluray/
dvd, I'd have one already. I truly believe WiiU is just WiiHD, but I'm fine with that. I have never played a game because the graphics were amazing. Gameplay is the key and, to me, no one does it better than Nintendo.
Nintendo is correct in trying to be different and do something unique.
If you can't compete on power, the next best thing is to innovate and stand out.
Both Microsoft and Nintendo need their kinect and gamepad included with every system if they want 3rd parties to incorporate uses of these peripherals.
Microsoft feels Kinect will be its future. And in order for it to be a success they need other devs to do creative things with it and you won't get that support by offering the device seperately at retail. Why would a 3rd party intentionally shrink its potential market and resources to concentrate on a device that not every potential customer owns? This is something Nintendo learned back in the late 80's and early 90's..... Extra peripherals don't sell nearly as well and third parties don't want anything to do with it (for the most part)
By including them with every purchase devs tend to want to do something with it as they know everyone in the potential pool owns one.... I LOVE the idea of multiplayer games without splitscreen. Neo assault (Shin'en), Sonic transformed racing(Sega), and BLOPS2(Treyarch) got it right with their games in multiplayer. I wish more devs would do this with their couch coop, even if it means pulling the visual fidelity down a notch to keep the performance in this mode (Shin'en and BLOPS2 kept their games at 60fps in this mode)
I think it is still too early to judge what Nintendo has up their sleeve regarding the gamepad, but so far I really dig it for some ideas by 3rd party games..... Just having a map and some information on it is great. While it was awkward at first having to look down a the gamepad while playing, now that I'm used to it I love the feature. It may not be as revolutionary as the Wii motes, but I like being able to get clutter HUD off my main display. It's like playing a movie in this mode. Not to mention off TV mode is a god send IMO (even if off TV mode was the only feature of the gamepad I would still consider it essential)
I still think Nintendo is experimenting with ideas. I like the implementation in 3D World. The commercials made it feel gimmicky in the game, but after having it in my home, my wife who doesn't play these types of games (Facebook game fanatic) likes playing with the touch screen while I play with the Wiimote and chuck (or pro controller)... The Japanese themed level she really liked because of all the things she can touch and swipe
Asynchronous multiplayer is an interesting idea. I personally view it as the idea is still in its infancy. Console generations last 6+ years on average and we are only right at year one. So I'm interested to see where Nintendo and others go with it.
I still think Ninty should experiment with its own version of the Occulus rift right now before the idea takes off next year (beat Sony/Microsoft to the punch will cause a Nintendo resurgent of sorts with gamers... Head mounted tracking device are going to be the future of gaming whether gamers want to admit right now or not)
@Scollurio a higher powered Nintendo console would have cost more than xBone. Nintendo would utterly fail as a company if their product was more expensive. Parents usually but the least expensive console for their children and that's a big bulk of their market. I think people calling for more power forget that.
If you want power, get a PC. It has much better looking games than PS4/xBone, it has a MUCH bigger library of both third party games and many more fantastic exclusives. I still don't understand why people who are obsessed with power and graphics even bother with consoles to be stuck in the 30fps ghetto of Sony and Microsoft.
I personally find the Wii U gamepad uncomfortable. (And I like to use a standard controller) I could have just used the Pro Controller, but the menu was, as said, to hard to navigate.
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