When the Wii U was first announced, the confirmation of the GamePad controller — complete with a second-screen bursting with tantalizing asymmetrical gameplay possibilities — caused quite a stir. The reaction from the industry and general public was mainly positive, and certainly not as vitriolic as when Nintendo first showed off the (then) unfamiliar waggle-based mechanics of the Wii back in 2005. When the Wii U eventually broke cover, the concept of second-screen gaming was already starting to evolve on other platforms, and it appeared that Nintendo was once again stealing a march on its rivals and laying down the foundations of a fresh generation of entertainment.
Fast forward to the present day, and some would argue that the GamePad is now a curse rather than a blessing. Outside of a handful of titles — such as Nintendo Land and Game & Wario — the GamePad's asymmetrical possibilities have been all but ignored, with the vast majority of developers choosing to either use it for basic inventory management or off-TV play only. Third parties can possibly be forgiven for this — especially when they're attempting to retrofit GamePad functionality to titles that already exist on other systems — but somewhat more telling is Nintendo's lack of enthusiasm for its own technology.
Look back at some of the key Nintendo-published Wii U games in 2013, and you'll notice a worrying trend — most can be experienced perfectly well without the GamePad. Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker all offer support for alternative control methods, which means the GamePad isn't being used to anywhere near its full potential — if it was, then we'd have more games that simply couldn't be experienced without it. Even the console's most important title yet — Super Mario 3D World — makes only passing use of the controller; while it contains special levels which use of the GamePad's touch-screen, motion controls and microphone, most of the game can quite easily be played using either the Pro Controller or Wii Remote. Super Mario 3D World is an absolutely stunning video game, and easily one of the best titles of 2013, but shouldn't it be utilising the Wii U's unique selling point a little more convincingly?
Moving forward, things become even more concerning. The first big Wii U game of 2014 — Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze — effectively reduces the GamePad to little more than a massive Pro Controller. Our suspicions that this would be the case were aroused when we played the game shortly after E3 last year and were forced to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo, rather than the GamePad itself. At the time, we assumed this was merely to illustrate that the sequel would control just like the beloved Wii original, but having spent some quality time with the title recently, we now guess that it was to mask another issue: when you're playing Tropical Freeze, the GamePad's screen is switched off entirely.
The fact that a first-party Nintendo game doesn't make any meaningful use of the GamePad outside of off-TV play speaks volumes about what a hard time the company is having with this unique interface
The fact that a first-party Nintendo game doesn't make any meaningful use of the GamePad outside of off-TV play speaks volumes about what a hard time the company is having with the unique interface it has created. Also, whatever happened to support for more than one GamePad? This was something that was spoken about upon release but we've heard nothing since — another indication that Nintendo perhaps isn't all that concerned with pushing the controller as far as it can go. All of which predictably leads us to speculate about the future: could Nintendo seriously be considering dropping the GamePad? Is this part of Satoru Iwata's bold new strategy? While the idea sounds outlandish and even counter-productive, it would actually make a lot of sense on many levels.
Firstly, there are the cost implications to consider — and we all know that Nintendo wants to get its profits back up after the dismal figures revealed recently. We know that the Japanese giant is taking quite a hit on the GamePad itself — it's reported to cost around $70 to manufacture and bundle with the system. By removing it from the equation, Nintendo would have the room to drastically reduce the overall cost of the Wii U, making it vastly more appealing for consumers. This could also potentially remove some of the confusion which has hounded the console since its launch; without the GamePad, it arguably becomes an easier system to sell: "It's a Wii, but in HD!" Throw in a Pro Controller and Wii Remote, and you've got a hardware bundle which — when armed with the right selection of games and the correct price — would surely make a considerable impact at retail.
Secondly, a system which doesn't rely on the GamePad should — in theory, at least — be more attractive for developers. Third parties won't have to invest additional resource to add GamePad streaming or optimise their existing code to run on the system. Granted, the GamePad offers the opportunity to make games even better and vastly more immersive — and many indie developers have spoken publicly of how much they love the unique possibilities it brings to the table — but it's just as valid to suggest that it's proving to be a deterrent to some companies. Large third party publishers are only going to take the financial risk of adding GamePad functionality to their multi-format software if they can be confident that bumper sales are waiting upon release, and at the moment that simply isn't the case.
This potential scenario doesn't mean that the GamePad is totally consigned to the scrapheap, but rather it becomes an optional extra
Of course, this potential scenario doesn't mean that the GamePad is totally consigned to the scrapheap, but rather it becomes an optional extra. The controller could be sold on its own, or bundled with certain games which rely on it being present. Just as Microsoft proudly printed "Better with Kinect" on the packaging of many Xbox 360 titles, Nintendo could do the same — the GamePad would live on, but in a slightly reduced capacity.
The biggest headache is addressing the many titles already out in the wild which require the controller to function. Super Mario 3D World, for example, still needs the GamePad to be present, even though it is only used for a small percentage of the time. To solve this issue, Nintendo could issue patches online which modify the game's code, allowing the touch-screen sections in Super Mario 3D World to be bypassed or tackled using button presses instead. True, it would be a less enjoyable experience, but it's better than totally locking people out of the game unless they own the correct controller — inspiration can perhaps be taken from the 360 and PS3 uses of Murfy in Rayman Legends. More problematic titles — such as Nintendo Land, which simply cannot be played without a second-screen — would have to make it very clear before purchase that a GamePad must to be used.
In the right hands, the GamePad is an amazing tool which enriches the games we play and brings an additional dimension to the entire experience. Anyone who has enjoyed the underrated Nintendo Land with friends or laughed their way through Game & Wario's hilarious "Fruit" mode will attest to that. However, outside of a handful of examples, the controller has been criminally underused — both by Nintendo itself and third parties — and as a result is becoming a dead-weight which is slowly but surely dragging the Wii U down. Cutting the console's reliance on the GamePad seems drastic, but given the signs, it could well be what Nintendo has planned — and this about-face may be what is needed to reverse the console's fortunes. The Wii U already places a fair amount of focus on the Wii Remote, so it would be very easy for Nintendo to change its marketing to reflect this. "Here's the system you've loved over the past seven years, and it now has better visuals!" While many experts insist that the Wii's "casual" user base has largely transitioned to smartphones, it's important to remember that the name still has a fair amount of brand allure — Nintendo could easily play on that, especially now that Wii Fit U and some Wii Sports events are available — the latter would need those retrofitting patches we've referenced earlier, though Bowling and Tennis primarily use the Remote Plus anyway.
Apologies in advance for the rather gory analogy, but when Aron Ralston found himself trapped in a canyon in Utah, he chose to cut off his arm rather than die of thirst and starvation. You could argue that Nintendo finds itself in a similar situation; it may be that it needs to sacrifice a core component of the Wii U's functionality in order to keep the console alive. By removing the GamePad, the appeal and the uniqueness of the system is unquestionably reduced, making it "just another console", but it could arguably deliver the boost required to grow its user base — and when you've got a system that's selling, it's much easier to attract developer support. Befuddlement over exactly what the console is could also be removed, it will be cheaper and therefore more likely to sell, and third party developers will find it easier to support with their cross-platform games. Who knows, Nintendo could even re-brand the system as the "Wii 2", which would surely eradicate any confusion and inform the consumer of exactly what they're investing in.
Do you think Nintendo is about to drop support for the GamePad? Do you think it would be a wise move, or a potentially disastrous one? Make sure you vote in the poll below and also share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Should Nintendo reduce its focus on the GamePad? (718 votes)
- Yes, the controller hasn't been as successful as hoped and is holding the system back25%
- No, it's the Wii U's most unique element and just needs to find its killer app61%
- I'm not sure14%
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Would removing the Gamepad and replacing it with a pro controller and Wii remote really save that much?
Besides, I'd see it as cutting off their nose to spite the face. It'd do more harm than good.
Give the Gamepad a freaking break. I think its awesome and it will be used in more cool ways in the future. Sheesh.
Stupid idea. The few people clamoring for this probably don't own a WiiU. If you live with anyone else and you also own a TV, you want the Gamepad. I play games on the Gamepad more than I do on the big screen anymore, especially eshop titles. It's a vital part of the system - and a great reason to own a WiiU.
I voted no, but I don't think the added "it just needs to find it's killer app" is true either. I like the gamepad. I like browsing the internet with it. It is my go-to controller now. This is a pretty lame article...
I like the gamepad,nothing wrong with it.
TBH while i like thegamepad i think it use is very limited.
Off Screen and Inventory/Maps are nice to have but games would be just as good without them. As an optional controller if Nintendo requests every game to have Off Screen Play it would be nice to have.
It would be a short term solution. Removing the only thing that separates the system from the other gen 7 systems to save a little money right now is a terrible idea. Down the line when the Wii U is cheaper to manufacture and the price isn't a problem anymore, we're going to be lucky they kept it.
The use of the gamepad screen should be optional for any developer.....I thought the Wii had some average games that could have been great if they just took out motion controls and I think there were some games that didn't make it to the Wii because of the motion control fad. But I think it is stupid to get rid of it. Instead release the Fusion add on hardware so the Wii U can play DS & 3DS games and use the gamepad for things that enhance games and use it only for off tv play for other games. Personally I love the gamepad and it is the reason why I bought the U. Off tv gameplay is a awesome when I seldom get control of my tv.
Before, I would have said no. But now that I've seen how many cool games Nintendo made that don't even use it, I think there's a good the solution here. The Wii Tu. A Wii U without the gamepad (and maybe a little better specs?). Push the Wii U and The Wii Tu together, like the 3DS and 2DS. The 2 sounding name will clear up confusion of whether it's a new console, and will be perfect as a cheaper version (much like the 2DS).
I think NintendoLand alone proves how fun it can be to use the GamePad. I've had lots of fun playing that game using the Pad, and of course with other games as well. And of course, off-TV play!
I'd keep it just for off tv play.
Should it be sacrificed? Yes, yes and thrice yes. Simples.
This is like asking if the Wii would have been a success without the Wii Remote.
I wasn't too fond of the GamePad too till I spent some time playing with it. Now, I love this controller. Playing is believing people, give it a week in your household and tell me you want to go back.
The problems with the Wii U have nothing to do with the GamePad. And really, it should remain optional for developer to use, it's NEVER good to be forcing developers to do things.
The problems with the Wii U are mainly hardware, where it's too weak to support ports from the PS4 and Xbone, and Nintendo having designed the Wii U to try to recatch the lost casual market rather than appeal to the hardcore, continues to advertise the Wii U as such, and it was a massive failure. Casuals still don't care about the Wii U, and most hardcore gamers don't either.
I really don't think the Wii U has a chance at remotely catching up to the PS4 and Xbone unless a hardware upgrade is possible somehow. With or without the Game Pad, if the Wii U was at least as powerful as the Xbone and Nintendo spent more money advertising to hardcores instead of a mass majority of their money advertising to casuals, the Wii U would probably be doing a lot better right now.
Other things like an account based system instead of a digital purchases tied to the console, and a free and open online system without barriers at every turn preventing communication between players like exists on Sony and Microsoft systems would also get a lot more purchases.
Playing Rayman Legends on the WiiU really shows you how great the Gamepad can be when used properly, I think everyone should take a page from Ubisoft and just actually TRY to use the gamepad
A selling point? If it is a selling point, why hasn't the Wii U sold millions like Ps4? No they shouldn't remove the gamepad, they need to market the gamepad.
I am on the fence about this. I have a wii u, but there really has not been a game that really takes advantage of the gamepad. Granted, the off tv play is nice, but aside from that, the gamepad is just another controller. what they really need to do to turn things around, is to put their entire backlog of games as a streaming service for wii u/3ds. charge 9.99 a month for access to the entire library. I think that would really increase sales, as well as generate a tremendous amount of revenue for them. know I would subscribe to something like that
First of all, Nintendo has done something the other two didn't. The choice of how you want to play games by either using the Wii remote, Pro Controller or the gamepad. Its like the DS family. Why would people need two screens to play when they can rather play on one screen and as soon as people realized the importance of the two screens, they loved the system.
To those who say to sacrifice the gamepad are just plain dumb. the devs are already complaining how poor the graphics are on the system and that its "Hard" to make games on the system despite it actually being much easier so if the gamepad is removed, what's the point of just using the pro controller?
If devs don't want to use the gamepad, they can just make it wii U pro controller exclusive. But if you want to be creative, you have to use the gamepad.
I don't get people. They say that technology will advance and that there will be a lot of new ways to interact with the technology and here I am seeing Nintendo doing just that!
I'd favor a redesigned gamepad that is smaller and slimmer, rather than a pro controller in the box. More than anything, Wii U simply needs a killer app to drive sales.
I think Nintendo should offer a cheap version of the Wii U for $199 missing the gamepad with a pro controller in its place. They would sell more systems and I feel that is there biggest problem.
it would help if we had dragon quest x here in the states. that would drive sales. wii u desperately needs some rpgs.
keep the game pad Nintendo have plans in the furture for this ppl don't realy know what Nintendo are up to yet give it a break from doom
The problem with the GamePad is u can only use one! How dumb would it be if Sony and Xbox only let u use one of the new controllers and the other 3 players have to use last gens controllers? It doesn't make any sense! At all!
Would be nice if Nintendo updated the Wii U for two gamepads support, and actually sold gamepads at retail stores. My only fear for the wii u is that my gamepad breaks :/
Nintendo forgot to make Wii U more Pro controller friendly. Some things are not possible to do without gamepad not to mention that I can't play a game with Pro pad without having the other one on (unless battery of gamepad is flat). Mass effect 3, Batman ACAE, Deus ex... are all best versions of the game when played on Wii U gamepad. Though many other games do not offer anything unique and are just lazy ports which is fine with me as long as I can use Pro controller instead (games like Darksiders 2, Batman AO...)
I would play AT LEAST 3/4 less time per day without the Gamepad. I probably put 2-hours per day, and there's no WAY I'd be able to do that without Off-TV play.
Off-TV play is so important to me, I can't imagine owning a system without it anymore. I find myself buying more games for Wii U, even with the "No-Games" stigma it has, than any other system before it that I owned as an adult.
Without Off-TV play, I'd probably go to only buying a console once a stellar Mario and Zelda came out, and the price dropped to a stupid low level.
My only problem with it is that I can't go to the eShop or system settings without the gamepad, this wouldn't be a problem if I can freely turn the gamepad off when I don't want to use it.
Now this article really put things in perspective and I think I would agree with this... I'm still dissapointed that the Gamepad capabilities in SM3DW are ignored almost in 95%, meaning that even the actual developers creating games on it's own hardware have a hard time realizing how the hell implement Gamepad functions on the actual game. Now I'm more dissapointed to know that even the GP screen goes off when playing DKC: Tropical Freeze! at least it would save a lot of battery life but still...
Wii U can sell if Nintendo drops the Gamepad by making it optional? Probably. They can make an entire new Wii U revision just like the 3DS and 3DS XL. They can redesign the Gamepad to make it more slim and attractive, get rid of the glossy finish and use a cool-looking matte finish instead, available in different colors since it would be now an optional component and bring a huge patch for Wii U and... A RENAME. Get rid of the Wii brand forever and use a completely new one, or at least call it Wii 2 or Super Wii. We really NEED a Nintendo Direct because I'm honestly tired of speculations and rumors and stuff. We need official news and of course, new game announcements and release dates! It's been more than a month since the last ND... it's understandable since Iwata is crossing through very rough times now but aw, come on!
I think for the most part the gamepad should be a separate option. If The Wii U sold for $200 with just the console and a classic controller, it would sell like hotcakes.
I love the gamepad, and think its a great idea. Here's the problem... there's only one allowed per console. Because nintendo stresses local multiplayer, and not a lot of other titles have online play, only one person gets to use this unique gamepad.
Its like inviting friends over and saying "check out my new wii u and this great new controller. Let's play some multiplayer. I will use the cool gamepad...everyone else use the half-decade old remotes".
Not fun watching one person enjoy the new controller( and casual consumers will think its just an accessory or new controller option when they see everyone else with an old remote in the ad). And passing the gamepad around gets old. Gamers want their own.
Either make wii u compatible with more gamepads and sell gamepads individually, or at the very least package a pro controller or wii mote plus with wii u's. But don't give up on the gamepad(more games that utilize its features would help too of course). If you are going to stress local mp, people want their own unique gamepad.
Loving the GamePad. It really adds so many innovating controls and gameplay, but we haven't seen any games lately focusing on its capabilities. I hope the future titles could use the GamePad more wisely.
No! The GamePad sets it apart. Don't make it optional. Do more with it.
Gamepad is just another gimmick. Give me a normal controller.
Silly idea, even without a killer app the gamepad is awesome. A killer app would help sell it to the masses but the gamepad itself is very useful and i couldn't imagine my Wii U without it. Off head in the last week i've used my gamepad for:
Off Screen play and browser
Clear hud on main screen
Combos & moves list
Non split screen multiplayer allowing for better asynchronous multiplayer
Browse the web while watching youtube etc on the main screen
Faster & better text input
Touch screen interface for certain games
I think the gamepad is greatly under utilized for its capability and now that i've had a taste, i always want to have it. I love my gamepad and think its the coolest thing to be able to "touch" my games. And its great to be able to keep playing while others use the TV.
Nintendo clearly have no idea what to do with it. I think most people agree that off-screen play is by far it's best feature. Maps and inventory screens are nonsense, sorry. In both games it's far better to pause the screen.
They should make it so every game has off-screen play, which means they can't make anything like maps and inventory mandatory. Once that happens, they can make hardware bundles without the pad. I'm sure not everyone will use the off-screen play, so those people can save themselves a big chunk, while those that do want it can either buy a hardware pack with the pad, or buy a standalone pad later.
Off screen play with the GamePad was the single largest reason I bought a Wii U right at launch. I live in tiny, cramped studio apartment that I share with my girlfriend and being able to use just the tablet without turning the TV on was a big quality of life improvement. It's much less disturbing if one of us is sleeping or trying to concentrate on work.
Off screen tv play is the reason to keep the controller. If they do anything different, find a way to increase range of the game pad .
Even just a map greatly improves game flow. It's much easier to navigate around the castle in Dawn of Sorrow vs. Aria of Sorrow.
I really enjoy using my Wii U Pro Controller and wish more games supported it. It's a little wonky that I still have to use the pad for title like Bit.Trip Runner 2 that don't use the screen in any way.
I really appreciate the off-screen feature, though, and use it daily.
I think the gamepad was an awful idea from the start. Its too large, its got terrible battery life, AND it isnt even in high definition. Im not saying getting rid of it would "help", but it would at least drive down the price of the console and it would have a better focus on controls without the developers having to worry about off-screen support. If they NEED to have an off-screen experience they should have a companion app on a phone, or integrate the 3DS as an off-screen controller
Agree with the article,i think releasing a low cost wii u sku with a wii mote an numchuck for 180 pounds or less would make a lot of sense ,keep the gamepad functionality in future games of course,just add alternate control methods.its a similar concept to the 2ds if you think about it.
The wii u gamepad is great but you could argue with the price it adds to the product it should be up to the consumer whether they want to pay extra for it or not.
I LOVE having maps and inventory on a separate screen, despite the fact that its an under utilization of the gamepad.
The gamepad should've been optional. What it adds to the Wii U experience is definitely not worth the price it puts on the console. At this point Nintendo definitely won't drop it. But I hope next time, Nintendo decides to put their money into power instead of expensive gimmicks. Seriously, if the Wii U had the power PS4/XB1 have and had a regular controller, everyone would go after the Wii U, because besides the third party games which would be on the console it would also have the exclusive Nintendo content which is amazing. Too bad
The gamepad brings new ideas and fun ways in which to interact with older game types, I recently played batman arkham origins and although it's not a great port, the integration of the gamepad during the investigation scenes was well done I want a whole game based on those sections. Can't be done on any other machine.
The gamepad is great! It allows games to remove several items that were on screen on most games for a better experience (Wind Waker HD for example) and Off-TV Play is also a great feature!
Last year as I was about to move I was able to continue playing Wii U games even though it wasn't connected to any TV set!
I didn't expect such an article from you guys, I just can't believe it.
To hope that third parties would bring their games is stupid, they will not cause tu a bunch of reasons, and none of them includes the Gamepad.
Plus, the Wii U's premium sku (the one with NL) is now 250€ at Gamestop, and you can find it easily at that price everywhere, by removing the Gamepad the people out there would only look at it like a useless console, more useless than before I mean, because it will continue not having FIFA, Battlefield, and soon CoD and Assassin's Creed, no achievements/trophies, poor online features, it would be definitely doomed.
And let me say this, to have the second screen running the same stuff while playing on the tv was something entirely stupid in NSMBU, and they would've fixed that.
Boy you really know how to worry me.
Damien wrote, 'GamePad's asymmetrical possibilities have been all but ignored', very true and the company that has ignored it the most IS Nintendo. They produce the Wii u and the Gamepad and Nintendoland to show what can be done with it and then expect third party developers to take over.
As Damien pointed out none of the Nintendo games have made much use of it. If fact multi format sites reviewing third party games on the Wii u suggest that the gamepad does not add anything to the games.
Also if Nintendo do drop the Gamepad I hope they will replace mine with a normal controller and not expect loyal customers who bought into the Wii u from day one to have to pay out even more cash.
Gamepad removes HUD from TV and off TV play. Those two reasons alone makes it useful and separates the WiiU from the other consoles. Innovation with a control scheme will arrive. It took the Wii some time to get the motion controls right
I like the gamepad... but more importantly, from a marketing analyst standpoint, the gamepad makes the wii u more accessible to my kids. Even if it's just my 3 year old turning on the Wii U (and the TV) from the gamepad, going to netflix, and then touching an image of a character he likes, there's some real market value in targeting my demographic.
No no no. Get rid of the gamepad as a means to reduce the price.I want 2 gp support. My gp L analog is not responding properly. and rather than spend 95 to fix(ive checked) Id much rather go to my local retailer and buy a new gp!
No...no. Keep the GamePad. Removing it would not be smart...they may think that it would be a good strategy, but think about this...once they remove it, the Wii U literally is just an HD Wii...and there's no appeal in that. Also, removing the GamePad will make the ~5 million current Wii U members VERY pissed, because then they'll have this useless controller.
I personally really like the GamePad. Off-TV Play is fantastic and it is a wonderful feature. We really just haven't seen a good game that utilizes the screen to its full potential yet.
Nintykid....have you not heard of the gamecube??
The gamepad should never have been used as a controller option. It should have been used as what it really is: a screen. The way to really add value to a game is to put a map on the gamepad, or some other kind of monitoring screen, that the player can put on the table, and get information from that enhances his performance in-game. The MH3U Map function is the closest I've seen to this principle, but that map was too tiny for me.
I think potentially this could help, mostly bc of the big reduction in cost. I also would love this to happen. Stop bundling the sensor bar too. Include the normal pro remote. what a glorious day. Nintendo focusing primarily on games again instead of console gimmicks.
Of course we don't live in a world where this day will ever come. It's simply not who they are anymore. The next home console will be named another English pun and you'll have to stand on your hands and whistle to play.
@kereke12 the wii u has sold 5.5 million as of last year. And is currently beating out the ps4 so ur point is sonyfanboy?
@neowolf - "Would removing the Gamepad and replacing it with a pro controller and Wii remote really save that much?"
I've been saying this since this whole remove the Gamepad idea arose on day 1 of the Wi Ulaunch. Sure the Gamepad may cost $100 - or $70 - but if you have to replace it w/ a $50 Pro and/or a $30 Wiimote Plus - where are the savings? Cutting $50 off the Wii U price isn't going to help - they already tried this by cutitng $50 off the price.
Bonus points for being the first post.
Would a Wii HD (pronounced "weed" in Colorado and Washington) have sold better from day 1? Maybe. But it's too late now. Just drop the price and eat the loss, but dropping Gamepad support now gets you absolutely nothing.
yes a Wii U sans gamepad should be released along with Super Smash Bros at a 199.99 price. Smash Bros is a poster child for why gamepad is a bad idea..... It can't be used for anything gameplay related becaue the game is oriented toward local multiplayer and out of 4 players only one would have a gamepad..... second if two friends buy Wii U for smash bros and want to get toguether and play like old times, they can't each bring the gamepad they got with their console, one has to go and buy and additional controller..... 3 people who may be interested in buying Wii u for Smash Bros may be put off by the idea that they are paying extra for the gamepad which is irrelevant and even detrimental to the game they care about
You made a point haha. But I still think the gamepad keeps the console back. It's looked at as a gimmick by most of the gaming community, and I'm sure many of them haven't bought the Wii U because of the image that the gamepad gives to the console. Besides, the latest sales figures show the Gamecube did better than the Wii U... I think Nintendo should concentrate more on the actual on-screen gaming experience instead of many accessories and extra screens which suck a lot of man power which could've been used to make the games even more amazing. My opinion though
It is not the Gamepad that is the issue, its 3 things.
the marketing, online, and the games.
1 - Advertise it as "wii u is the new wii 2" .. show what it can do!
2 - it needs better games, 3rd party support and 1st party.
3 - online, what i mean is the support for saving to an acocunt not the console, also to give us a back catalogue of gamecube games as well as n64 etc . i mean everything they can possibly give us. even if its subscription bases ( eg $14.99 per month ) i would pay that for unlimited old classics from every nintendo console. even if its just streaming.
nintendo can achieve these three things without a doubt. they just need to get it done!
If you want a wii u without a gamepad, your an idiot.
If you don't see its appeal, go get yourself a ps4 or X1
If a unique feature is used constantly = overused gimmick.
If a unique feature is used sparingly = Its not used often enough.
Make up your minds. Off-Tv Play, touch interface, second screen HUD etc, There are more than enough features to mak the gamepad worthwhile. Maybe they are so subtle and well implemented, that people dont recognize them anymore.
@WaveBoy i was going to point that out as-well - at one point Analogue sticks were a gimmick as were more than 3 buttons and shoulder buttons oh and don't forget wireless controllers they were a huge gimmick when the Wave-bird came out for game cube yet now there the standerd OH not to forget! Remember the N-Gauge? the 1st Gaming phone? yeah that was a "Gimmick too and look now... ppl thing Phone gaming is the superior way to game (LOL) and im prity sure at one stage in human evolution making your own "cave" (ie a house) was considered a Gimmick back then well.. why make a home when you can just find a vacant cave?. "Gimmick" is always lablet to new innovation and experimentation with out throws 2 things in ower lives we may as well be sat out in a mud puddle we spawned from...
The only reason I think the gamepad could be replace is to attract casuals back to the game. There is a lot of people that buy Wiis to play Just Dance, Mario Kart and Wii Sports. There is no need for gamepad for those. So a wii remote instead of the gamepad could work with a few improvements on the OS. But trade it for the CCPro? Why? And the gamepad is not only the touch screen, there are the motion controls too (for aiming mostly). There are many games only playable with the gamepad (Batman, Splinter Cell).
So they could release a new Wii U with wii remote and keep the regular wii U with the gamepad, targeting two different audiences.
The biggest issue is the "where do we go from here?" issue. Nintendo noticed that after the Gamecube; graphics had reached a point where there wasn't really anything new to be done. With the Wii and now the Wii U, Nintendo attempted to bypass that and make sure that new things could be done with games. Meanwhile, PS3/360 and now PS4 and XB1, have very similar experiences as they traditionally have had, but with graphical improvements (and these improvements are ESPECIALLY minor now that PS4 and XB1 have shown that graphics coouldn't really get much better from PS3 and 360.) I think that, in the future, Nintendo will be seen as ahead of the time. The issue with Nintendo now is marketing- they have to communicate to consumers that the Wii U is a new console (since naming it Wii U is horribly confusing) and is something worth owning. More GamePad could be good, but there is a need for balance. Nintendo's innovations are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Games like Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker perfectly showed how minor uses can be very beneficial, just like how Metroid Prime 3 and Mario Galaxy on Wii showed that waggle does not threaten hardcore games, but gives them life. I think then that Nintendo's GamePad use now is great, because it strikes a balance between keeping hardcore fans happy (keeping in mind how polarizing the influx of waggle-based games was) while at the same time keeping things new and fresh and avoiding the problems that the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles will face when they realize that they can't improve graphics anymore.
I love the game pad, no way. But somethings I would like to see to help build it's case. 1)The range increased for off screen play. 2) Vibrate notifications in addition to blue ring 3) Apps Facebook, twitter, google voice, seamless, pizzahut (come on reggie used to be the CEO), metacritic, yelp, allmusic, pandora 4) 3DS/DS adapter
@ferthepoet I still dream about a stage maker for SSB4 that uses the gamepad. And an adventure mode for two players in which one calls monsters (touch screen) and the other fights them.
The GamePad is a great [period!]
im surfing the net on my gamepad as i speak, its still the best console browser around. Who actually types with a Joypad anymore? lol
The gamepad is fine, it does what it needs to do... Leave the Wii U alone for christ sake....
I rather have a normal controller like Pro Controller than the gamepad, off-tv play don't cut for me since i prefer play my 3DS or Vita when not on my Tv, so i think if it helps sell more and get a price drop nintendo could do It.
No, getting rid of the GamePad won't help WiiU at all. Because the GamePad isnt the problem with WiiU, it is just one of them. And honestly, it wouldnt be a problem if it were actually being used for something other than a way to play off tv. If there were games other than mini game compilations that actually used its features in non-gimmicky ways, the GamePad would be awesome. But there arent any of those, are there?
The GamePad is barely used in games like Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3 and just about every 3rd party game on WiiU. It is not going to be used at all in DKCTF other than as an off tv screen. The game that best utilized the GamePad was ZombiU, which wasnt even made by Nintendo. It has untapped potential, but Nintendo apparantly doesnt know how to use it.
But the WiiU's failures are in its hardware and in the decisions Nintendo made when designing it. As Iwata has said, he misread the market. Nintendo has no clue what gamers want in terms of hardware anymore, and WiiU is a prime example of that. The same can be said of their relationship with 3rd parties. 3rd party games like Call of Duty, GTA, Destiny, Battlefield, Assassin's Creed, and The Walking Dead are more popular with gamers now than any of Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft's first party games. We can dislike that however much we want, but it doesnt change the market. If Nintendo's home consoles are going to success in the future, they need to make hardware that supports third party gamed. This means dev-friendly hardware with high RAM and specs on the level of its competition. Sony made these changes from PS3 to PS4, and that seems to have benefited them greatly in that PS4 is outselling XBO and is set to outsell WiiU's lifetime sales by Springtime. If Nintendo can recover and better understand its most important demographic (western gamers), then i believe they can succeed.
@rumple88 Man, you said everything. Port a facebook app from android to the Wii U: Profit. Gamepad suddenly works great. Just display pictures and videos through HTML5 on the TV. Everyone is going to love it!
Hell no, I ain't giving my gamepad away, it's the best thing i've ever had. Removing that from the console would be just pointless!
@Volmun I couldn't agree more. When the Wii remote motion controlling concept appeared, most people laughed at it, saying it's a gimmick. Three of four years later, Microsoft revealed Kinect, while Sony revealed PS Move. Heck, almost all smartphones and Tablets are equipped with motion controlling capabilities. It became standard, even dualshock 4 has it.
Leave the GamePad in. I love the GamePad. People who don't like it probably haven't tried the value of off-tv play and inventory management. While these are simple things, I can't really imagine not having them now that I do. Same with Wiimote controls for FPS / aiming and RTS games.
I think to me, what really boggles the mind is how games like SM3DW and DKC:TP are not using it at all! One of the biggest criticisms of platforming multiplayer is camera issues, and the GamePad is PERECT for getting around this. Especially DKC:TP which only supports two players, I mean why on earth doesn't the GamePad player get to have a camera centered on your player rather than alway being a fixed average where you constantly fall out of the screen... Also, this is practically what multi-GamePad support should be for. It's just unfortunate that the GamePad is so expensive.
Nintendo just need to push out games that utilize it in great ways. Why SM3DW and DKC:TP doesn't is really confusing.
However, I do understand that it would be beneficial for Nintendo to be able to slash the price of their console. I just don't really think it's a solution... Retrofitting games and the Wii U OS would be such an insane amount of work - and also would piss off maybe 5-6 million current Wii U owners who then might feel they paid more money for a GamePad which has now been made redundant.
LEAVE IT IN.
It's the unique features and exclusive games that sell consoles. Supposedly the "logic" here is the Wii-U is too expensive. So customers aren't going to spend the $249 - $299 for a Wii-U, instead they're going to spend $399 - $499 on a PS4 or XBox One?! Brilliant. The last time I checked both the PS3 and XBox360 outsold the Wii-U. Bringing the console down to last gen status by ditching the gamepad isn't going to work. It's going to add more Wii-U confussion, the Wii-U will still have the same library of games and will still suffer from being overlooked by developers.
@gregrout Agreed. I really think it's a question of getting games out and marketing it. If it has enough games people want to play, people will pay up. I think a lot of people are holding out for Kart and Smash.
A "3DS player" on the wiiU could make the gamepad essential and would significantly boost the WiiU library. As the super gameboy and gameboy player did for previous consoles. DS games on Wii was not possible at all. Due to touch screen controls and dual screen display. The gamepad allows all that.
I'm not sure if the big third parties would be more interested in the Wii U without the GamePad. It doesn't seem to be easy to bring their Onestation4 games to the Wii U regardless of GamePad support. And what would the selling point of these games be when they lose their evolutional things like better graphics?
Also if you name it Wii 2 now, there will pobably still be confusion about if it plays Wii U games.
Anyway, if Nintendo should want to go that way they better do it fast before the Onestation4's gain even more momentum.
I think it would be a bit of a shame since i really liked Nintendo Land, am very eager to play the other games that use the GamePad well and can see quite a few gameplay concepts that'd be amazing with it.
@InfernoUprising In what sense is WiiU beating PS4? In lifetime sales?! PS4 has sold over 4.2mil in just over 3 months. WiiU has sold 5.5mil in over a year. PS4 is set to pass WiiU's lifetime sales in March, just 5 months after release, compared to WiiU's almost year and a half lifespan at that point. In absolutely no way is WiiU beating PS4. Stop being a fanboy and look at the facts. I love Nintendo and all, but WiiU is a failure that Nintendo will be lucky to break even on. PS4 is everything developers and the majority of gamers were asking for... WiiU is not. Dont believe me? Fine. Thats up to you, but the hard evidence supports my claims.
I love the gamepad don't wanna see it go
I like the game pad but it needs a 720p screen. Most games look muddy because it is only 480p. VC games are great but you should be able to use a 3DS for that. They would do better without it. Just not sure they can remove it now without hurting themselves.
@XCWarrior exactly. i had a friend who hated the gamepad, then he bought a wii-u and he loves it!
The Gamepad is the only thing that gives the Wii U any identity over the PS4 and Xbox One. Without it, it is just an underpowered system which can't compete on any level with its competitors. Removing it would be the final nail in the coffin for the console.
Game and Wario
NintendoLand do the best with this, but I find it hellah useful on games like:
Resident Evil Revelations
New Super Mario Bros. U
I think the fact that the gamepad is considered the Wii U's main selling point is a problem in itself. A console's main selling point should only ever be one thing: games (preferably exclusives), rather than gimmicks like the Wii U gamepad.
What they should do is allow for multiple wii-pad use. It could be used a lot better in search and destroy type games with other players, poker games, football games.
I think they were afraid it would canobilize the 3ds if they did so.
Besides that I like the game pad, they should continue using it.
I would love to see it used for a battlefield type game where you can instruct your troops on where to concentrate the battle and move your scouts around etc. I would love to see it used for Star Wars Battlefront. If I were piloting a starship, I could easily use the wii-pad for the interior cockpit controls.
I'd like to say 'keep it' but I can't name one single game except nintendoland that really uses it. Most games actually play worse with the gamepad than any other controller (MH3, Planes, Trine2, The Cave and any shooter).
It's a great 'deluxe' feature but should not be marketed as part of the core system. It has failed, as a feature, seeing as even Nintendo doesn't know how to use it in a ming-blowing way.
@bizcuthammer actually acording to metacritic the nintendo games are getting better scores than the ps4 games by 1 or more points if you dont believe me, go look at the knack average score and SM3DW and tell me that knack is better. Go ahead and come at me
@I-AM-REGGIE How do I like on here? Like (icon)
Removing the one major reason (besides games) the Wii U is unique over the other consoles who are more powerful would clearly create more problems than solve, so that's a big "NO."
Agree completely. Nintendo should put their energy into the software and not into gimmicky hardware
I cannot imagine the Wii U without the gamepad the mere concept of removing the gamepad sounds to me like heresy. I used all of the features of the gamepad off screen play just wonderful. if someone else wants to use the TV I can play whatever game i want on the gamepad well mostly whatever i want. streaming at double streaming YouTube and surfing web simultaneously. Using it as a map or menu that's wonderful to me I like having a second screen I feel like I have been so spoiled using the second screen for so long I don't like being without it it makes everything easier I like that it's a lot easier to just look at the map on your second screen and we will go there white why toggle between the map and gameplay trying to make sure you're going the right direction when you can just look down at the bottom screen in oh yeah I'm going the right direction yeahwhen wakers a good example of this I got I get so lost around the ocean. hell even if I'm not playing a game on the Wii U I still use the Wii U gamepad for the TV remote function I lose my normal TV remote all the time but the gamepad I always know where that is.
If Wii U was a powerhouse like XO or PS4, then there would be no problem in turning Game pad into an option. But now it's lagging behind by a lot, so the only feature it has is to offer something unique. Though again Nintendo themselves are making exclusive games that are not offering anything interesting with the new pad. the question again is: What is Wii U's selling point? The exclusives or the new controller? I say that the games are, not so much the controller
it worked with the 2ds, i did the system transfer from my 3ds xl because i never used 3d and it hurt my hands. now if you replace the gamepad with a pro and still include mario for $200 they will fly off the shelves and with the gamepad as a $100 extra with a screen as optional for $100 sounds like a really good idea. i can even seeing sony and xbone copying like they did with motion controls. the wii u needs to be in more people's living rooms and the best way to do it is drop the price
hmmmm let me think, would I want a Wii U without the gamepad?
People look at the gamepad too much like a tablet and not like a regular controller with a monitor built in. Do some games work without the additional monitor? Yes. Does having a second screen/item inventory add more to gameplay? Oh heck yes. Its not going to do for the Wii U what Wii remotes did for the Wii but it adds to the experience. In fast pace games having a map adds to the gameplay. Imagine being able to set way points with your fingers in a FPS. On a map you could draw directions or highlight things. What they need to do is get 2 gamepads working on a system. When we can stop with Asymmetrical gameplay and give interesting abilities to 2 people... you'll hear the gaming community start loving the gamepad integration.
Wii U GamePad rocks... but if Nintendo did decide to make it an optional extra… then at least make it mandatory to have “Off TV” play option in every Wii U title.. I cant live without off TV mode anymore as it increases my game play time by a factor of 5!! (You trying sharing one large HD TV with your Wife and kids!?!)
You don't have to use the gamepad for a game anymore than you have to use motion control. It's an option, and if it doesn't fit the game, so be it. Any dev that thinks they must use the gamepad feature because it is there needs to be smacked upside the head. The most annoying thing in a game is when it tried to shoehorn in a feature of the controller (like the ds did with blowing in the mic) when it isn't needed.
Injustice used the gamepad to display a move list. Great idea! Many other games use it to show an expanded map, another great idea.
My hope is the next system uses the handheld as a portable device and also a controller option, we shall see though. I for one am not bothered by using the gamepad, though I don't fault those that find it too bulky, it may be to them.
Is there no option of off-TV play for Tropical Freeze?
Great article and I find that this topic could go either way. I agree most games for the Wii U you do not need the gamepad however for some games it makes the game easier. Take for instance Pikmin 3. You can use the pro controller but it is much easier to use the gamepad to throw Pikmin. Games such as SMBU and SM3DW do not use the touchscreen to their full extent however I find it easier to play on the gamepad than on the TV. What Nintendo really needs to do is use the gamepad like they did in NintendoLand. The person with the gamepad had a unique experience compared to everyone else playing playing on the TV.
So yes it can go either way. The gamepad isn't a necessary for most Wii U games however I believe that it makes the gaming experience more enjoyable overall.
@Incognito_D I agree. The gamepad shouldn't be the main selling point for the Wii U even though it offers a unique experience compared to other home consoles. What really makes Nintendo stand out is their software. Many people would agree that Nintendo has the better first party titles than Microsoft and Sony.
Why not make it a rectangular box, slanted on an edge, with only a wii remote bundled with it? We could sell wii fit U a gazillion times!
Oh wait. Here's hoping nintendo is more visonary than that.
I was going to completely disagree with you until you mentioned that the Wii U Gamepad should become optional. That I think is the best solution here. If you remove the Gamepad, the Wii U will lose what little advantage it had left over Microsoft and Sony, the hardware and services are already pretty inferior and potential Wii U owners will gravitate more towards the other consoles as a result. Normally the games would help attract gamers to the Wii U, but many of the games released (especially from Nintendo's flagship franchises) not only fail to utilize the Gamepad well, they also fail to do much of anything different from their predecessors. NSMBU, DKCTR, and to a lesser degree, 3D World are essentially "second verse, same as the first" with no interesting changes to game mechanics, settings, or plot, and that's going to keep them from standing out from Microsoft and Sony's offerings. So with the games failing to excite gamers, removing the Gamepad entirely would make the console inferior to PS4 and One in almost every way and sales would get even worse.
On the flip side, however, if they keep the Gamepad, the Wii U's third party situation will remain a problem and the Wii U would fail to get the games it needs to help sell the console when they have nothing to show. Some third parties will still probably ignore the Wii U because it's not "next gen" enough, unfortunately, but it would be good enough that we wouldn't have the massive software droughts that we've been having lately.
So I think the solution is to give consumers and developers the option of using the Gamepad, and they can play the Wii U however they want. So I think they should have two different models to accommodate that:
Wii U Basic:
Wii U Pro Controller
Wii Remote + Nunchuck combo
32 GB hard drive
And if you want the Gamepad later, you can buy one for $49.99
Wii U Deluxe:
Wii U Gamepad
Wii U Pro Controller
128-256 GB hard drive
Now if you want a standard gaming experience, you can purchase the basic model, which would be $150 cheaper than the competition, but still have decent third party support. But if you want a unique gameplay experience with the Gamepad, you can buy the Deluxe model. This doesn't change the fact that the Gamepad still needs a killer app, though, and they definitely need to get on that either way. The Gamepad is utterly pointless without games to take advantage of it, and the games so far do not do a good job of that.
If it was seperate, casual people would be even more confused and just think of it more as an more expensive Wii with HD, and gamers would think of it as a last gen. catch up system more then they do now. Imagine paying for a 3rd party Wii U games that plays and looks the same as the PS360 but cost more, released months later and you have to pay $60+ (priced at "sell by lost" motto) to get a "unque" play.
Plus nintendo's optional accessory tend not to have much long term support from customers and developers unless bundled (Wii Zapper, Wheel, Speak, Motion Plus to some extent, etc.). Even the 3ds Circle Pad Pro and suporting game would benefit more if it comes included with the 3ds instead of an stand alone option.
It just need time and games to go from being a gimmick device to being a normal control feature like dual analog stick, dual screen, motion control, and touch screen.
absolutely agree. my new standard for console gaming has become off tv play. if it was feasible, i'd like to see a gamepad (plus) introduced with better resolution and maybe even a portability option, but i doubt that will happen.
I feel instead of including a gamepad with the Wii U as the main gimmick for it, Nintendo should of made it optional for developers to use the 3ds as a way to connect wirelessly with the Wii u as a gamepad and to play Wii U games on it via "remote play". Kind of like how sony does it with their handhelds and consoles.
Then the Gamepad pro would be the default controller for the Wii U.
I have owned a Wii U for over a year now and while I do enjoy the GamePad from time to time, Nintendo clearly doesn't know what else to do with it. The common consumers don't know what to do with it. And third party game developers don't know how to creatively use it. Ditch it and move on.
Remember if nintendo can sell a 3ds without 3d then they can sell a wii u without a gamepad
Practically everyone here defending the Gamepad doesn't seem to have read the article thoroughly. The idea does not call for the entire removal of the Gamepad, they are simply saying it should be put to the side as an extra peripheral. I think it's a great idea, and I am failing to see how it'll put Nintendo in danger. It can't do anything but help them, and sadly, it's their fault for lousy advertising and misuse of the gamepad.
Only a fraction of my Wii U library have I sat through with the Gamepad. Yes, some of you beg to differ, but this is not suggesting entire removal of the Gamepad! It is simply suggesting it to be an extra peripheral, so yes, you'd still have your off tv play. Anyone who bought one and wanted off tv play could just purchase a gamepad from the store.
You know, this could've been avoided if Nintendo first party devs were smarter about the gamepad. Off tv play is fine but not necessary, I have only played two titles that have wowed me with the gamepad, and those were Nintendo Land and Game and Wario. If Nintendo would use it more, I'd say keep it, but goodness, look at Tropical Freeze! I didn't know it BLACKED OUT the gamepad entirely. Are you serious? They've put so much focus into Wiimote controls with that game, and I've had enough, it's ridiculous. If you won't tell your devs to start using the console properly, Nintendo, then drop the gamepad as the primary controller. It'll save you a lot of money; around 100 dollars frankly. That's a stellar price drop.
@pcruthven That is so true about the gamepad exponentially increasing gameplay time. It's perfect for Soccer Saturday and essential when rubbish like X-Factor and Big Brother are on.
@XCWarrior same opinion here. You can only understand it when you try it. For me even the use of the gamepad in Zelda TWW was fantastic, switching items on the go and especially looking at the map while sailing! Even with this basic use it improves the experience. They just need to push the gamepad and touchscreen features when they make a big game that sells. Maybe create mario kart circuits by drawing or some special attacks items.
just make games and shut up
"Nintendo noticed that after the Gamecube; graphics had reached a point where there wasn't really anything new to be done."
What the hell are you talking about?!!
Off TV Play is literally the best thing, among other things , from the Wii U. Anyone who is married might agree!
I'm so done talking about this. It's not even a remotely productive. Worse, it's a grossly over-emphasized, over-exaggerated subject.
I'm tired of hearing about how Nintendo games haven't done enough with the GamePad. The intrinsic features are plenty for me (off screen play, dual screen multi, map/radar, inventory, touch interface, motion control, etc.). And it seems that Nintendo was assailed for pidgeon-holing every Wii feature into every game, often at the expense of traditional interactions. With the Wii U, Nintendo has struck the perfect balance for me, my family, and my social life.
I would not appreciate being marginalized as an early adopter to desperately mobilize a market that apparently isn't interested. The whole suggestion is nothing more than a fool's errand.
Some games already require Game Pad. You can't just sacrifice it at this point anymore, it would be incredibly stupid. Also, why should every game utilize it? Isn't it supposed to be simply- you know, more options for the developers. Who said that it should be forced in every game? They did that with Wii Mote and people complained.
Sure the graphics are better. But that's it. No one could've imagined the SNES or N64 running a game like Mario Sunshine- the new experience was made possible by hardware. But now, we are at the point where improvements in hardware won't make new games possible. Call of Duty isn't much different on PS4 than it is on PS3, because last gen hardware was already pretty good to begin with. Without the GamePad/other innovations, no new, previously impossible ideas can be done- everything is just slightly prettier than last gen. The difference between PS4 and PS3 graphically is noticable, but it is nothing compared to SNES to N64 or even N64 to Gamecube. Hardware alone can't do anything new. And if innovations like the GamePad are to be abandoned, where do developers go next? Can graphics REALLY get much better than the PS4 and Xbox One? And if next gen graphics are marginally better, perhaps running at 4k, how much more is that going to cost? And is that cost REALLY going to be outweighed by the cost, when gameplay itself doesn't change? Nintendo has the right strategy and the right idea with their vision of innovation.
@DestinyMan - "Tropical Freeze supports off-TV play. The GamePad screen just fades when you're using a different controller to save energy."
I wish the Gamepad screen would fade out when not being used for all our games, it's killing the battery for no reason when my kids play Pikmin 3. I do wish DKCTF had more use for it though. Sonic Lost World had that lame map which I occasionally looked at to see how far along I was in the level. Seems like that would be perfect for DK. Though I do think a first person view for the mine cart levels would be cool. Glad it has off tv play.
The Game pad is great fun and a wonderful piece of kit. Mario kart 8 will bring the game pad back on track...
Ok, this is complete bull. One of the key problems of Wii U is that general consumers don't understand the additional value it offers in comparison to the old Wii, which they already have, and haven't touched since the Wii Fit-boom. I don't understand, how removing the only the only thing that could create additional value would help this confusion?? HD graphics didn't sell the console on the previous round, why would it now? It wasn't about the graphics back then, so why would it be now? Especially at a time when HD resolution as a console's selling point is no longer a very novel idea.
A HD Wii with the same control interface as the old Wii, with nothing more to offer than the same old crap now in HD would have been the most predictable and boring move Nintendo could have done after the old Wii and I can tell you that I for one wouldn't have bought such a system. If Nintendo was to dump the Gamepad, I would sell my Wii U and save up for a PS4, or go fully into retro gaming.
Dumping the Gamepad would be an incredibly stupid move from Nintendo, because the casual gamers who made the original Wii a success have moved on and are not interested in investing on a new console. In addition to that Nintendo would p*ss all over what made the system attractive to us, who already bought it.
Off TV play is amazing I have one TV at home with a wife who watches keeping up with the kardashians the wii u gamepad is my escape from terrible TV shows that my wife watches.
Its also a pretty descent web browser and secondary screen. I feel like there is untapped potential with the gamepad... the concept is good but the execution needed to be better..
I would love if it was thinner portable ... maybe the next nintendo handheld will include that option...
I think what could also help wii u is the resurgence of motion gaming using the controllers to show all the gaming posibitities.
the Gamepad is not the problem.
@ACK Out of those things you mentioned, the only one of those things that couldn't be done before was Off TV Play, and that's only a useful feature if other people need to use the TV. Everything else is possible on DS and 3DS games which also have dual screen gameplay, that's become pretty standard for a Nintendo console. So there's really not much that the console does that's truly new or unique.
@XCWarrior I have a Wii U and seriously dislike the Gamepad. Nowadays, I avoid using it as much as I can, and leave games unbought if they can't be played with better controllers.
Also, think of all the people who are leaving the whole Wii U unbought because of the Gamepad. It's damaging the whole console and its future.
Without the gamepad the wii u becomes a lesser console. Without the gamepad the wii u becomes just another PS3 or X360.
The problem is the developers, not the gamepad. The gamepad is what will make games like WatchDogs and Project Cars unique on the wii u (according to their developers).
It's not based on anything but an opinion but I think to release a wii u without the gamepad will just lead to EVEN MORE CONFUSION among consumers, who are pretty much already confused anyway.
I enjoy using the Gamepad, but only for navigating the home screen and selecting things through the eshop, etc. For me, the Pro Controller is just so much more comfortable. I do worry that the Gamepad is a gimic - and viewed that way by many people. If they can find a good use for it, then maybe that will change.
Recently, though, the problem of the Gamepad really rang true. I had to send it in for repairs because the connectivity went out of whack and I had to keep it six inches from the console. Think about it, the controller went out, and the Wii U became completely worthless without it - I had to send both in for repairs and have my system wiped clean.
@XCWarrior you're right
It's too late to abandon the GamePad. Sacrifices were made to the main console to compensate for the cost of the GamePad. It's too late to turn back now unless they are going to update (i.e., replace) the main console with something more capable (which is very unlikely to happen).
As a follow up to @hotlfusion
I don't believe developers are going to invest the necessary time and money into a Wii U version of the game, when they can make enough profits on the Xbox and PS. That's our downfall - companies view the process as what's best financially, not what new, cool thing can we do. In that mindset, the Nintendo gamer is the one that gets hurt in the end.
@hotlfusion Was the Wii just another PS3 or Xbox? No. Wii was better.
There are so many wonderful ways developers could use the gamepad: imagine a detective game like L.A noir in which the gamepad is your notebook, imagine a cricket game with asymmetric multiplayer, the bowling all done on the gamepad and your friend next to you having no idea what kind of ball is coming. Imagine some of the ideas in Nintendo Land being expanded on and wrapped in different skins, someone for god sake give us some RTS games. The gamepad is one of the most woefully underused pieces of kit.
I love my Gamepad and I think it's an awesome device, although I definitely agree that it should be scrapped. Look at the next big games coming out for the Wii U. When Super Mario 3D World used it it was extremely pointless. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze doesn't use it. Mario Kart 8 uses it as a map or a useless horn and so far Smash Bros for Wii U hasn't even mentioned potential Gamepad features. Bayonetta 2 hasn't shown them either, neither has X. You'd think if you want to sell your unique console, you would build games from the ground up using the unique features, and you would make sure the world saw how unique your games are. All the system selling games I mentioned above do not require the Gamepad in order to be system sellers. Nintendo themselves do not know how to use their own revolutionary controller.
The Gamepad is excellent for off TV play, party games like Wii Party U and Nintendoland, and games that are built specifically to show off its features like ZombiU. Strategy games would also work really well. Thus, the Gamepad shouldn't be seen as the killer feature of the Wii U. It should be treated like the Kinect. You can buy it, some games use it, some games require it, but most games don't. It could make the system a lot cheaper and more appealing as "the second console" you buy along with a PS4/Xbox One. I'm sure a new Metroid or Zelda can use the Gamepad in amazing ways, but until those are released, there's really no point in not sticking to the hugely underrated Pro Controller.
Some people are complaining that removing the main feature of the Wii U will just turn it into a more powerful Wii. Well with all the 3DS games abandoning the handheld's original selling point, the 3D effect, and with Nintendo releasing a 2DS, what's the 3DS family other than a more powerful DS?
@Zaphod_Beeblebrox Think of the Wii U without the Gamepad. Such power in such a small console, so much cheaper, and so much easier to use without the Gamepad. It would be awesome!
Whew! Thanks. I got really worried for a second.
It's quite clear even from the comments here, that people who want the Gamepad to be dumped are far and in between, and I'm glad to notice that yet again.
It would be an incredibly stupid move from Nintendo to dump the Gamepad. What they need to do is start using it in the sense it was intended to be used.
I wasn't sold on the Gamepad until I got one in my hands, and experienced the possibilities. I think Nintendo does a semi-good job of using it's strengths. All the games I have played on the system so far make decent use of it, even TanK! Tank! Tank! which did little more than giving two players their own screen (instead of split-screen) for co-op play. Sometimes less is more.
To be honest, I am glad that they are not just throwing in Gamepad unique controls just because they can on every game. The biggest thing I hate about Wii games is that they threw in motion jiggles just because it was there (Metroid Prime 3: handle turning for example). Most did little more than add frustration to good games. The only time I've seen that with the Wii U Gamepad was in Zelda where they added motion aiming, which screwed me up because I frequently forgot about it until I moved the controller while aiming.
I feel very fighted about the matter...
From a side this "Talking Point" is absolute right, games are not pushing much the GamePad for now, making it feel more like a tablet-shaped controller than a unique console feature.
On the other side however I love my GamePad and to use it for browsing the net, checking the eShop or just be able to set the game ready while the TV is still switching on.
I guess we just need to wait. The Wiimote had similar problems with even various first party games making it feel useless, but I doubt someone now would be able to imagine the Wii working without it. Hopefully we will be able to think the same of the Gamepad with the WiiU sooner than later.
Without the gamepad a lot of people would question what makes a Wii U that different from an xbox 360 or Ps3. And it would be hard to convince them it is.
I voted ( Not Sure ) because the gamepad has the possibility of being something really unique and amazing. It still does do a few really cool things such as off tv play and help a little in games, but with the gamepad's 15 feet range as well as awful battery life it just becomes annoying rather than useful. It doesn't help that Wii U games in the near future also don't use the gamepad for anything good. It just seems since Wii U games don't ever use it the way they should combined with the very possible $50 price drop for getting rid of the gamepad it may very well be a possibility.
such a shame this article didn't even mention lego city undercover i think it makes excellent use with the gamepad
REPLY TO @jkirchgessner07
While I do get your point I do not think profits on the X1 and PS4 will be as easy as on their predecessors.
Capcom stated that developing games on the XB1 and PS4 equates to roughly 10x more work. If true these consoles need to sell a lot of software to make profit.
Even so I don't see this as a saving grace for the wii u. So I agree with you.
I voted to cut it off mainly because the use of it on the system so far have not been as eye-opening to me as the touch/dual screen was for the 3DS or the motion/pointer controls were on the Wii. Just the fact it may be more than 2 years into the lifespan and Nintendo still won't have delivered a big game that uses it in a defining way makes me think even they are struggling with using it and selling it. Off-TV, TVii aren't that big a deal to me. Wii U's best features for me are backwards compatibility, the eShop and Miiverse.
The people that want the gamepad dumped are PS4/XBox One owners that want access to Nintendo's library. It's the same crowd that wants Nintendo to become the "NEW" Sega and/or jump into the smartphone market. While this article does point out some gaming short-comings (so far), it fails to mention the things the Gamepad can do outside of gaming. A virtual keyboard, off-TV play, built-in sensor bar, TVii, streaming media on demand, to name a few. No other next gen controller comes close to that level of diversity. And that's only what we've seen in the first year. The problem isn't the gamepad, the problem is informing the general public about all the features built into the gamepad. I'm seeing Microsoft and Sony jumping off the console bandwagon and trying to up-sell their consoles as entertainment systems. Nintendo appears to have missed that bus.
@Blast its also verrrrrrry comfortable to hold! try going back to the weird angles of a 360 controller or the dumb center analog sticks of the ps3 then you wil appreciate the gamepads design ! they did a great job with it !
My wallet is the only thing holding the wii u back also the 3ds is having to many can't miss games that makes it too hard to save for the console.
Either way they need to do something!! Most people here will say 'keep the wii u game pad' as they already have it and are sold by the idea, but fact is potential customers aren't seeing the gamepad as anything but a addon and not a worthwhile one at that.
My opinion is take it out stick a pro controller in there, rebrand it wii 2 and maybe have it be a different colour like red or something to make it stand out even more. Now don't get me wrong this would be a lot of work for nintendo, the update to existing consoles would have to be HUGE!! To re work all the settings screens and eshop to work with the pro controller and patch it's own first party games to support the new scheme would be a nightmare!!
But what other choice have they got?? The wii u can't continue as it is, I've never seen such a negative view from 3rd party developers for a console as is with the wii u and the casual market is volitile market one minute your talk of the town and next no one gives a crap.
@gregrout That's ridiculous. I'm a Wii U owner and I want the Gamepad dumped. The damn thing is a constant nuisance and it's hampering Wii U's potential.
we just need some other choices imo... I answered "No", but I don't think it would be correct to force things on the gamepad. To N: Just use it if you feel right about it!
@SanderEvers All those are fixable with software updates. Wii U would work perfectly without the Gamepad, and games that use it could treat it as an additional accessory controller.
@SanderEvans But do you NEED a Gamepad to play Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Wind Waker, Sonic Lost World, and the many 3rd party games? It just creates a different, sometimes better sometimes not experience. Rayman Legends could do without (as seen on other consoles) and so can Super Mario 3D World, and apparently so can the next batch of 1st party games. They don't need the Gamepad to work. Forcing us to use the Gamepad for navigating the menus is just Nintendo shoving their controller down our throats. We could easily navigate the menu with the Wiimote or Pro Controller.
They don't have to get rid of it completely, but seeing how few the games that actually use it are, there's nothing wrong in making it an optional add-on to reduce the price.
@kendorage silly statement... The PS/XBOX controllers are essentially the same from their first system... Hardly any cosmetic changes. I dislike when people talk crazy.
@Mahe Since when was the Wii U game pad hard to use?
I don't see a magic bullet here. If Nintendo stops bundling the Gamepad people will be confused about why it was bundled in the first place.
I personally would not have bought a Wii U if it lacked Wii Remote support and yet when it was announced there were people who said just that: Nintendo should just release yet another console with a dual stick joypad like Sony and Microsoft. Honestly if Nintendo ends up making a generic black box just to run 3rd party software I can't see any reason to back their kit because without the uniqueness of their hardware they might as well just be a software company and dump the hardware altogether.
@bugaham I'll agree with you on the strive for innovation that Nintendo keeps alive in the industry. But I wish they could have stuck with the Wii Remote/Nunchuk exclusively for another generation so they could master it. Zelda: Skyward Sword was the beginning of that and I would have loved to see them build upon it. Much like how the games of the SNES were games built upon the work done on the NES and how Super Mario Bros. 3 was the point where Nintendo began to master 2D game play.
Very solid points. Even when the games don't directly take advantage of the Gamepad's features, it's still always integrated into the gaming experience through Miiverse.
It sounds like Nintendo's actually doing a bad job themselves at coming up w/unique ways to play w/the Gamepad!
If they were going to rebrand it, they should have done that before the launch. If they rebranded it now, it would cause even more confusion among the general public
Even with my TV on, I was still playing SM3DW looking at the G-Pad.
DKC:TF may actually get some 3rd party developers to realize that "Hey gang, you don't need to use the G-Pad, See?".
When Nintendo Said that it was possible to use multiple gamepads, they also said that the idea wasn't plausible, as there wouldn't be a point.
I agree that it's nice to have multiple control options, but getting rid of it will cause more problems than solving them.
Absolutely NO. The gamepad is awesome all the way around. It is great as a secondary screen (Zelda, Zombi U...), for multiplayer (New Super Mario, Nintendo Land...) and off-tv is a fantastic feature. Being able to play while my girlfriend is watching TV or even myself is the greatest thing that has happened in console history.
So no, I want them to keep the gamepad under the lights.
Keep the gamepad it's the Wii U's unique selling point. The main problem with the Wii U is that compared to the PS4 & Xbox 1 is that it is woefully under powered and not as program friendly if the reports are true. Whether Nintendo like it or not they're stuck with the gamepad and Wii U for another 3 years. We're looking at a Gamecube situation here and that little box of wonders had some cracking games on it, first and third party.
@Farmboy74 Might be more like the N64. It was not exactly a 3rd party haven, was tough to develop for, and looks like Nintendo may need to throw out masterpiece after masterpiece to keep afloat while the handheld provides a financial buffer.
Minimize the gamepad & your minimize my interest. If they do what you suggest, it's truly GAME OVER for the Wii U. And considering the extended battery for the gamepad is sold out in the US, with over a month wait...I'd day it's popularity is quite large.
I'm happy with the way developers are using the gamepad. Not every game needs to use it in a unique way. I'd rather have it the way it is than have gamepad uses shoehorned into every game. It works great as just a controller.
The majority of your comments make me think you are coming back from one of those stores in Colorado or Washington.
Like I said before Nintendo gave these so call game makers a chance to do their best and come up with new ways to play with the game pad and they cry and say its too Hard to try .When Nintendo put one game out which fully utilize the pad everybody will be ripping off their ideas to add to their so call creations (they only know how to pirate people's ideas and make them better,which Nintendo is a very secretive company and would wait to see who's doing what and then a steady stream of games when all the powerhouse commotion settles down.X1 and Ps4 are going to have the same exact kind of pad and nobody won't talk about how the game pad is a gimmick.Don't think it's a good idea to show off your full potential(give them nintendo land to give them a taste of whats there to offer and when the competition launches with their regular controllers and think they got Nintendo beat.They going to teach you negative people of today a lesson in creating games of the future and everybody is going to be like how come we couldn't think of this and dat and I'm an idiot and looses job and no future for lazy minded negative people who had no future in this business to begin with
@Turbo857 Nope - you can use Miiverse with a Wiimote, a 2DS/3DS or a PC/other browser. No Gamepad required.
@FJOJR, If it's masterpiece time then how about F-Zero & Starfox receiving a well overdue reboot?, both games last seen on the Cube
I remember also saying sometime ago on this site that Nintendo would do well in copying Sony and setting up more internal studios this of course would take time to come to fruition but if the third party's are not coming time to have enough internal software houses to see you through.
Nintendo could also take the Microsoft route and splash the cash on more exclusives, why not tie up a deal with Sega that would last years and not just a few games?
Gotta applaud Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for its shunning of the Gamepad. Retro knows what's up!
Seems like they just want the best out of the home market before that happens think they'll have a nuclear war sooner than that happening.and when Nintendo games start pouring out I'm not going to save my money to buy some garbage games or everybody's port I'm going to put my money's trust in Nintendo so when these game makers start applying themselves will give you mii monii but until then stay off the Wii u when you know what u about,think its automatically give u my money.not even breathing on this comment.untill then think I give my money to people who know what the F they doing
I love the gamepad, it's a great little addition that I think is fun enough with it's limited use in games so far, I like the off tv play and map in front of me at all times. That being said, I voted yes because I think the gamepad should be an optional purchase. Most gamers just want a typical controller, I think they should just bundle the wii u with a pro controller, distance the wii mote by just using it in party-esque games or as an controller scheme to be used by the people that enjoy it. I don't like wiimotes at all, I think it's a god awful controller and that's the reason I didn't enjoy the wii as much as the GameCube. I think nintendo should focus on the games and not the controller gimmicks to make them different. Use the games to differentiate yourself from the competition. I am perfectly happy with the gamepad, but either implement it more efficiently or get sell it as an add on, lower the price and throw in a pro controller.
They should release a Wii U with a pro controller for $199. Change the name to Wii 2 or something that can be understood as a completely different console from the Wii. Improve the online infrastructure to something comparable to xbox live/psn. Make games that are going to sell in the west. You have to have Battlefield, Cod, GTA, Destiny, etc... all those games that are the most anticipated games of the year in order to sell a lot of consoles. I love my Wii U but the gamepad is heavy and uncomfortable and its features are really gimmicky and games don't use them at all.
You obviously missed my point. Regardless of the fact that Miiverse can be accessed through other devices, the simple fact that the Gamepad is provided out-the-box means that every Wii U game experience is integrated with it at the very least through Miiverse.
And I would argue that Miiverse is best experienced through the Gamepad anyway based on the size of the screen alone.
I agree 100%! Even my diehard PS3/4 friends love the Gamepad after a few plays, and they recognize all the potential.
And I don't like it when people talk off topic or change the subject. Are you even replying to the correct post? All i said was that the gamepad was a great controller and unique and that wii u owners want/should have more than one per console since local multiplayer is stressed so much. Why should only one person get to enjoy their own gamepad while others have to settle for old wii remotes?
I didn't mention ps or xbox controllers at all.
Remove the gamepad (but keep the Pro Controller and Wiimote), lower the price to 200 or less Euros and I will instabuy a shining new Wii U ...
@Mahe I really don't understand why you'd buy a Wii-U. Everything about the Wii-U release revolved around the gamepad. Launch confusion even left people with the impression that the Wii-U was just a controller, not a whole new system.
@rdmassini: fully agree! +1
while i agree it hasn't been used to it's full potiential, taking it away will do nothing. even as a controller, it has a nice feel to it, some titles know what they're doing (rayman legends, zombiu, mario kart or nintendo land anyone)?
@kendorage did you not state the following: "Its like check out my new wii u and this great new controller. Let's play some multiplayer. I will use the cool gamepad...everyone else use the half-decade old remotes".
Not fun watching one person enjoy the new controller( and casual consumers will think its just an accessory or new controller option when they see everyone else with an old remote in the ad). And passing the gamepad around gets old. Gamers want their own."?
Your statement, as written, makes your point seem as "New controller = more fun" when in reality that has not been the case with either PS or XBox... Those controllers have looked (if not played the same for longer) I understand you were caught up by the word "crazy" in my post, but I can't help but notice your knee jerk reaction to a little word. Calm down, the world is a big place.
Getting rid of the Gamepad or making the Gamepad optional to appeal to AAA developers would be the first step to making Nintendo a clone of Microsoft and Sony. Yes, Nintendo's games would likely sell better, but at the cost of going back on everything the company is known for and completely alienating the fans who stick with them through hard times like these because we love their approach to games. The Wii U is still just getting started. If Nintendo doesn't make interesting use of the Gamepad in any big 2014 games, then we can talk about getting rid of it.
@neowolf I don't know how much it would save but I do know I don't need a new TV if the 16ms added just by having the gamepad present can be worked around.
Gamepad is awesome. I guess if you don't play with other people much you might not get why, but we constantly use it in our family. Wind Waker uses it in subtle but awesome ways — aiming is best with it if playing alone. If you play that with a buddy they can do all the map research, and item swapping and checking on supplies while gameplay moves on unhindered (requires a Pro controller to go along with it though)
I get the points being made, but it's integral to the enjoyment my family and I have gotten from it over the past year since launch. Take it away, and I'm not sure what we have. I know I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun. I know I wouldn't have experienced that same "wow, this is a new experience" feeling I got from the Wii era while playing Nintendo Land. How sad that would be.
Maybe if more people played games together? Maybe the era of doing things together, like gaming, in the same physical space is just ending, because that's where the GamePad shines. Are all of you just sitting in a room alone when playing? I don't know.
To those who agree on dumping the gamepad, think about what you'll miss:
1- Touch screen mechanism (Drawing, Internet Browsing).
2- Off-TV (Best thing happened for gaming).
3- Additional multiplayer aspect (Asymmetrical Multiplayer, Additional fifth player).
4- TV remote (very useful feature IMO).
5- Inventory/Map functionality.
6- Front camera features (video chat, or games that use the camera)
Think about it: If, and I hope not, Nintendo drop the gamepad from the Wii U, then what are the differences that make the Wii U sets apart from XONE/PS4, or even PS3/X360?
Not only that, Nintendo will rethink its strategy about how to make Wii U a unique console without Gamepad.
My advice is to try the Wii U Gamepad for at least two weeks before giving nonsense suggestions.
The off screen play has made the gamepad worth it to me easily
Keep it, it makes Wii U a unique console, Nintendo is actually making each one of their consoles a completely new experience. The Gamepad works well, and is a surprisingly comfortable controller despite the size. I see nothing wrong with it, even though there hasn't been a game to make "full" use of it's potential, it still adds something great to each game. (even if it's just off-tv play)
I respect you, but I will never understand your hate for the GamePad. You haven't said a single rational thing about it in this thread. How would the Wii U be easier to use without it? My son, when he was three, had no problem using every aspect of it, including turning the TV on/off and switching the input which is strangely handy.
Knowing that you like Excite Bots, wouldn't you enjoy playing two players with each person having an entire screen rather than slicing up a single screen? It's so nice in Sonic Racing even with the frame rate issues that game has in general.
No, since it will leave it at a worse position than it is now. I mean, do you think the concept of a "traditional console, but weaker than the competition (which will be greatly exagerrated, knowing the internet.)" will ever work? I don't think so. Instead, what Nintendo should look for is for ways of making Wii U's production cheaper.
However I could see the Gamepad rendered optional when the Wii U enters it's final stages of life.
I love the internet.
Last gen they Nintendo used their unique controller for nearly every game and it was "I don't want to be forced to use this: give me traditional controls."
So this gen they listen and allow you the choice between using tradional controls or getting extra functionality from the gamepad and it's "I don't need the gamepad to play these games so why include it?" (forgetting how much less funtionality you get out of games like pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, and Deus Ex when you play without it)
People won't be happy no matter what Nintendo does.
Can the Internet drop this argument already? Maybe people aren't crazy about the gamepad — they're wrong and it's awesome — but nobody is not buying the Wii U because of the gamepad. Come ooooon.
Yes I wrote that. But I'm afraid you inferred to much from that comment. I merely meant that wii u owners want the new controller that came with the wii u, not have to use the remotes from the wii. When the gamepad is the new selling point of a new console for new game experiences, obviously most people want to use the new gamepad. Right? And you have to admit, the gamepad is kinda different from a wii remote.
So i wasn't upset you said crazy, I was upset you insinuated that I said new controller = more fun as that was not the point I was making at all. But if it was a misunderstanding, fair enough:)
Would do nothing to change the WiiU's fate, at this point.
I can agree on the fact the Nintendo seems to be stumped on how to use the Gamepad hopefully Shigeru Miyamoto's new ip will show other developers the way.
I really don't think so.
Look at the totally and utterly sh*t Wii Mini which is just an even more gimped Wii, that basically nobody gives a crap about, but even that still has the USP motion control gimmick.
The Wii U without the GamePad is just a totally under powered, under featured and under supported console that doesn't even have a USP gimmick.
No, I really don't think so.
@Redxzero - Just trying to lighten the mood. Even w/o Pacthers name in the title some of these topics bring out the worst in people.
if the gamepad has to go Nintendo might as well make a new console because the WiiU has no chance without it
I love my GamePad. It's one of the best controllers I've seen. It's easy to hold and there are games that put it to good use.
However, it isn't so strong as a selling point of the Wii U IMHO. In the end games sell system and the likes of GamePad and Wiimote are just gimmicks. Traditional controllers like the Pro Controller are just fine.
Remember how people used to think that motion control was the future of gaming when Nintendo first released the Wii?
I never ever again want to use a console OS without a touch screen. Navigating the menus is way easier and faster with the touch screen than with pressing buttons.
Also, off-tv play is way too convenient for this to be scrapped off.
Wii U w/o the GamePad, and Xbox One w/o the Kinect, isn't going to happen.
This would be a disastrous move on Nintendo's part. They have already stated they're not going to compete directly with Sony and Microsoft and removing the Gamepad would force this. It then leaves the Wii U as and under powered system with nothing different to attract consumers. Still while the gamepad has its features I feel Nintendo just hasn't quite figured out the best use for it. Let's hope they can figure it out sooner rather than later.
@SCAR392 Xbox One without Kinect is going to happen.
The Gamepad is both a blessing and a burden for me.
Saved my ass from boredom any number of times that my nieces/nephews/wife have been using the TV.
But at the same time, it's become such a habit, that I never just enjoy a game on my good, big screen, any more. Or it could certainly end up that way.
I don't think Nintendo should abandon the Gamepad, for the same reasons the DS improved gaming controls, but I definitely think it should become completely optional and support Gamepad-Only Display at all times, just because that is its most useful function.
And this will bridge the gap for a while, until Nintendo shuffles what they need to, in order to make the console/handheld fusion. Somewhat like Vita TV (except, say, an HDMI cord would plug directly into the 3DS).
You can turn off Motion in Zelda WWHD.. I did
I can hear Pokemon Snap calling out...
Controversial Wii U articles, Nintendo with Mobile Phones articles. What is this? Click bait day?
The Wii took off because kids could go to their friends' house and use the Wii remote as a tennis racket or a baseball bat or a sword or a steering wheel. Then they would bug their parents to buy it for them.
The Gamepad holds no such allure.
@pcruthven Thanks, didn't realize it. Should make my Hero Mode game a little easier.
I voted no. My reason being that if they did make the Gamepad optional, it would only cause more problems. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to pay an extra 70 dollars to use a controller that is optional and may not even work with some of the games I buy. If Nintendo made the Gamepad optional, all they will have succeeded in doing is creating another Kinect debacle. They will have created a pricey, useless add-on that most people are not going to buy anyway, and they will ultimately start ot hemorrhage money over the production cost of the peripheral because of the sales. The only way that the Gamepad was going to work would have been for it to be included with the system. It's the same reason the Micosoft chose to bundle the kinect 2.0 with the Xbox One, they realized that their peripheral, no matter how innovative it is, will not sell by itself. They needed to find a way to get it into every house, and bundling with the system was the only viable option. Either way you look at it, making the Gamepad optional would be a monumentally bad idea.
@kendorage I agree with most of your points... my impression of the gamepad was either asymmetric game play or second screen (ala Zombie U, which is always fun to watch someone else playing, simply because the onscreen character and the player tend to behave very similar. unfortunately, this was not to be the way I don't want a HUD on a second screen! I agree that they should have an option for non-gamepad Wii-U (perhaps the basic set?)... Heck, toss in a pro controller as so many before have suggested, But the Gamepad should stay.
No, I completely disagree with this. Simply making the Wii U an HD Wii will not make it easier to sell. People have long since abandoned the Wii, why would they care about one that is HD? It doesn't change or enhance the way you play at all. "The system you all loved" is a vast overstatement considering most people have moved on from Wii a long time ago, and only appreciated playing Wii Sports.
"Oh this is just an HD Wii? I don't need that I already have a Wii. I don't care about HD" is what most people will say. Removing the GamePad and delegating Wii U to simply be an HD Wii would make it harder to sell.
Yes and No.
@Neram - so then what exactly are people saying now? You think they are looking at the gamepad and saying "Wow - look at how that is changing the way I play games?" --- no, they are not. And WiiU sales can certainly prove that.
Whether bundled with the gamepad or without it, either way, WiiU is just "WiiHD", because nobody is using the gamepad in any real meaningful way. The difference is that the WiiU could be a hell of a lot cheaper and potentially increase sales without it, versus requiring consumers to buy the bundle with no other choice.
The WiiU is a tough sale regardless, might as well have it be cheaper and have the gamepad be an optional accessory sale for those who want it at a later date.
I only time I even touch the WiiU gamepad is for a rare instance of off-tv play - and I have several WiiU games in my library.
The gamepad is already an optional accessory as far as I am concerned. Nintendo would be wise to offer a SKU that does not include the gamepad - consumers could still have a great (and much cheaper) experience without it.
And, when that game finally comes along that uses it in a special way - consumers can always purchase it separately at a later date. The lower system cost will drive more systems into consumer's homes. Imagine a $199 WiiU deluxe system around holiday 2014 after their game library includes Donkey Kong, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros (all of which will also not be using the gamepad in any meaningful way).
I always love using the Gamepad! Who doesn't want to play Zelda Wind Waker or Smash in your bed?!
everybody needs 50 Wii U gamepads, x5 better than the ps4/x1 controllers. (or at least the x1 controller!)
@SCAR392 The kinect serves no real purpose like the gamepad but even less so, the only reason kinect is included is because MS spent so much on R&D to make the thing and wanted to avoid it being neglected like the 360 version so they'll build up a user base to start with then release an sku without kinect at $400 or less to compete directly with PS4.
Does anyone here understood what have been the central part of the fun Nintendo always shared within its hardware?: Controllers!! Control Pad (NES). SNES Controller with shoulder buttons x/y adds. N64 revolutionary Camera control and joystick ( c buttons), rumble pack and the Z targetting. NGC had proved to be one of the most comfortable controllers to use. Even having the rumble integrated and the ' c button' as a joystic and 'Z' located above...amazing. Then the Wiimote, who can deny is superb influence to the gaming industry; even broadening the market by its intuitive games/gameplay. And now the GamePad!! Yes ppl. The GamePad is the functional heart of the U. So, it will be practically unbelievable to see the GamePad taken off from it! Each piece of Big N hardware have been completely dependable on its input: Controller! Surely they still making up his mind on how to show its Full Potential soon. Assymetric gameplay, off-TV, navigational remote (web/apps), TV remote is been partially adopted. NEED MORE DEEPER GAMING INTEGRATION...that's all!
@Uberchu Pity the hardware only supports one at 60fps. (And you cannot use e,g multiple systems with a link up cable all on Gamepads or anything like that).
i dont really care for the gamepad.
i hope nintendo makes the wii u more user friendly for people like me who dont like having to use it for the eshop and saving virtual console game data and etc...give us the choice rather to use the game pad at all or not. just give me a controller that is regular.
Making the Kinect and GamePad a requirement, IS competing against Sony.
You still didn't answer my question, and I know why.
Microsoft and Nintendo have specifically said that the GamePad and Kinect are here to stay. How difficult is that to understand?
I disagree that the Gamepad is underused. I don't think every game needs to use it extensively to make it worthwhile.
Sonic Racing - My gamepad is a steering wheel. Also, multiplayer without having to use splitscreen.
Wii Fit U - Face snapshots to see how my face changes over time as I lose weight and mirror mode so I can see if am doing an exercise correctly. Also, many of the new mini games make use the Gamepad such as scuba diving.
Nintendo Land - No explanation needed.
Warriors Orochi 3 - You can play two player without splitscreen. It's pretty great that two people can play and have their own dedicated screen.
Sonic Lost World - Two player races that don't rely on splitscreen mode again. The colors and circus games were kinda poor implementations of the Gamepad, I must admit.
Mario 3D World - Ok, so this game doesn't really use the Gamepad in a meaningful way... but at the same time I think they just wanted to focus on a great multiplayer platformer. Not every game needs to use the Gamepad.
NSMBU - Same for 3D World.
Before the Wii U my boyfriend and I almost never played games together (and we also own a PS3). The Wii U's games are designed for local multiplayer and spectating and the Gamepad plays a big part in that.
The Gamepad works well as a second screen in my opinion, like the one on Nintendo 3DS. Constant use of it would be annoying. Rayman Legends is near un-replayable to me because I HATE the levels with Murphy. They're funny once, not twice. I'm perfectly content to have my inventory or map displayed on a handy second screen, and to have gyroscopic controls sometimes. And off-TV play.
In many ways, the Gamepad is very well used as a discreet, but convenient touch to an awesome system. Of course it could be used in very funny ways, like in NintendoLand, but then wouldn't it become annoying to switch constantly between the two screens? Or to see your friend have fun with the new controller while you're stuck with a Wiimote? I,for one, think so...
@SCAR392 To answer your question no one told me we will see but Microsoft are businessmen and if the kinect is shown to be holding back sales which it most defiantly is they will make it optional which it already is in a sense seeing as you don't need it plugged in and it does practically nothing in games again much like the Wii U gamepad.
I agree the Gamepad is great, but I'd be willing to give up all of those features if it meant I could see the Wii U turn into a success and be inundated with games. I really miss the days of the SNES where there were high quality, top notch games to be played all the time. Think Konami, Enix, Squaresoft, etc. The new controller is great, but if it is the sole reason why developers are turning their backs, then it doesn't seem worth it.
To those that say you remove the gamepad, you lose the competition against Xbox and PS. It'd still be a Nintendo system - and it'd be at least half the price. As long as it had third-party support, people would buy. A big reason people won't buy the Wii U is because the games they enjoy are no longer on our system. Coming from a 30-year old, just asking others about it around the office - they consider the Wii U a kid's system - and that's painful to hear. Why is it considered just a kid's system? Because Nintendo makes family-friendly games. Third-party developers make the mature titles. Without the mature titles, the Wii U loses out on a huge demographic. And might I say, a huge demographic that holds the money and is willing to spend it.
@Jazzer94 I am not sure. (They wasted 900 million $ on the first surface.) Think they would sooner drop the price and keep it bundled. The Gamepad is a disadvantage in that a 2 frame latency over HDMI TV no longer is and it cannot be disabled (Or a wire substituted). More than two frames and it becomes noticeable.
That's why you give them time. Xbox One launched a few months ago. That isn't being very patient.
It's not an option. It's too tied in to the system.
However it has been a terrible idea. Adding considerable cost to the console for very little gain. Previous Nintendo innovations like analogue on the N64 pad or the Wii Remote had clear uses from the start, as if the controller was designed around the software. Whereas Nintendo themselves don't seem to know what the Gamepad is for. It's 'innovating' for the sake of being seen to innovate.
What is the Gamepad's big innovation? Asymmetric gameplay? So, multi-player where it's unbalanced because one player is having a different experience to the others. Not an attractive idea.
It's great for Off TV Play but for that it could have been sold as an optional extra-people like me who use it a lot would have bought one. Those who may have bought a Wii U if it was cheaper aren't forced to pay for something useless to them.
@SCAR392 The first few months are crucial especially when most game related sites compare your product with a similar one (PS4) that launched at the same time.
The gamepad is the best feature of the Wii U! I live in a one bedroom apartment with my wife, and we share one TV. I would be playing a LOT less games if it wasn't for off screen gameplay.
The article might as well have asked for a time machine because this so called issue has set sailed and is gone.
The gamepad is the true selling point of the Wii U.Not to mention building the console with the gamepad in mind hence Miiverse,etc.Price isn't even a real issue especially when people can shell out 500 dollars for a cable box(Xbox One) with no games.And what would be the point of backtracking older games when the entire fanbase is saying the same thing "WE NEED MORE GAMES". Nintendo knows what's going on and as a business will hopefully establish better business plan because selling the Wii U without the Gamepad ain't it(also give it up on the name change,Wii U is the name and changing it at this point of time would only confuse the general public more than the so called internet claims)
Where are the DS ports to Wii U? Where are the mini-games and casual games? Nintendo decided to support the hardcore gamers, but it didn't worked out. I was expecting a flood of mini-games collections with touch screen controls, but it didn't happen.
258 comments and not one person has come up with a reason why the Gamepad has to be sold with every Wii U. Most people are saying how much they use off-screen play, and I agree that's great, but you don't need to force a gamepad in every box to do that. Keep one option with the pad at the current price, while a Wii U without it could bring it down to well under £150 here in the UK.
I don't know the specifics, but hopefully off-screen play does not have to be specifically programmed. I understand they can disable it, if the gameplay itself needs the screen, but it would make sense that the Wii U is handling the whole process of pushing it to the gamepad, just like the PS4 pushes it's games to the Vita without any need for that stuff to be done by the game developers.
Why does everyone forget that Nintendo announced it as an addition to console gaming that could be used for off screen so the console was always on, could be used for inventory management and outside that could be used for whatever people wanted to use it for. The gamepad is a great controller and fulfils it's exact role of keeping the Wii u on and used in my lounge. Nothing on Tv I can look on Netflix while the Mrs is searching through the sky channels. My Mrs uses it as a convenient Internet browser over her phone as it's just easier to see and use. I can play games when the family wants to watch rubbish on the TV and sometimes the kids like to draw with it or it will prompt a family mario 3D world or rayman session, just because it's already switched on and being used. If Ninty sold the Wii u without the gamepad then they have already lost.
Critics aren't the "rulers" of popularity, and short term success doesn't always mean long term success.
The GamePad needs to be sold with every Wii U, because it has a touch screen, and can be utilized by itself, or with your TV. The Wii U, as a conceot, isn't new(i.e. iPad + Apple TV, whatever Android does). The only difference is that you're getting it as one device, instead of 2, and it does things better the examples I gave in the parenthesis, for less than half the price.
@SCAR392 At least with Miracast or Airplay the device isn't useless if you go outside a 10m radius.
I no longer use my pc thanks to wii u and it's beautiful gamepad!! WORST ARTICLE I'VE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
well if the only thing they do with the gamepad is just off tv-play then getting rid of the gamepad would be great & just make games for the wii u pro controller wich is both easier & cheaper... if Nintendo made games that used the gamepad in unique gameplay like ubisoft did with zombie U & splinter cell blacklist then they should keep it, but as i see it all they did with the gamepad was just off-tv play wich is not "amazing" like nintendo say's it is, in mine opinion it's a lame feature, i mean why buy a 350€ home console ( the original launch price that i got it ) so that you can play it on the small screen that's not even in HD within 7m radious of the console? it's ridiculous, i would rather play the 3DS then since it has sterescopic 3D & a huge library od games plus you can play it wherever you want.
That's because they're separate devices. The Wii U and GamePad are essentially one device. If I want portable gaming, I'll buy a 3DS(which I already have).
NOPE. The gamepad is awesome. They better not ditch it to save a quick buck! I bet when MK8 comes out all the stats and player placement and so forth will be on the second screen, leaving TV gameplay mostly HUD-less! (that's what i'd do anyway)
Again, like i always say, instead of ditching what isn't IMMEDIATELY, they should improve what they have. What they should do is increase the radius for off-tv play and make the Gamepad controls compatible with original Wii titles! (with off tv play also!)
The GamePad has to stay, for one hypothetical situation: Nintendo makes HD 3DS ports for the Wii U, and sells them on Wii U eShop.
There would be a Cross-buy feature, where you get a significant discount if you buy the other version. This would increase the Wii U's software library and strengthen the sales of both systems, perhaps.
You want MORE minigames compilations? Are Nintendo Land, Game and Wario, Wii Party U, Wii Sports, NES Remix, Mario and Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Rabbids Land and the rest not enough?
@electrolite77 Well there's no Mario Party U yet. That's the only one i care about.
Bring the Gamecube controller back. Never liked the wiimote or gamepad.
Just have gamepad optional for off TV play...don't ditch it but I think people can get their dual screen fix with the 3DS...patch the main screens and some of the games that require it...offer a $200 WiiU with pro controller and 3Dworld or MK8.....I guarantee it will sell well despite being a "lesser" ps4 Xbone...it will appeal to kiddies, parents and hardcore gamers a like more so than now at that price point....how bout offering an e-shop credit if you trade in your original Wii!!!
I'm just imagining the chaos and complains nintendo will get if they sold it separately. We all heard "stories" that people mistake the Wii U as an Wii with a Gamepad. With that mentality, those same people would think the Gamepad is the next nintendo handheld or a Wii add-on and buy it without the Wii U console. You can think of the rest.
@SCAR392 True PS3 proved that by overtaking the 360 in total sales but MS know that the start and public perception are important factors and public perception of kinect is mostly negative.
@WaveBoy basically what WaveBoy said. The Wii U doesn't have the architecture to afford doing this. The Gamepad IS the Wii U, what is the point if they don't make it necessary? Nobody will buy it then cause it's just a not as good version of PS4 and Xbox one.
@oldscool I would love to see a smaller gamepad as well, but i'd rather see Nintendo removing region lock from the 3DS and the Wii U.
I purchased 3DS for Rune Factory for and Zelda : A Link Between World and the first game wont even get a Pal release, so that's why i'm just so tempted to sell the handheld
@gregrout Initially, I was cautiously optimistic about the Gamepad. It wasn't what I wanted, but I did want a Wii U for its games like New Super Mario Bros. U, Nano Assault Neo and Mighty Switch Force HD, so I also wanted to give the Gamepad a fair chance, playing different Nintendoland minigames, trying out Off-TV Play and so on.
Unfortunately, it just didn't work out. The Gamepad turned out to be more of an obstruction to gameplay enjoyment than an aid to it. Nintendoland and most other Gamepad games weren't very good. Off-TV Play on a tiny, smudgy screen is not worth the effort. If I can't use the primary TV, I'll do something else instead. The Gamepad also has a slight control lag compared to other controllers like a Wiimote. And having the Gamepad forced on you in several games and even apps like the web browser and eShop quickly became a burden. My initial optimism about the Gamepad died out and was replaced by ever-growing disdain.
All is not lost, though. There are loads of Wii U games that can be played without the Gamepad, from Nintendo titles like New SMB U and New Luigi U to third party efforts like Just Dance and Trine 2, as well as great retro-styled games like Mighty Switch Force and the whole of the Virtual Console lineup, slim as it may be compared to the original Wii. Some apps like Miiverse can be used completely without the Gamepad, and some partially, like the web browser.
And of course, Wii U offers Wii backwards compatibility with superior image quality through HDMI. Wii games on a HDTV look quite superb on a Wii U - yet another much-used feature that doesn't benefit from the Gamepad at all.
That's where money comes into play. Sony didn't make money on around half of the PS3 consoles they sold. Wii sold at a profit, and Xbox 360 sold at a loss, although not as large as the losses Sony made.
Define public perception. I'm presuming you mean PS fans? People can form their own stance, besides public perception.
@SCAR392 No not just Sony fans plenty of Xbox fans hate the kinect as well I know plenty.
That still doesn't equal public perception. Kinect did pretty well on Xbox 360, so raw numbers say otherwise.
I was one of those people unsure about the gamepad, but I find more and more I am loving it. I even use it more times than not with games that let you have different options (Wind Waker, for example) because I like having all my items/maps, etc. right there in front of me at all times. I am getting so tired of so much Nintendo news just freaking out over them losing money, maybe making poor business decisions. I think they are having a rough patch right now, but it will smooth out when AAA titles like Smash Bros and Mario Kart come out.
@Terpor I'm all for removing region locks, but I don't think it would solve the big problem. I'm in the camp that thinks Nintendo should try the subscription model for their back catalog to stem the tide. I'd love to see Nintendo become the Netflix of subscription gaming. Combine that with a great mix of a killer app, indie content and maybe some new IP, I think Wii U could carve out it's own place in the market.
@SCAR392 Kinect sold pretty well (I think its around 20 something million) on 360 because by that point the price of the console had come down a lot and the thing was bundled with a 360 plus a game that was also still around the massive explosion of casual gaming. The Xbox One currently has a much higher price point for a games console in this current economic climate factoring in that most early sales for consoles come from the more loyal fan base the ones that aren't to fond of kinect as the games that have been built around it have so far been lackluster examples kinect star wars and Fable: The Journey and the use so far for the One version again have been disappointing at best like calling over zombies in Dead Rising 3 and simple menu voice controls for lazy people.
I kinda think that being able to use the console without the gamepad at all would be helpful to developers who do not want to use it.
But keeping it bundled means those that have done - and will do - make use of it can still be able to deliver unique content. Even aside from the games, I love interacting with the UI and using online features with the gamepad. Browser, miiverse, eshop, menu, etc, are a breeze to use on the touchscreen and come so naturally.
The game-pad is one of the reason's I got a Wii U.
"but there really has not been a game that really takes advantage of the gamepad"
Deus Ex makes GREAT use of the gamepad to the point that I prefer it on the Wii U. Someone else mentioned Rayman Legends, and I've heard that Assissins Creed IV makes great use of the gamepad. Come to think of it, so do ZombiU and Nintendoland.
The gamepad is great. Nintendo just needs to pay advertising dollars to ensure that the AAA franchises are brought across to the Wii U.
We're all going to love the gamepad when it provides coop racing on Mario Kart without splitscreen. That's the only reason I bought COD on the Wii U & to me, it's a great feature. I hate splitscreen...it needs to be relegated to the past!!
The gamepad is an amazing controller and I don't see how I will ever be able to go back to traditional style control. I love it!
Only peripherals that are bundled as standard have any chance of success. Making the Gamepad optional is the same as making it not exist at all. It's worth it even just for Off-TV play.
@gingerbeardman Yeah, like the Wii Fit Balance Board. Oh, wait. Or the Motionplus add-on/ Wii Remote Plus controller. Oh, wait. Or the Wii Wheel. Oh, wait. Or even the freaking Wii Zapper, which came with Link's Crossbow Training. Surely that must have failed? Oh, wait.
I'm fairly certain I once read that the Wii U console design was tweaked at the last minute to improve the game play of a new Legend of Zelda in development. Nuff said.
Ditching the Gamepad would be daft! It would mean epic fail for Nintendo (they believed in it), and what's left is just a very underpowered machine with no unique features! It could only work if they would reduce the price drastically!
On a side-note: Nintendo does have succes with a 3DS without 3D (the 2DS)! I was very surprised!
No, no, no, no , no, no, no, no . . . NO!!!!
I LOVE the game pad!
The gamepad was a failure. The numbers prove this. It is time to cut the losses and do away with it to lower the console price.
I agree. I really don't think there's anything wrong with the way it's used now. We use it everyday at our house. It's great for off tv play, for browsing the internet, and is used in make sense ways by many games. Why does it have to be more than inventory, maps, and the occasional touch screen application. It's good as is. My only hope is that Nintendo continues to use it for its next home console(though I really think we'll see a system that is a portable handheld and home console in one).
The gamepad could be a potential goldmine for developers. But they are either too intimidated or too clueless on to how to utilize it correctly. As much as people hate EA, you have to admit that the EA Sports division should have loved that option for their sports games. And that is just an example.
The worst part about this whole ordeal is that many people are too hung up on "Graphics and power" of the systems to realize that they fail to see the full potential of the WiiU system and the fact that Sony and MS will just copy the concept in due time anyways. Just like they always do after Nintendo takes the initiative and tries something new.
Personally I love playing the WiiU. My 4yr old daughter loves the system too and always wants me to use the gamepad. She hates the PS3 and 360 when I turn them on (go figure ). I see so much potential for the gamepad, it is just too unfortunate that it is under utilized, especially from Nintendo itself. Off screen play is one thing, and it is nice, but it is not needed nor required for every game for the players.
I hope to see more games use it this year. But it is up to Nintendo to come out and show everybody what it can really do since it is their own machine. Hopefully from there others will take notice and see that there is so much to do with it.
-off tv play is amazing and super convenient
-it is SO MUCH EASIER to play wind waker with the map open WHILE you're sailing
-universal tv remote ftw
@oldscool Like OnLive and Gametap? I have tried several different cloud gaming services on my PC and i wasn't impressed by them. I'm okay buying digital games from Nintendo even if they have DRM.
@koochiekoo With more input lag and try to imagine the speedrunners playing Mario World on Nintendos own streaming platform
Lord, I hope and pray that they do not discontinue use of the GamePad. Off-TV play was a godsend for me! The only bad thing about that controller is its battery life, for crying out loud!
Also, I love using the GamePad for non gaming activity like surfing the net (using it right now). The browser is much better than any tablet browser I've used, and the resistive screen is far superior for drawing on than on a capacitive screen. Being able to watch a live stream on the TV, and the pad to view the chatroom, is also great.
That's why you give them time. It's not a coincidence that both Nintendo and Microsoft are trying to make their profucts more worthwhile, after release. If we judged either, as of now, it would be drawing a premature conclusion.
The Wii U has only been out for over a year, and Nintendo plans on making this system last long as possible, just like any other. The GamePad and Kinect need to stay to make these consoles worthwhile, in the long run. Making the GamePad optional, when it's a core part of the system(which Nintendo admittedly needs to work on), will make the whole project go up in smoke.
I think it can (and must) lose the GamePad. Why does Nintendo's console needs to have a different control scheme to be an unique system? After the Wii era, all I wanted was to have a beautiful HD console with better online capabilities (MiiVerse is fantastic!!).
They tried it with the GamePad, but there's almost not a single game that really blew me away with the way how they integrated the controller. It can live on as an accessory (like the Wii Balance Board) and be succesful in its own right. But because they need to make drastic decisions now, they can better focus on the games with the Pro Controller / Wii Remote + Nunchuck and make them fantastic...it would also be better to bridge the gap with 3rd Parties.
This way they can bring the price of the Wii U way down, have fantastic 'traditional' games and offer GamePad owners value through extra modes in those games or via the eShop and of course Off-TV play, marketing it as a premium value for the complete Wii U experience.
Does anyone agree with me?
NO. the Wii U IS the gamepad.
@Mahe What is wrong with it? It 's a SNES controller with a screen and two extra shoulder buttons. What is the problem.
Nintendo could drop the Gamepad, but it would be costly to do so in my opinion. Nevertheless it remains a VERY real option. When your flagship titles are multiplayer games where most people can only use wiimotes anyway.. Mario Kart and Smash.
Here is the problem with the theory that manufacturing will get cheaper and lower the console price in the long run: Nintendo can't even sell the stock they have now
I don't have a wii u, but I have a wii. I skipped ps3 and xbox due to both money and because Nintendo has the games I actually want.
Every one of their consoles should be able to use the Wavebird.
But I do like the off-tv play feature. Pretty handy. Wife watches her shows, I stay entertained.
Nintendo should focus on actually delivering an awesome experience rather than "innovating" with their accessories. Where are all the VC games for Wii U, third party support (which when present is usually a bad port), decent Netflix app and so on. I'm sure they'll deliver great content in a while but it could be muuuch better.
Rule #1 of reading articles:
An article that has a question in the title is begging to be answered with a no. More often than not "question articles" are articles that started out with the intent of saying one thing but had the writer convince themselves throughout the article that it was wrong.
If the author was sure of their conclusion it would have instead been titled:
"There Is A Future For The Wii U Without The GamePad"
However they weren't, it was a question, so the answer must be no
Short answer? No. There is no future for the Wii U without its most unique feature. Without the gamepad, the Wii U is an underpowered console with no advantage at all against its competition.
I love the gamepad!
Just Make a Pro Controller Option for Every Game
I hate the GamePad. Wind Waker HD is an amazing title that I played completely with the Pro Controller. Besides about 3 levels the GamePad did nothing for Super Mario 3D World, the best title on the system. Developers don't care about the GamePad and apparently neither do consumers; hardly anybody is buying the system despite the fact that Mario 3D World was one of the best games released in 2013.
The GamePad is simply not necessary. All the games can just as easily be played without it. Sell a Wii U bundle that is $50 cheaper and that comes with a Pro Controller instead of the GamePad.
And honestly, who is actually going to play Smash Bros with that thing? It's too clunky and awkward for such a fast-paced game.
I would be very interested to hear why they have turned it off (If they are going for a reasonable difficulty and the latency it introduces stops it working then that is the main problem I have with the current situation. I want to use my TV not a monitor. My TV cannot even really be replaced if I want a Plasma with sub 30ms and Panasonic is stopping making them).
@BrightBeing I don't really get the part about being underpowered...if you upgrade from the Wii how can it be underpowered? The games are beautiful in HD in my opinion. I don't look at the PS4 or Xbox One because they simply don't have my Nintendo games, so I can only look back at the Wii to compare the games on the Wii and Wii U.
Sacrificing it would kill completely the console, I mean without it the Wii U is just a PS3 or 360 from Nintendo, and if it is having a hard time now imagine if it hadn't the pad. At most a Pro controller should be included in the basic console along the pad just to have options.
I prefer a Pro Controller But There is No Need for killing the Gamepad it just need it's killer app. Have You Seen how Splinter Cell Blacklist and Deus Ex Made Great use of it.
@Mahe That's an excellent post. Fair enough. I went all out when I got the Wii-U so I had two pro-controllers going in. There are times when you have to scramble for the Gamepad, and I do find that annoying at times, especially when it's touchscreen filler that doesn't add much to the gameplay. I think Nintendo would have been worse off without the gamepad though. Without the gamepad, I think the Wii-U would have been thoroughly dismissed as a last gen console without the 360/PS3 library. At least with the gamepad you could passably argue that Nintendo sacrificed raw power for innovation.
A lot of people already mistake the Wii U for being another Wii. Remove the GamePad and add a Wiimote and it'd be even harder for them to differentiate between the systems. Besides that, the GamePad is said to cost about $120, a Pro controller and Wiimote would be around $90; so a $30 saving really isn't enough.
Personally I'm not convinced that the PS4 and XBO are going to continue to fly off the shelves throughout the rest of the year and I can see their sales stalling just like the Wii U's did. If that does happen then it'll be interesting to see 3rd party reactions and whether there are the same calls to change the systems.
@Kmno But is it really bad to have 'just a PS3 or 360 from Nintendo'? If the games are amazing for us with a normal control scheme, the Nintendo fans, why shouldn't they just be on the Pro Controller? The PS3/360 got great games in their cycle. After all those years with the WiiRemote I thought most Nintendo fans wanted to have a traditional controller again, while still supporting the WiiRemote/nunchuck. They can sell the GamePad as a premium value accessory, to have a 'complete' Wii U experience.
@Oubie I can't say much because I've only used the Gamepad a couple of times but I think it can be considered a normal control scheme save for the size, yeah it has the plus of the touchscreen but aside from that you can play anything in a traditional way.
Having the equivalent of a gen 6 console from Nintendo is not bad per se, but that is only to the Nintendo fans and fanboys, people like you and me or most people from this site for example, but for the rest of the audience, well let's say that staying a gen behind is not exactly what they want and I understand them. If they are to stay underpowered then at least there must be something that makes a difference, something that makes you say hey, let's have this console because it offers something unique, maybe you could say the games from Nintendo themselves are this something unique but again that is not for everybody and after so many years people are burned from playing their franchises, so they need other incentives and I think the Gamepad was an interesting idea even if we now know it was not exactly what the market wanted.
If you have never used the gamepad you might think this is a valid idea. If you have used the gamepad, you will quickly realize how this makes absolutely no sense!
The gamepad is awesome. Off screen tv play is the Wii U's coolest feature. You can't play without a tv if you only have a pro controller.
@Oubie don't get me wrong, Oubie, I'm a Nintendo fan. But the sad truth is the Wii U IS COMPETING with the XBone and PS4. More so than the Wii was competing with the 360 and PS3. Casuals have horrible mobile games and don't care about Wii U. Hardcore has the More powerful and supported PS4 and XBone. The Wii U has no audience but die-hard Nintendo fans. And that's not going to pay the bills.
@Kmno I totally get what you mean. But yes, the GamePad didn't really convince me to buy the Wii U. As I read in the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze preview, even Retro/Nintendo don't really know anymore what to do with it. And I guess Mario Kart 8, Smash and Bayonetta 2 also won't blow me away with the usage of the GamePad.
One thing though: I really don't think that after the Wii generation hardcore gamers would suddenly come back to buy a Wii U even if the console would've had the specs of the PS4/Xbox One because they got attached to the games and communities around those systems.
I just hope they do something, this way is a dead end to me...I didn't bought a Wii U to stare at a blank screen while playing a high profile 1st party game like Donkey... But maybe I did if it was marketed as the next HD console from Nintendo with traditional controls haha
Honestly, I think the gamepad's been used perfectly up till now. Using it "just" for maps and inventories and off tv play is what keeps me coming back. I found games like zombiu and nintendoland to be irritating.
The Wii U isn't even under powered. It's designed to run software without requiring hardware heavy tasks. Efficient doesn't necessarily mean "underpowered".
Go compare a 4 cylinder from 1980. Now compare a 4 cylinder from 2013. It's a world of difference, despite having arguably the same specs.
The efficiency basically gives it more power. Plus, Wii U's GPGPU isn't weak at all, but it also requires the CPU to make more use of it.
@BrightBeing I just don't think that a 'high end powered up' Wii U would've brought in the hardcore audience. Those gamers stuck with their games and communities on the PS3/360 era and now they're upgrading to their respective successors.
You're probably right. However I think that a more powerful Wii U that would come with the pro controller would attract way more people than the way it is now, even though probably a good number would move as you said to PS4/XB1. Lego Marvel Super Heroes for Wii U, for example, has a really inconsistent framerate due to underpowered hardware. Things like this keep people away from the console and its software.
That's a porting problem. If devs knew how to utilize the Wii U, those framerate issues wouldn't even exist.
Look at Lego City, then compare to Lego Marvel. They basically have the same graphics and everything. The difference is that Lego City was designed for Wii U, and had the hardware in mind. However, figuring out how to port games correctly will fix that issue.
These upcoming months will be very important for Nintendo, they must shine (AND GIVE A LIVE PRESENTATION!!!) at E3 with a new look and strategy.
PS: please invest in those Nintendo Directs...painfully to watch from a marketing perspective, though I like the idea and surprises now and then.
I agree...make a gamepad 2.0 slimmer, maybe even slightly less screen size (with same resolution) and use the bigger battery.
In an interview Shiggy said 'We make hardware to be able to have the specific features we need to apply our software vision'. I am paraphrasing, but in the past this has always been true....until now?
I just don't get it as Nintendo has always been able to implement unique hardware into their games but suddenly now they are dumbfounded? Whats odd is so many gamers have been able to envision how the gamepad could be used for all sorts of games.
You want a system saver how about pokemon mmorpg with the ability to import the pokemon you raised in x/y and use them in the game. How about Nintendo kisses blizzards ass ang gets a Star Craft WiiiU with exclusive gamepad async play and online.
How about getting Magic 2014 on WiiU or better yet make a Pokemon TCG where you play the cards on gamepad and battles play out on screen in 3D.
Last console saving idea.....A true football sim....like old Sierra Sport Football. Support 2 gamepads (the system can) and also online play. The 'coach' calls the plays on gamepad and can also audible, use gamepad for roster management, to draw up custom,plays, select a hot route or wether to blitz or drop a defender. Then again the game plays out in realistic, game presentation style. So the idea is interactive football. Tell me hardcore gamer/sport fans in the US arent't ready for this type of experience?
Keep the gamepad, make it better and fearure it in unique games and it would be a hit.
I love the gamepad, but I wouldn't have mind if Nintendo invested that money into better motion controls and hardware rather than the gamepad.
As far as units without it...why not? It's usefulness is obviously not catching on, and the general population....and most gamers don't seem to care about.
If you think about it, it might actually save Nintendo money. Instead of doing a price drop to $249, do a gamepad-less bundle for $249.
This is dumb. The best thing about the wii u and the only thing keeping it from just being an underpowered version of an xbox 1 or ps4 and people want to get rid of it??? What would make you want to buy a wii u if its still not going to get most ports of multi platform titles with or without the gamepad? Its already cheaper than the other two so I dont think making it lcheaper will help sales all that much, maybe some advertising would help for a start. Im in australia and have literaly never seen a wii u commercial on tv at all since launch, at the game store wii u games are hidden in a corner as if they didnt even exist, it is probably different in america but still australia isnt some 3rd world country surely they should be trying to get some sales here. Anyway the gamepad is the best thing about wii u so dont even think about ditching it, not to mention the whole console is based around it with menus and settings and such
I'm only reading the title. I say NO!!!!!!!!!!! The gamepad rules and this future talk is making me sick as poopiedoodoocacapoopledoople.
Please watch the profanity — TBD
I would not mind if they got rid of the gamepad, I always play with the pro controller anyways. They should keep it as an accessory.
I agree, even when it's used for just maps and inventory it's great.
I love the gamepad,it would be nice if Nintendo could add some more apps for it like a facebook,twitter,or a pandora app would be cool.
if nintendo release a wii u with a pro controller then there will be no difference in hardware terms between a 360 and a wii u (for example) so the answer is no, the gamepad should remain with the console, nintendo needs to spend money on a good marketing campaign and keep releasing nice games thats all nintendo can do at this point.
"Third parties won't have to invest additional resource to add GamePad streaming or optimise their existing code to run on the system."
Can we stop with this nonsense? It's not even difficult to stream to the gamepad. It's one simple system call to output a picture to the gamepad. The hardware, device drivers and the OS handle all of that. All the devs have to do is point the pixels they are drawing at display0 or display1 depending if they want to output to TV or gamepad.
If any dev has trouble with the concept maybe they should go back to answering phones, as it's a trivial thing to implement.
I think Wii U without the gamepad is good idea, and I love the gamepad. I wouldn't give mine back. The reason this is a great idea is because the gamepad device is way too expensive to manufacture. There is an anecdote circulating about a woman who dropped her GP in her kitchen sink. She had some trouble getting Nintendo to explain how to go about getting a new gamepad, but when she finally did she was told it would cost her $140 for a new one. If Nintendo re-packaged, or released a "new" console(this is more likely) at a suggested retail of $200 which plays all games Nintendo sells from this point forward they would have a winner. What family wouldn't pay the same price as you pay for a Kindle Fire to be able to play full blown versions of Nintendo's games? I think this idea is a winner, and, hey, for people like me the gamepad can still be used optionally for new Nintendo games, and I have the advantage of being able to play the current lineup of games as well.
This needs a multi-pronged attack to fix it
1) Rename the Wii U. Wii 2, Wii Too Wii Too with a 2 over the Too to look like 2/Too
2) Sell a Wii without the GamePad
3) Sell the GamePad by it lonesome
4) Give multi GamePad support to the Wii U
5) Drop the price of the Wii U, either through the cutting of the GamePad or just plain cutting the price.
6) Give the Wii U and 3DS/2DS some connectivity, maybe make it where the 3DS/2DS could be used as a potential GamePad
7) Bundle the Wii U with games without raising the price...not really much of a bundle otherwise.
8) Work out a deal with Hulu where you can watch hulu on the Wii u without having to have Hulu Plus. Why should Hulu have the free option on the PC but no free option on the consoles
Holy smokes to all the misinformation in this thread.,.. The xBone and ps4 aren't some mighty god of hardware specs, they are low end gaming devices and they aren't light years ahead of the Wii U. The Wii U is processing dynamic light like a system pushing 300-400 gigaflops. How powerful is that mighty god xBone? 900 gigaflops at the most (most likely less with how many issues it has with 1080p)... The ps4 is barely over the 1 teraflop point. It performs like a system struggling to hit 1.5 teraflops...
The power difference between Wii U and xBone is like comparing the OG Xbox and the PS2, it's not very large at all. There is absolutely nothing the Wii U can't run in 720p that the xBone will do in 1080p, my point proven by how many titles are 900p on the xBone
I have an Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U active in my living room. The game pad is what really makes the Wii U stand out. It's a versatile system. If I want to settle in for some hardcore gaming or old school VC, I tend to go with the Classic Controller Pro- honestly one of my favorite controllers which is sadly overlooked due to its peripheral nature. But if I want to give up the tv, I can play or run video apps through it. Or, if my son wants to play Ducktales or Rayman while I'm on one of the other consoles, we can have our cake and eat it too. Heck, I'm playing Deus Ex now. I'm going to head into the bedroom soon, but want to play a little longer. So, off-tv mode. Sure, it's slaved to the system range, but within the house it is awesome to have a portable system that runs console games.
I feel that in a world where Sony makes remote play a successful selling point while gearing up massive streaming services, and Microsoft pushes Smart Glass, the Wii U game pad isn't a failure- it's the best realized and most integrated step into the second screen world. Hardly surprising from the makers of the DS. They birthed this trend yrs ago, and with Wii U they pioneered it in the console space. Why abandon that? Especially when the competition is latching on?
Also, they'd have to rework the entire dashboard OS to make it work without they game pad, while still supporting game pad using systems. That'd be problematic.
Besides Nintendo's 1st party games, the gamepad is the only thing that the WiiU has over the PS4 and Xbone. They can't afford to abandon it.
@Snes_is_king That would be so awesome. I would have a subscription for life. Don't think it will happen though while they are selling 30 year old NES games for 5 bucks a piece.
@bizcuthammer Except they wouldn't be making any profit from the system. That's not what I call success at all. Xbox has NEVER made Microsoft any money, while the PS3 erased all of Sony's profit from PS1/PS2 and caused them further losses. PS4 is sold at a $60 loss, which is made up when someone buys a game. PS4 is the only thing keeping Sony as a whole afloat.
Once an upcoming CEO starts up at Microsoft, you can say goodbye to Xbox. Sony has a 78% chance of going bankrupt in the next 3 years.
Point is, you are asking for Nintendo to make their home console just like Xbox and PlayStation. Do you really want 3 identical systems barring exclusives? It would destroy Nintendo. The only reason why NES/SNES had 3rd party support was Nintendo's draconian policies at the time that FORCED 3rd parties to develop for NES/SNES. Otherwise they would've been in the same situation as the rest of Nintendo's home consoles.
Nintendo will NEVER get 3rd party support, regardless of hardware power. Sorry to say, but Nintendo's home consoles will continue to go in a downward spiral in sales. Best thing to do is ditch normal home consoles and go for a digital-only microconsole.
The big controller is all the WiiU has at this point. Unless they produce some games people want to play. Either old school remakes or sequels, or third party next gen games (which is not really possible considering the outdated hardware. I'm really surprised Watch Dogs is coming to WiiU) If only Nintendo invested into better hardware and not a controller. I know it's cool to be able to play on the controller, but what good is that if you don't enjoy the games. I'm sure there are some people that enjoy them, but most don't.
nintendo, never ever listen to these arm chair analyst. the gamepad is awesome as is. Sure theres nothing revolutionary done with it yet, but I could never go back to playing games like Assassins Creed, Batman, Wind waker again after having the HUD and maps right under my nose without the need for pressing pause.
Controller is only as good as the games that use it. Right now...... not many games use it yet. Nintendo better get plan B warmed up if they can't convince third party companies to maximize the gamepad. There should be no excuses left this year.
I think a significant problem is the GamePad is far too large and bulky. They should have given FAR greater priority to keeping the GamePad a size comparable to a standard controller. It would be OK if it was a little bigger, but it's just rediculous in its current state. None of my friends ever want to use it because they think it's too big and uncomfortable.
However, I think far more needs to be done to improve the Wii U's prospects.
the real question is how much cheaper would it be then? If it really shaved off like $100 you better believe sales would pick up. a $200 HD system would have people lining up to buy it, and then you can also bet that the other devs would line up to make more ports. Money is the bottom line for Nintendo and us consumers. I'd go buy a WiiU right now if there was a big price drop and an option for no gamepad.
I don't see any benefit in completely dropping Game Pad support (its already there, take advantage of it) but I agree they should also focus on other Wii U features. Oh, and also make it possible to completely turn off the gamepad in the Home menu and games where you can play without ever using the Game Pad.
What the gamepad did is effectively suck resources away from making the console itself more powerful/better. When designing the console money went into the controller versus going into whats under the hood of the console as well as features.
And seeing as the gamepad really isn't anything revolutionary or as yet worthwhile, or at least enough by itself to stand as a selling point, I'd say the Wii U shouldn't have had the gamepad to begin with, but at this point it needs it, because it really has nothing else the competition doesn't.
To me Nintendo is almost grasping at straws with its hardware "innovations." With Wii they hit a home run, and with Wii U they didn't. I think for their next console they should focus on winning over third parties first, and then whatever they want to do second. Because they cannot keep building hardware which only they will be able to utilize to its full potential, or which only satisfies them, and expect to stick around in the home console business.
off-tv play is the #1 best thing about the wii u, that and the fact that it has basically traditional controls and doesnt require that horrible wiimote garbage. "wiimote, the controller which neutered and ruined an entire generation of nintendo games".
as i currently only have one tv, i use the gamepad to play games ALL of the time and have played whole games through on just the gamepad alone and i love it. it's like a giant gameboy with an HD screen and its awesome.
so, off-tv play is all that was needed from the wiiu and gamepad. its awesome, it stays, and its perfectly fine as-is.
The Gamepad is a shining example of Nintendo's continued journey of innovating how we play videogames; the PS4 and Xbox One are the same controllers as the previous gens, just with minor tweaks. I love that every Nintendo system's had its own unique controller; its own ID if you will.
It should definitely be a priority when developing for the system; "what can we do with the Gamepad?" should be the first thing that comes up when making ports and especially exclusives. Instead of lazily adding a useless map (for example Sonic Lost World, sadly) or other unneeded visual.
No. No there's not.
@NES_Hoarder No. That's a terrible idea.
MIGHT BOOST SALES. sure you will miss out on the core new experience but alot of sony/xbox fans dont care about that experience. they just want a plain jane controller.
drop the price to $199 with pro controller
$249 with gamepad.
sales should go up big time! keep it at the price till last year.
@hylianhalcyon Agreed with everything you said here. It's sad that Nintendo made this thing at the expense of all of the other aspects of this console and has nothing to show for it.
I wish Nintendo could used the same wonderful alternative that it used on Spirit Tracks. Note things in a map is absolutely wonderful, por exemplo. I was surprised thata Wind Waker didn't had this option. I did every kind of mark in my little screen on my 3DS.
I love the gamepad; Multiplayer Nintendo Land has been one of the most fun games I've ever played. There's so much potential for it I really want to see Nintendo actually do something with it.
"the GamePad's screen is switched off entirely."
I hope NIntendo update the Wii U to allow us to turn off the Gamepad screen as it wastes valuable batteries while on but not being used. I'm surprised they didn't think of that especially after putting such a poor battery in the device in the first place and it lasting only 3 hours...
NO. Even if you take out off tv play, games like ZombieU(best use of the gamepad so far), complete removal of any hud (MH3U) just browsing the internet has totally changed for me. I used to be on my computer all the time. Since I got my Wii U I am barely on it once a week. I can look up walkthrough videos on youtube or guides without having to shut off the game. I can use this for my PS3 as well.
Also why didn't you mention Art Style? Maybe people haven't bought or used it much but that alone could be a reason for some to get a Wii U. It is a nintendo product that takes full advantage of the gamepad.
While I tend to disagree with the enthusiam about what the Gamepad's second screen offers to gameplay (outside of a couple of party games), this was a very interesting, balanced, reasoned and indeed brave (considering the audience...) article. This is why I love NintendoLife.
I saved up £250 to get my Wii U in the UK. I was happy with the price of the system. I've had it since the launch date and I've really enjoyed it and I think it's had some games made great use of the Gamepad. Btw, £250 is approximately $400. I paid a fair amount of money because I knew it was something I would enjoy.
Waiting for it to go to $199 (£120)...I just don't even know how to comprehend that...I just can't even...I just don't even know anymore...
Yeah, it's funny, most people round here seem to consider off-TV play to be the Wii U Gamepad's best feature, which just goes to show how largely superfluous they must find all the other two-screen "innovation" (which is completely at odds with what they're usually claiming...)
There have been a couple of comments on this thread along the lines of: "The Gamepad is awesome because of having maps/items, etc, on the second screen which is amazing and I can't go back [seriously....?] But the best thing about it is off-TV play!" Right... the off-TV play that completely negates all the "amazing" other stuff that you supposedly now can't live without..........
Great article Damo...
I would have disagreed with the idea previously, however the more I think about it, the more it seems to be a good idea.
The issue of fragmenting the Wii U fanbase is not new either. As the article mentions there was the whole "better with Kinect" situation and even Nintendo have had this themselves many times, most recently with the Wiimote Plus-only games such as Red Steel 2...
When the Gamepad was announced I thought it was a superb idea, but it really hasn't added anything to the gameplay imo. In fact I get annoyed when I have to take my eyes off the TV to do something on it. It feels disjointed.
Having said that I really like the off-TV gameplay feature.
No matter what we think, it'll be interesting to see what Nintendo do with Wii U from here...
@SCAR392 For the love of Pete! This argument is dead, sealed in a pine box. Not even the most delusional fanboy can suggest the Wii U can stand up to the power of either competing console. Both benchmarking and game results have proven this beyond the shadow of a doubt. And efficiency means nothing if it's too difficult for developers to program or port to.
I think they would be smart to deemphasize the Game Pad a bit, and stick a Wii Remote in the box, like they're doing in Japan. Give it a prominent position on the box as well, while making sure the box doesn't resemble the old Wii.
To quite many who enjoyed the Wii, the GamePad seems strange and difficult to figure out, exactly like the GameCube Controller did to the uninitiated. The downfall is that both also seem "silly" and "kiddy" to the self proclaimed hardcore gamers, earning Nintendo no core market aside from their established fans.
I also think they should play it up a little more that it has high definition HDMI-output.
While many Wii users weren't technophiles as such, they did notice how poor the Wii's image was on a big digital flat-screen, and how much delay the analog output received, causing enough pointer lag to make most IR intensive Wii games just that crucial bit less fun to play.
@Oubie a powered up Wii U would have seen broader third party support and better press. It would have swayed at least some hardcore gamers, especially with digital purchases not forward compatible from 360 to One or PS3 to PS4, and no backwards compatibility. Hardcore gamers would have nothing to loose.
@SetupDisk absolutely. My daughter is quite a gifted artist and she loves Art Academy and spent a lot of time with Miiverse - the instant feedback of "likes" is like a drug to someone who likes to draw.
I wish I could change my vote from I don't know to "no." Offering a bundle with a Remote Plus makes sense to me (though I have to think they already have some of those?), but removing the Gamepad does not: the system interface is built around it and it's essential to Miiverse (anyone suggesting otherwise clearly didn't do much point-and-click messaging on the Wii - just no, seriously).
The Gamepad doesn't need a "killer app" to justify itself - the second screen has more than proven it's worth to me; it doesn't have to be used in every single game to justify itself.
Wii U without Gamepad will just not be a Wii U. Even with the existing library of games the GamePad shines and it's more next Gen than all the other controllers together.
The gamepad is USELESS. Nintendo needs an intuitive control. This piece of garbage is one of the worst ideas Nintendo had. Ever.
It depends on what you mean by power. Wii U is a flexible and efficient system.
This whole argument has to do with whether Wii U is 8th gen. It factually is, even specs wise. That's why it's annoying to hear otherwise, because it's ignorant.
What benchmarks and games are you talking about, exactly? All I see is ports that weren't designed for Wii U, and lacked as a result. How you, or anyone else is drawing conclusions from that, basically confirms that you don't know anything about the hardware.
EDIT: It's not even really an argument, because I know WTF I'm talking about. It rarely takes more than 1GB to a video game, Wii U has the 32MB of cache to make more connections happen, and it's GPGPU is a more capable than anyone can even grasp, right now.
Did you know?:
Project Cars on Wii U = 1 CPU core with it's GPGPU
Project Cars on Xbox One/PS4 = resources across 4 CPU cores with its GPU
Wii U is efficient, so it gets more from less. Google is right there, bro.
The wiiu need that tablet, without it, it defenitly lose this generation.
Best would be if they make a new console within 2 years or so, the hardware is quitte outdated ^^ if you compare it with ps4 and xboxone.
The name Wiiu is also totaly wrong, like half the people i speak with dont even know a wiiu is a new system, they all think its a tablet upgrade for the wii.
I'm not bothered what 'gen' it's regarded as. That's a chronological thing anyway. It is demonstrably less powerful than the other two though. No amount of number shuffling can hide that.
So much hatred for the gamepad. It's literally the best invention since the Dpad. It's actually nice to have an HUD, touch screen, or secondary display when you need it, instead of tacked on "waggle" control when a simple button would suffice.
NINTENDO, PRO TIP: TO SAVE WII-U, YOU NEED TO ADVERTISE, AND START DOING IT LIKE LAST YEAR!!!
I hope no one that hasn't actually played through a game or two on the WiiU is even voting on this. Of course they should keep the gamepad. It's fun, which is exactly why I play video games. I feel like 70% of gamers care way too much about what their game console can do besides play fun games. WiiU has fun games, which is why I'm so lost on it selling poorly. Graphics don't make games fun(though if they are like PS2 level it can be a hinderance). Social networking doesn't make games fun. Whatever people's issue is with the eshop also does not make the games any less fun.
Like seriously, there is nothing exciting on the Xbox One and that thing is somehow selling. Mind you that is just my personal opinion but that's my opinion as a gamer. They can throw as many numbers, pixel counts, commercials about sports and movies at me as they want but I don't care. I just want fun games. And the WiiU is slowly but surely delivering. That's my issue with the gaming community, developers and gamers, now. The graphics really should not be stopping anyone from putting enjoyable games on that enjoyable console.
P.S. Before anybody can say it no the WiiU does not have PS2 level graphics. You are clearly going overboard with whatever spite you may have with graphics that aren't on the same exact level as PS4.
All I know is every time someone comes over to play Wii U for the first time, and we play Mario 3d World and Nintendo Land, everyone wants to use the Screenpad. Nintendo Land does some really cool stuff with it, Mario's Captain Toad levels have me jumping to my feet, and The graphics on that screen look a whole lot better than my TV so when playing Pikmin and Mario I don't even bother turning on my TV . Plus I can play in the washroom... bonus. Also, how perfect is that for 2 player shooters that would otherwise end up splitscreen? I think dropping the pad would be a bad move, and turning it off for a game like Donkey Kong is a ridiculous idea... Watch how in a few years Sony & Microsoft release their own screenpad for PS4 and XB1.
No,just no.I love off-tv play.
I have not seen one site spew one bad article about ps4 or x1its so annoying....
Maybe because they are both selling extremely well and each of them have dozens upon dozens of games coming out this year?
Wii-U on the other hand is losing support and not selling well at all, hence the "bad news" stories.
All you really need to know about the future of the gamepad is in DK:TF.
Seriously. A first party flagship title - that has local multiplayer at that - that makes no use of it at all. It's just black. Total resignation. What more is there to say?
Please ditch the fisher price tablet, if you absolutely need a compatible tablet allow the ipad to sync up to it. other wise, ditch it.
@sarethums PERFECT LOGIC!!
Ditch the GamePad and make people buy a $500 tablet with less functionality to play games!
no, then it will be a Wii. pad is a major selling point. just like motion controls for Wii. they didn't remove motion controls.
@Terpor No streaming at all. Think subscription gaming with download instead of streaming as the delivery method (Similar basic model as PS+). Nintendo would need to turn the tap on Virtual Console from a trickle to the full fire hose blast. They'd need to bring NES through GameCube and Game Boy to NDS. If Nintendo could snag some bulk licensing deals with 3rd party publishers, this could be really sweet.
@kyuubikid213 people already have a tablet. Im saying make it an option, no need to force it. I know literally 100s of people with ipads and only 3 people with a wii u including myself. If people could connect their ipad that would be a selling point right there.
I love the Gamepad, and think the Wii U already has a "killer app" in Super Mario 3D World. I agree with people that are saying the name is what is hurting it the most. It could really help if Nintendo were to rebrand the console with a new name that doesn't contain "Wii" and then do a bit of a relaunch.
@sevex Killer app is a game that SELL the console. A game that made people buy the hardware to play it.
The one killer app that Wii U has is New Super Mario Bros. U. Mario 3D World isn't a killer app and never will be.
@R-Moss Suppose they rebrand the console and launch it in a bundle with Super Mario 3D World, and it sells a ton. There's still a chance it could qualify.
@R-Moss I think the Wii U has yet to see a killer app. Especially one that showcases why the Gamepad is worth the price of admission. NSMBU only had tough screen blocks, SM3DW only had token stages that truly used it. Nintendo Land wasn't enough to show it off. And now every major release coming up doesn't use it in a significant way. Maps and inventory are all that has happened and frankly it's not an exciting selling point. It's something the DS has already done. The Gyro controls in the Gamepad already done by the Wii. The infrared port done by the Game Boy Color. I feel like the Gamepad was made as a hodgepodge of past Nintendo innovations but it lacks a soul.
Does Nintendo Life write negative stories on PS and XBox on the sister sites? Just wondering.
@letsplay: If you have any positive news, let's have it. Did you buy six million WiiU consoles yesterday? That would be awesome.
In any case, this is not a negative piece. It's discussing perspectives in bleak times.
I'm not a fan of the idea to remove the gamepad from the basic bundle.
There is weak support for truly innovative/excellent use of the controller now. If Nintendo make it an expensive and optional extra and nobody will buy, install base will suffer, and support will diminish further. It's great to say that the gamepad can become an optional add-on that will see strong support... but if it's not built into the console then it will wither and die. Think 3DS Circle Pad Pro or GBA-GameCube connectivity.
However, maybe being able to drop the price significantly would be worth the loss? I'd rather see compelling software make use of the hardware as it exists now... but I already own a Wii U so my opinion is colored.
The hard part is figuring out what a compelling use of the hardware actually is. Maybe something like Henry Hatsworth where players are essentially playing two separate (but interrelated) games at the same time, one on each screen? Asynchronous play works well in multi-player settings, but finding a really good use of a second screen isn't as easy for single player games.
You people all screaming about how dropping the GamePad would doom the Wii U and give it no selling point.... you do realize that the Wii U is currently not selling right?
@SCAR392 #302 Thats the thing the kinect is in no way a core part of the Xbox One.
Also I know you like to go on and on about how efficient the Wii U's architecture is but PowerPC is not efficient enough to bridge the gap in power between the Wii U and PS4/Xbox One, PowerPC hasn't been supported mainstream since 2006 when Apple dropped it from their Macs since then it hasn't had any major improvements compared with x86 that has thats just fact, doesn't mean the Wii U is bad just not as strong.
"you do realize that the Wii U is currently not selling right?"
And that's the GamePad's fault? That's what this article seems to suggest. It's suggesting that a bundled peripheral that isn't required to be used in in special way is affecting sales of the console... RIP Rob the Robot LOL.
Problem is every time something struggles, it gets over analyzed by the media on whats wrong with it. Remember everything that was wrong with 3DS that was hurting sales? Poor battery life, no second analog, gimmicky 3D and on and on. It still has all that. So whats different. It's GAMES LIBRARY.
@sevex People won't buy a console for a 3D Mario.
Number shuffling? Wow.
Kinect is still supposed to be a core part of the system. As I said, both Microsoft and Nintendo have a challenge with making the the GamePad and Kinect worthwhile. That doesn't mean that they are pointless, though.
1. Renaming the console from Wii U to Wii 2 will only create MORE confusion, not less. Now Nintendo has to explain that Wii U and Wii 2 are really the same thing, and then get the obvious question of why it has two names if it's the same thing.
2. It's honestly a bit tasteless to compare losing the GamePad to a guy who cut off his own arm to escape death. I mean, come on, NL. Have some class.
I like the Gamepad, although I think they will have limited use for it from time to time. I still hope that they will eventually think about replacement for Gamepad (in other words, sell it separately)
My thoughts exactly.
it makes perfect sense!
in theory it could work, giving other factors some consideration. These are the kind of questions that give COOs and CEOs endless headaches.
brilliant article Damien kudos!
I'm in two minds about this. The Gamepad is good in its own way and can be used for innovative purposes (as Nintendo Land and Rayman Legends demonstrate), but I do believe there should be an option for people to use a different controller if they choose. I often play until my Gamepad battery runs out, and want to continue with a Wii Remote or Classic Controller Pro - only to find most games require the Gamepad to be present to actually start.
I feel the only way they are going to be able to move systems is by drastically lowering the price. If the gamepad needs to go in order to do that, then so be it.
I don't even think it needs a "killer app" it is already brilliant. From what I hear it just needs a better battery, and a more seamless way to go from tv to the controller.
@jeb_leeds "From what you hear"? Do you even own a Wii U? I have the console, and the Gamepad is easily its worst aspect.
The Gamepad is just implemented and force-fed upon the Wii U and its users so poorly. Make it an optional accessory? That's alright. Force it upon everyone when there's no real need or benefit? Not cool.
@Mahe There certainly is a potential benefit to the Gamepad in the future, especially with one player games that utilize the second screen to alternative functions. Most of which we don't know much about yet true. However the Gamepad is the the keystone of the wii u design so I don't see it going anywhere.
My only real gripe is that A. Gamepad costs are too high and B. 4 player implementation is an absolute disaster when using 3 different controllers. The second they made the Gamepad they should have made sure you can buy 4 and not take out a second mortgage. Perhaps making a Gamepad Light that costs less would allow everybody to use the same controls.
Nope. Then there will be nothing to make the console stand out
@Sceptic And you are correct; these are bleak times. (discussion for another topic).
The gamepad has a lot of possibilities but I don't see any killer app on the short term horizon. Nintendo games announced/released up to now (Mario 3D World, Mario Kart, Smash Bros) implement multiplayer as their core. But unlike nintendo land, they didn't based their WHOLE gameplay on the gamepad, so it is just a controller, that only ONE player has, and that means they usually don't use all its capacities in order to keep equality between players.
So I think the killer app for the gamepad would be either a solo game or a very gamepad-centred multiplayer game, probably with big asymmetry at its core. It is very unlikely that we see any game like that from nintendo before the next E3
Thats a really stupid question! I like the gamepad I just wish there was more games that really used it to the fullest of it's capabilities.
I don't think I would had bought the Wii U without the game pad.
Jumped into the system recently looking for a new gaming experience.
Now is the time to buy a Wii U, reduced price good games and fresh experience, the game pad is what is setting Wii U apart.
And once you use it, it's hard going back, same as the 3D effect on the 3DS, I thought it was a gimmick until I bought one.
If they honestly believe that the gamepad is the "selling point" of their console, then Nintendo has bigger issues than I thought. Nintendo is the best game developer hands down. That is the selling point. Sell the gamepad separately and never make this mistake again.
There is no future for consoles without a GamePad.
All I know Nintendo is the best and when the smart glass and others follow in the future dont say u didnt hear it first and what's up with all this talk about Wii u needs to drop the game pad some peope need to grow up.if they make more games that use it u have the money to buy every game if it was flooded with wana be developers complaining
And people saying oh they never made a game that fully use every capability.Cant please children these days sad
And people saying oh they never made a game that fully use every capability.Cant please children these days sad
Well so far there aren't that many games that actually need the gamepad. It could save a lot of money to get rid of it and reduce console prices.
I could handle the Game Pad being an optional resource for the system. especially if it's holding back essential third party support that Nintendo is making such developers use the Game Pad even for the most lame use ideas thought possible or have already been done to death.
Lego City Undercover (aside from Nintendo Land obviously) was possibly the best means of true asymmetric play being used as your in-game communication device looking like it's real world counterpart.
In early shipped systems like the launch deluxe kit, the battery life is laughably awful. I love the Pro Controller which makes many in depth games such as Mass Effect 3 possible and is possibly the most comfortable conventional game controller I've used.
No having to worry to get to a safe location before the red charge light of doom shows. Even affecting Netflix as the display never fully powers off.
The gamepad must stay and should also be used in Nintendo's next console, although a refined design would be in order.
Finally Nintendo is bring DS games to Wii U, as I was expecting (my previous post).
I agree wholeheartedly with other posters here who say that Nintendo has failed to make proper use of the Gamepad since the WiiU's launch (the thing would be PERFECT for turn-based Strategy multiplayer like Advanced Wars or Fire Emblem). But the real problem is a vulnerability that many gamers including myself knew would be a serious problem when the thing was originally announced.
A lot of folks seem to have forgotten just how schizophrenic the WiiU was originally designed to be from a controller standpoint. The Gamepad wasn't even compatible with any original Wii titles; for those you had to keep your Wiimote controllers or buy new ones (plus all the Nunchuks and other peripheral attachments). New Super Mario Bros. U couldn't even use the WiiU Classic Pro Controller; the other human players had to use that awkward sideways-turned Wiimote configuration. Everything was designed to keep players dependent on the highest possible number of necessary controllers and attachments, which was how the Wii made so much extra money. Nintendo was counting on it working again, but it backfired big-time; the mess created by not having a simple, standardized interface has been problematic for third-party developers and simply too costly for the average consumer. The WiiU's controller approach was to Nintendo what "Always Online" was to Microsoft; unfortunately for Nintendo, the backlash has come AFTER the WiiU's launch and after they've committed to it.
The Gamepad is prohibitively expensive for families or anyone else who would desire local multiplayer where everyone enjoys the same interface. I watched my niece and nephew begin to fight over who got to use mine (though there were two extra WiiU Classic Controllers conveniently nearby) and promptly put my WiiU up and out of reach; it's well-made but by no means safe for dropping or subjecting to squabbling kids. And families, children, and local multiplayer have ALWAYS been core to Nintendo consoles' success (examples: the Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and Mario Party series, for starters).
I don't know what percentage of the WiiU's overall price the Gamepad accounts for, but frankly Nintendo would have been FAR better off to simply put that money in a more powerful console (while I love my WiiU and have absolutely NO problem with its abilities, it seems to be what every article and poster I read gripes about) and a traditional gamepad.
As for people's complaints regarding Nintendo's lack of online focus, I don't share them, and here's why. I'd much rather take a COMPLETE game I won't get gouged for via DLC "extra content" (that 20 years ago would have been included on the disc/cartridge; online is a Trojan Horse cash cow for developers) and enjoy it with friends and family than be subjected to the team-killing, profanity-spewing strangers. Whether you're referring to those or single-player gametypes that aren't an afterthought (as they tend to be nowadays), some gaming experiences WERE better before online came to dominate consoles.
I think Nintendo will be fine in the long run, but in the end, as always, it'll come down to the GAMES. Leave the gimmicks ("Innovation" not tied to the games or their design themselves) alone for a change.
Removing the gamepad would not solve anything. The controller is a standard pro controller with a unique touch interface. It may be emulated, Vita and PS3/4 or Xbox One and Smartglass, bit it is the most unique console this generation. Nintendo knows this but they are not doing a good enough job relaying the possibilities to consumers or developers. It can be used in a variety of ways and if the developers don't want to have asymmetric features, they can simply use it solely for off-tv play.
@AtlanteanMan I think Nintendo invested their extra time and money to bring out some new and cool features never experienced on a home console, with the versatility of the Wii and DS the Wii U should be unstoppable.
However, on the home console side, opposite the handhelds, the push of developers is about raw power and less creativity (western developers) and from the "(dudebro) gamers" the push is for more of the same (FPS, Sports, Cars) and prettier pictures. It's like they are fighting a losing battle their creativity over the others' power.
Of course, they are also battling their own image. If they made their console with 8 cores and 8gb of ram, developers would still use the excuse that their audience is not there and "(dudebro) gamers" would find another excuse not to buy it, probably the age old "kiddie" excuse. This is all evident from the total domination, sales wise, of the PS2: GameCube was more powerful than the PS2 so they criticized how it looked. They complained about how the disk were not so big and they did not want to split the games, yet I had PS2 games on two disks.
Point being that no matter what Nintendo does, they have to look out for themselves. They have family titles and more mature titles, but "(dudebro) gamers" will always call them "kiddie". Nintendo won't go it completely alone, but most of the "AAA" games won't be there (unless of course, Nintendo gets the ball rolling on the Wii U causing third parties to want a piece of that pie). It is up to Nintendo to show the true power of the Wii U, and to show that it's potential is limitless.
"Mummy, can I have a Wii U"
"Well it looks exactly like the 3DXL we bought you for your birthday. No"
I would love for there to be more games that use the touchscreen, or more games planned at least, but there aren't.
Hence why I think they should drop it.
It won't make the console a winner, but it will at least help it reach the finish line before it's replacement shows up.
I do not see the problem. I love the gamepad but I see no reason that it must continue to be required and bundled with every Wii U for the entire life of the console. Even as someone who loves it, requiring it is still annoying at times and even if it is always bundled I would still appreciate a software update to remove its unneccessary requirement (let me start my console, enter my password, and start my game with my pro controller please). The gamepad will still have a massive install base among Wii U users and can still be refined and supported. Not requiring doesn't mean it has to be killed. Making it more enticing so even users who buy a "basic(no-gamepad)" bundle may want to go ahead and purcahse one seperately. Pre-install patches for games that require it that don't need to, and for games that can not be played without it at all simply re-label them (but really you could maybe just have a list on the box). Bundle a pro-controller and Mario Kart 8and sell it for $180. I think it is going to happen. See dropping 3D from the 3DS to get a lower price point to help expand user base when Pokemon launched. That came out of nowhere and I expect them to keep this a surprise as well.
The gamepad was supposed to be the next killer-gimmick (and I don't use gimmick disparagingly - motion control was great) after motion control. No one can predict the market and it turns out this one didn't work.
The gamepad is not necessary to the console and dropping it could bring it down to a price which would let it actually sell to families.
Lots of over reaction in these comments.
Wii u being offered without a gamepad does not magically take the gamepad away from everyone who likes it. I love it. I still think they should offer the console with out it.
I love it, bit I still don't like being forced to use it. If I want to play it annoying to have to get up and fetch the gamepad if I already have a controller. Give me the option to use the controller in my hand.
A gimped bundle with no gamepad should be offered and sold with a warning that some games/features will not work with out a gamepad (sold seperaterly).
Offer a discounted version for those who don't want it. Is mk8 or smash going to be worthless with out it? Why not offer a bundle for $50 cheaper without the gamepad? They would turn a profit on that bundle while taking a loss in the full bundle. Those with a gamepad lose nothing. Those who don't want one may buy it because it's cheaper and they are not interested in its features.
@LinktotheFuture I would bet there is. I think it's just when you are playing on the tv using the gamepad as a controller that the screen shuts off.
I purchased a Wii U and although I love the potential I hate how I am being forced to use it for EVERYTHING. I can't set up a console or shop or edit settings without it and I can never turn it off.
In every game I played so far the gamepad should have been optional. I like the usability of mario bros wii u, but if I play solo I can't use the touch screen anyway, yet I am forced to play with the oversized controller. It's nice to have the option of hand held playing so someone else can use the tv, but how about giving me the option of playing with my pro controller?
Then there's Doctor Luigi which, adide from a special touch screen mode, is also two identical screens.
Cloudberry Kingdom gives me the option of playing solo with the pro controller, but more than 3 players and the 4th will have to use the gamepad which isn't being utilized in the least.
Trine 2 won't allow me to play single player with a pro controller eithet and it is also just a mirrored screen.
Edge is a single player puzzle game that doesn't need it either, but requires it. At least it will only show the game on one of the screens.
The pattern is clear: No games make much use of it, yet no player is given the option of doing without. This is especially bad when you consider that the gamepad costs $150 to replace and the target demographic is children prone to breaking things.
I don't want to see the gamepad abandoned entirely, but I do wish they would be more sensible about it. All games should have the option of using the pro controller instead of the gamepad when the gamepad isn't utilized. Games already released should be retroactively adjusted accordingly. Menus should give the option of using other controllers.
Donkey for the gamepads themselves, I feel they need to be expanded on. Right now the range is not very good. If they added on NFC repeater that you can plug in somewhere in another room just within range of the console after syncing, which would both the console and Gamepad would sync through when not in range, it would actually be possible to even daisy chain them to accommodate any sized house so that you can truly take this controller anywhere you need it to be. Additionally, such repeaters if done right could be used to enable support for additional gamepads without a loss of frame rate and would even make it possible to have more than 2 supported.
These gamepads have quite a bit of potential for games and should be expanded on, but again should not be forced on people either.
@QuickSilver88 card games would be especially useful on the Wii U gamepad, assuming we can get more than two. If you have ever tried playing uno on xbox you would understand how hilarious it is to try. Everyone can see everyone else's hand. But on the Wii U, you can keep your hands separate. No one else has to see what cards you have.
@rylo151 I like it too, but I can't see how anyone would enjoy being forced to use it on a game that isn't utilizing it.
@element187 honestly, that's the problem. Most of the games that I have seen so far have no problem streaming from the console to the game pad screen, but that's all they do. Its just two identical screens with no additional functionality. I like having the option of using a gamepad screen, but I really don't like being prevented from using a pro controller instead, at least for these games.
@datamonkey I found a way to turn off the screen, but as soon as you push any buttons it comes back on.
Home Button > Controller Settings > Display Off
Of course, this doesn't really do with any good for games that just mirror the screen from the TV to the gamepad and don't offer anything new. In those situations we don't have the ability to turn off the screen which greatly affects battery life.
The gamepad is the best thing about the wii u. Anyone who has used it wouldn't dream of buying a wii u without it. Nintendo should sell a basic wii u without gamepad just a wii mote. They could retail for £129/$199 shift a load of units. Cut the price to €/£99 $169 before Christmas sell loads more. Sell the pad seperately for around £79/$129
Also once could sell the gamepads with the upcoming nfc figurines as a "starter pack" a real low start price could boost sales. Also selling the pads seperately would allow multiple pads with one console. I love the gamepad but I honestly thought when buying the wii u it was only bundled in with the deluxe 32gb black console. Many people seem more confused than I was. Nintendo should scrap the basic 8gb and replace it with a gamepad free supercheap version. Keep the deluxe but also give people what they think they want and what will sell. Many will upgrade to a gamepad later anyway.
They should market the hell out of Smash Bros. when it comes out and also show everyone that the Wii U is current-gen and the GamePad is part of the console and that it's not just a controller for the original Wii.
I know this an old article, but Splatoon revolves around motion controls
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