Before diving into the content revolving around the headline, allow me to throw in a personal touch. When I first heard about the Wii U and it’s GamePad a few years ago, at first glance, I honestly wasn’t all that impressed. In hindsight, this was simply because I was determined to shun the system overall as a failure and refused to invest in any further research on the system or it’s unique peripheral.
Fast forwarding to present-day, I now finally am the proud owner of the console, and since I’ve acquired some experience with the GamePad itself, I’d say it’s a very useful, underrated, and misunderstood tool when it comes to console-based gaming.
What Is A GamePad
Long story short, Nintendo’s GamePad serves as a “second screen” for their Wii U console, while also being a fully functional touch screen device and controller for most games. Take the game New Super Mario Bros. U for instance, where in multiplayer mode one person can use the GamePad, while up to three others can use Wiimotes to get in on the action. For some titles, it displays the exact same images that your television screen would when it comes to playing a game, and this is where perhaps the best aspect of the device comes in.
You see, if you turn your television off yet leave the Wii U on, you can go into another room–provided it’s not too distant–and continue playing on the GamePad. Then there are other titles where the GamePad simply offers secondary images that a player can find useful while playing; such as map screens and item inventories. While there are several other useful features–like Nintendo TVii–that the Wii U’s GamePad brings to the table, for those who are unaware of the device and it’s capabilities, that’s basically a good summary of it’s functionality.
Nintendo Speaks Out On Dual GamePad Functionality
Now that you know a little more about the GamePad, it probably makes more sense why many users have asked for Nintendo to offer up some sort of dual GamePad support with their titles. However in an interview with IGN at E3 2014, legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto stated that their focus remained on other areas for now.
“Certainly as we’ve been working on Wii U, I think we’re at a point where we don’t feel it’s realistic to expect people to purchase two GamePads yet.”
For the most part, Miyamoto makes a lot of sense here since they’ve only recently boosted console sales.
“We’re still trying to get as many people as possible to buy the system itself, and that’s where our focus is right now. For the time being, two GamePad gameplay is not within our objectives in the short-term.”
That’s not to say that Nintendo isn’t capable or wouldn’t consider adding such a feature in the near future.
“From a technical standpoint, I think if we decided to pursue that, thecnically we would be able to and we can perform system updates that would allow for that.”
So the hope of such a thing coming into fruition still remains a distant, yet realistic possibility.
“It’s also very interesting from a gameplay perspective idea because there are a lot of possibilities with two GamePads. But, at the same time, taking that kind of approach would again be a drain on resources and require us to continue to utilize our development resources for that. So then it would become a question of where do we want to devote our resources: Is it to creating regular GamePad games, or creating games centered around two GamePads?”
Final Thoughts and Further Reading
Clearly there are a lot of questions and solid points that Miyamoto brought up just in those few words alone. In the end though, what Nintendo decides to do in the future is entirely up to them, and while some of us might not agree with their choices from time to time, all we can do is just let our voices be heard and simply hope they listen. So let’s say having the ability to use a second GamePad became a reality, depending on the price, would you purchase a second one?