• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

I think the Wii U concept actually had a lot of potential


Jul 8, 2004
Montreal, QC, Canada
OP you cray cray.

As if the Wii U wasn't already expensive enough when it released, you wanted it to be even way more expensive? The system you're describing would have cost at least $699.

Explain to me how that would have made sense.


Dec 6, 2013
I think the problem with the gamepad isn't in the tech side but rather in the fact that Nintendo has no idea what to do with it and hasn't made a single game to justify its existance.

Yeah some games have one or two nice features with the gamepad, but having played most of the biggest WiiU games I've yet to play something that makes me think "WOW, this is a game that I absolutely can't imagine working without the gamepad".

The WiiU would have probably sold slightly more if they had sold it without the gamepad and at a lower price. Not by having some high tech gamepad that elevated the price to like $600


Apr 6, 2014
OP you cray cray.

As if the Wii U wasn't already expensive enough when it released, you wanted it to be even way more expensive? The system you're describing would have cost at least $699.

Explain to me how that would have made sense.

Wii U as it is was too much for $299/$349, but if Sony or Microsoft had released it at $399-$499 with better specs all around and eaten $50-$100 per unit, I think it would have been a fine product.


Dec 16, 2010
I tried out the Wii U a few times and the controller was awful. It didn't feel like a tablet, but just a big controller with an ugly screen.
As much as I want to play some of the wiiu gems, I probably never will because of the gamepad.
I tried out the Wii U a few times and the controller was awful. It didn't feel like a tablet, but just a big controller with an ugly screen.
As much as I want to play some of the wiiu gems, I probably never will because of the gamepad.

Many games support the pro controller if you don't want to use the gamepad. I thought it was a bad controller until I purchased the system; now I think that it's decent yet extremely flawed. Yes, the battery life is poor, the resolution sucks, and it's huge but off-tv play is nice and the tablet works great from games like Wind Waker HD and...well, that's actually the only game I have that I think is superior with the gamepad.


Jun 28, 2014
I tried out the Wii U a few times and the controller was awful. It didn't feel like a tablet, but just a big controller with an ugly screen.
As much as I want to play some of the wiiu gems, I probably never will because of the gamepad.

Never have the words "your loss" been more true


Mar 30, 2015
Power has very little to do with the Wii U being unsuccessful. Or else we wound't see support of Frostbite and Unreal 4 on tablets.

The only time the screen is going to be utilized is by Nintendo and indie devs. Trine 2 did a good job using the touch screen for conjuring object with Amadeus .No one is going to spend on risking something new innovation. Just look at Sonic Boom.


May 26, 2014
The Wii U is a fine console as it is. It was just awfully marketed with the 32GB internal storage and the name made it too confusing for general public. Otherwise, it would have probably worked out quite well.


Should probably not trust the 7-11 security cameras quite so much
Nov 1, 2009
Asynchronous gameplay had massive potential, but in 2012 Nintendo was spread too thin to develop innovative software for Wii U. You can see in NintendoLand and Game &Wario that there are many novel gameplay ideas using the gamepad, but sadly they didn't have the resources to follow through. All their developers were working overtime on 3DS software in the run up to the Wii U launching.


Jul 24, 2014
...no, GamePad was failed from the get go. I thought about it much, and the answer seems to be that.

There are basically two ways to use GamePad: the sane way and the insane way. The sane way contains actually quite a few options besides regular sticks and buttons: off-screen play, local multiscreen, touch screen level editors, HUD transfer...

The problem with the sane way is that it doesn't sell the Wii U. At all. Off-TV, HUD and local multiplayer functionalities could be New 3DS bonuses, like Vita got it on PS4. Editors could be implemented with a Wii Remote, or maybe "Wii U Mouse" which could be way cheaper. As for actually innovative mechanics, GamePad is, perhaps, useful for boosting the creativity of game designers, but the end results aren't usually something you really couldn't implement without it.

Then, there's the multiplayer with people not seeing all the stuff. The problem is that while it may be obvious to Nintendo, a general gamer doesn't see why would it be advantageous over online multiplayer (the answer is fun with real friends, but also lag limiting game design). Even then, it's interesting they didn't show it off at all during Wii U reveal, while it's basically the basis of the most interesting Nintendo Land games.

Intermission - let's get to what OP is proposing. Except for adding more power into Wii U, OP's saying that the GamePad should have been its very own portable system. This IS basically 3DS. There are differences, like the thing not being packed in, but seriously. Unless we packed the whole Wii U into the thing, but even then marketing both that and 3DS at once (with separated ecosystems) would be absolutely crazy.

Anyway, as mentioned earlier. I'm of the opinion that most Wii U software is simply impossible to bind to the GamePad, unless you go the insane way. What's the insane way? It's taking gamers out of their comfort zone. It's "absurdal" use of GamePad that makes people embarassed. It would involve rapidly switching from touch screen controls to regular ones and back, or spinning around with motion controls instead of making subtle movements while using the screen since the TV doesn't spin with you. This is not only embarassing (for some), this is also tiring and simply unappealing.

I'm not exactly sure why Nintendo went with the GamePad after all. The fact that Mario division boss didn't know about the second screen before reveal could imply something though.


Apr 19, 2013
Thinking about it now...it feels like the Wii to an extent. When that was first announced, I think it captured mine (and everyone elses) attention for what it could do! Sword fights, gun fights, driving, etc. any creative way you could hold a wii mote and swing it around to perform a "natural" action, and while the wii did delivery that...sorta, it felt no where near to the extent we wished it would be, and not all posibilities were realised with it.
The Wiimote Plus perhaps took things closer to that vision, but perhaps the limiting factors were more the hardware capabilities of the machine itself and the software, to make movement and it's actions/reactions/consequences as narutal and realistic as possible.

Wii U also sort of captured my imagination too, perhaps not to the same extent as the Wiimote, but before the reveal I was thinking what else could Nintendo create to give a new twist, and at the reveal they had things like the golf ball on gamepad on the floor, and you used the wii mote to hit it off, and the gamepad being attached to a gun accessory, I felt it was taking games more "out of the TV screen", which did seem a next step in some ways, but I think needing all these specific placements and accessories to create such effects also killed it, even now it feels the gamepad is more aiming to be just a remote play device rather than being able to be used with the TV to create some unique gameplay/features. Both are good of course, but doesnt feel that much has used the Wii U possibility of having both the gamepad and TV being able to do things at the same time, apart from things like maps and items on the gamepad instead of taking space on the TV, so yeah Wii U definitely feels it could do more in that regard and I hope Nintendo do create something that shows that.

Bill Rizer

Nov 9, 2005
Milan, Italy
I think the concept of a secondary, auxiliary screen on a joypad is good; that of a big tv screen replica on an oversize joypad is not.

A smallish, map/menu/info touch screen on a normal sized pad (on ALL pads, with no need of different controllers for other players) would have been great. Think of an evolution of Dreamcast's VMU, integrated in the pad.

Less expensive, more practical and useful.


Jul 23, 2005
Agreed that it's a good idea that might have been too little, too soon. I happen to love it, and the screen has never really bothered me. Sure, it's not great, but there's something nice about being able to play Tropical Freeze off-TV at 60fps with real controls.


Jan 3, 2009
I don't really think it does, because the conceit of the GamePad is either giving off TV play, which is nice but not worth driving the price of the console by $100, or as a similar function as the DS, which doesn't work properly because there is a big difference between holding two screen separated by a couple centimeters versus the GamePad and the TV.

The GamePad is a novel peripheral, but it doesn't work as a primary controller. Imagine of the Wii U had the Pro controller and launched $50, maybe even $100 less. The Wii U wouldn't be some smash success, but confident it would be doing better today.
I agree with this assessment for the most part. The more time passes the more I feel the fundamental concept behind the GamePad is flawed. It's just not practical to deliver two screens worth of information that you can't see all at once, unless the bottom screen is so low impact that it might as well be a menu option.

The Hermit

Jan 13, 2006
Off screen play is great, but most games that use the pad as a extended screen ends up being more of an annoyance because it makes you look at both screens.

Affordable Space adventure was kinda like that and while I had fun, the multitasking aspect is quite frustrating.


Apr 10, 2007
I honestly think Nintendo was trying to duplicate the success of the DS by using the TV screen in place of a handheld, hoping everyone would all fall for it.

But we didn't guys. We didn't.
Feb 5, 2009
The people I talk to don't even know there is a successor to the Wii.

Nintendo got more wrong on the marketing/appeal side.

Also can we dispel this myth that more powerful hardware = more sales. It may be true this generation but the Wii and PS2 were the weakest technically speaking.
Althought i understand your overall point, the highlighted is another myth. The PS2 was the most powerfull and technically advanced system at it's release.

im surprised the original poster did not mention something about the Wii U that could have helped it to reach the potential of it's concept and it's relativly sheap to implement.


Dec 8, 2008
Wii U should have launched with a big budget, high quality D&D game. It would include its own new original exclusive adventures, but they could also port over many of the classic D&D adventures from over the decades (I would love to see Expedition To The Barrier Peaks ported over).

GM on the gamepad, party on Wiimotes off the TV. Stress the local co-op appeal.

In depth character creation.

Include a scenario editor for player made adventures that could be shared online. There would be some necessary compromises, but I think a skilled developer could pull of something that retains the spirit of D&D.

*That* would be how you show people (consumers and third parties) the value of the gamepad for asymmetrical multiplayer.

Wii U should have also launched with the Wii's complete Virtual Console library without having to boot into Wii mode or repurchase games and launched with DS for Virtual Console (another way to show the benefit of the gamepad).

I think the system could have also benefited from using a less expensive, nonproprietary technology for beaming stuff to the gamepad that would allow them to launch at a lower price and give them more flexibility with price cuts going forward.


Nov 8, 2011
no one is buying their kid a $600 nintendo console

the 3DS needed a pretty big price drop initially before it started selling decently


Aug 26, 2009
I always felt Nintendo didn't have the strategic partnerships in place with content providers out of the gate to really take advantage of the second screen.


Jan 28, 2015
I always wondered how a Starcraft Wii U or similar game would play. Why don't we have any RTS games on the Wii U?