Nintendo’s Wii U continues to be the talk of the industry more than a week after is reveal at E3 2011. Reactions to the system and its radical new controller have been all over the map, but gamers are unquestionably eager for every new bit of Wii U info that Nintendo is willing to dole out.
When Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Wii U is designed to support a single Wii U controller, he did so with the caveat that Nintendo is researching the viability of using two Wii U controllers on a single system. Still, when news leaked about the Wii U’s last-gen processor, it seemed reasonable to assume that perhaps the Wii U simply lacked enough power to handle multiple controllers and send HD video to a television.
As it turns out, the console’s power isn’t the problem. It’s the controller’s price.
“There’s a cost issue.”
“Technically, it is possible for the Wii U to support multiple Wii U Controllers.”
So says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who seems to be everywhere lately, in an interview with Japanese website Diamond Online, as translated by Kotaku. In fact, Iwata claims that adding a second controller would have a “considerable” impact on the system’s price, and he wants to make Nintendo’s stance on the issue abundantly clear.
“We’re not planning on asking our customers to buy multiple Wii U Controllers.”
With that, the issue of multiple Wii U controllers appears to be put to rest. Nintendo apparently does indeed plan to move ahead with a one Wii U controller per-system policy, regardless of fan outcry. This news follows close on the heels of another Wii U cost-cutting measure being made public, that being the console’s lack of support for Blu-ray and DVD playback.
Personally, I find the “cost issue” explanation at best unsatisfying. Nintendo is, after all, the company who would like owners of its current console, the Wii, to buy as many as four controllers per player — Wii Remote ($39.99), Wii MotionPlus ($24.99), Nunchuck ($19.99), and Classic Controller ($19.99) — at a grand total of $104.96, pre-tax (priced at GameStop). Don’t forget to pick up a Wii Balance Board while you’re at it, for another $99.99.
Nintendo is taking a significant risk with the Wii U, and in doing so they may move the games industry forward once again. They clearly want to start building good will towards the system now, and what better way to do that than by keeping its price low? Still, restricting the Wii U to a single controller seems a drastic, and frankly peculiar step. Whatever explanation they offer, Nintendo may well find that gamers do not care to let go of the single controller issue so quickly.
What do you think of Nintendo’s explanation for restricting the Wii U to a single Wii U controller? What would you be willing to pay for a second Wii U controller?
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