For as much as gamers might have labeled Nintendo dead in the water heading into E3 2014, the fact of the matter is the company bounced back in a big way at this year’s show. Sure, they may not have ticked every box on Nintendo fans’ wish lists, but the company built a strong enough lineup that many were ready to call the company E3’s big winner.
However, in addition to talk of new games, initiatives, and whatnot, many were curious as to whether Nintendo would stand behind previous claims, specifically that the Wii U would support two gamepads sometime after launch. And while gamers didn’t get the answer they were looking for, Mario Creator Shigeru Miyamoto was on-hand to provide one nonetheless.
Speaking with IGN, Miyamoto reveals that adding dual gamepad support to the Wii U isn’t currently a priority for Nintendo. Right now the company is focused on getting gamers and general consumers interested in buying the Wii U, which is starting to bounce back thanks to strong(er) sales in May. To put it another way, Nintendo doesn’t see the viability in adding support for two gamepads if there aren’t enough people interested in the console with just the one.
Moreover, if Nintendo did want to start looking into two gamepad support then that would pull developers away from their current duties (i.e. the games). In Miyamoto’s mind, it’s more important to keep those hands working on new Wii U games, which in turn will entice more players to the console.
“From a technical standpoint, I think if we decided to pursue that, technically we would be able to and we can perform system updates that would allow for that,” Miyamoto explained. “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?”
And while support for two gamepads might not be coming to the console any time soon, Miyamoto doesn’t rule the feature out entirely. In fact, it seems very likely that at some point Nintendo will add dual gamepad support to the Wii U, but they need to develop games that utilize the feature first.
Nintendo’s new paint-based shooter Splatoon, for example, is one of the upcoming Wii U games that not only supports local multiplayer but also could benefit from two gamepads. That game is slated to release in the early part of 2015.
Aside from that, though, it appears Nintendo’s focus is on building a strong 2015 lineup — something we hoped they would do. Then, maybe they can start thinking about games that use two gamepads.
How big of a priority do you consider dual gamepad support for the Wii U? Which game do you think will use the feature first?