Last week during E3 Nintendo revealed that the Wii U will have the ability to support two Wii U GamePad touchscreen controllers; however, the company did not show any examples of this at the expo. Gamasutra asked Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime about the missing dual GamePad software, and was told that none was shown last week because it doesn’t yet exist.
Reggie said, “Games need to be built that can take advantage of the two GamePad controllers. It’s going to be well after launch for those game experiences to come to life.” Adding, “Asymmetric gameplay is going to be the next major step forward, just like active play was when we launched the Wii. We think that’s where developers will focus first, then there will be multiple experiences that have two GamePads.”
The fact that Nintendo’s first thought was to only have one Wii U GamePad per console was strange enough, but it is completely baffling that once the decision was made to include support for two GamePads that nobody bothered to develop any games around that idea. It would be one thing if the dual GamePad concept was something entirely new, but it’s not.
Nintendo’s own 2004 title The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures used four GameBoy Advance handhelds hooked up to a GameCube for multiplayer, which could have easily been a mini-game in Nintendo Land. It’s also not too hard to think of several ways in which Pikmin 3 or New Super Mario Bros. U could have included some sort of dual GamePad mode, or at the very least had a football game where two players could select their plays via their own GamePad.
If two players using two different screens to play with or against each other was some kind of crazy new concept then I could understand Nintendo’s lack of initial software support for dual Wii U GamePad software. Sadly, it’s not and this is just coming off as lazy.