Reggie Explains Why The Nintendo Wii U Didn’t Utilise Dual GamePad Support

Image: Nintendo Life

The Wii U generation had a lot of potential but its life was cut short in the end due to the lackluster sales of the system. One thing that was never expanded upon was the ability to play with not just one, but two GamePads at the same time – allowing players to come together for some dual-screen action.

While Nintendo acknowledged that it was possible, many have been left wondering why nothing ever came of this feature. In a recent interview with the YouTube channel MinnMax, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has elaborated on this. Yes, technically multiple GamePads could communicate with a Wii U, but other factors such as the system’s install base, lifespan, and no unique games or ideas for such a feature played a part. Here’s the full exchange:

MinnMax: When you first revealed the Wii U, everybody was asking you – can we use multiple Wii U GamePads? And eventually, it was interesting, because the messaging just came out and you [Nintendo] all said “yeah, yeah, absolutely you can, here we go” … and it was never asked again, and it was never implemented as far as I know … what was that like from your perspective?

Reggie: Well, what was interesting is that with the Wii U, there was a full development plan for all of the interesting interactions and all of the interesting capabilities that the system could do, and so in that case, technically could multiple GamePads communicate with a Wii U? Answer was “yes”, but the install base never got large enough that that type of implementation made sense. And most importantly the company did not create a game where you needed another GamePad in order to have a great experience, the development just never proceeded and the lifespan of the Wii U ended up being so short, that it just never came to pass. ..in order for those initiatives to come to life (at least from Nintendo’s perspective) there needs to be a game that drives that implementation that enables the player to see why you would need a second GamePad as an example, and that game creation process is just so critical.

So – there you go, it comes down to the low install base, lifespan and also the usual case of needing a game that properly utilized the feature in order for it to be supported. If you would like to learn more about Nintendo’s Wii U generation, Reggie’s new book offers even more insight:

Would you like to have seen this feature rolled out? Were you supporting Nintendo yourself during the Wii U generation? Leave a comment down below.

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