Wii U Controller Limitations to Save on Costs, Says Nintendo

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Wii U Controller Limitations to Save on Costs, Says Nintendo


The Wii U could support more than one touch screen controller, says Nintendo, but it would make the console much more expensive.

Nintendo has revealed that its decision to support only Wii U controller per console is motivated by cost. Not just cost to Nintendo though, cost to Nintendo's customers as well. The Wii U can support up to five inputs in total, but the other four are limited to Wii remotes.

The Wii U controller has all the buttons and analog sticks you'd expect to find on a console controller, but it also sports accelerometers and a large touch screen in the middle of it, which can display data streamed from the console. Speaking to Japanese business site Diamond Online [http://diamond.jp/articles/-/12728], Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said, while the Wii U could technically support multiple controllers, it would raise costs quite considerably. Nintendo wasn't planning to ask its customers to buy more than one controller anyway, Iwata added.

Nintendo seems very keen to keep its profits as high as possible - or its losses as low as possible - on the Wii U. That isn't especially surprising; let's face it, not spending money you don't need to is good business sense, but this seems to be an odd corner to cut. It's like the PS3 only accepting a single Sixaxis controller, and forcing everyone else to play on PS2 pads. Obviously, the Wii U controller is a little more complicated - and thus expensive - than a PS3 controller, but it still seems rather strange all the same.

Multiple controller support isn't the only thing that Nintendo has decided to leave out of the Wii U either. The console also won't be able to play DVDs or Blu-Ray movies [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111048-Wii-U-Wont-Play-Blu-rays-Or-DVDs], because Nintendo didn't want to pay the costs for using the payback technology. Nintendo's rationale was that people already have plenty of devices that play movies, so adding the feature to the Wii U was unnecessary. While that does make a certain amount of sense, it's odd to see Nintendo moving away from the concept of a console as more than just a game machine, while its rival are moving towards it.

Of course, this won't be the first time that Nintendo has made gajillions of dollars doing things that its rivals aren't - or vice versa - so perhaps it will all pay off.

Source: Industry Gamers [http://www.industrygamers.com/news/nintendo-wii-u-only-supports-a-single-controller-due-to-cost/] and Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5812512/multiple-wii-u-controllers-are-a-cost-issue]


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RedEyesBlackGamer

The Killjoy Detective returns!
Jan 23, 2011
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Guess what? If your controller presents that kind of trouble, don't design it that way to begin with. The decision is stupid, no matter what excuses they trot out.
 

Hungry Donner

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Mar 19, 2009
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Not having the option of multiple touchpad controllers seems odd. Although I suppose either games wouldn't take advantage of multiple controllers, so the option would be useless, or some games do allow this and they potentially alienate people who don't want a second 100+ controller.
 

WanderingFool

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Apr 9, 2009
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So... If I buy a WiiU, I can only use one of the touch pad things, and everything else is the Wii-mote...

Unless this console is going to be $100, thats just stupid, IMHO.
 

8bitmaster

Devourer of pie
Nov 9, 2009
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well there goes my plan to buy it to go out the window. I was hoping they were gonna use the controller design to reboot games like crystal chronicles and four swords adventures for gamecube, to reboot the idea of everyone has their own screen kind of thing. Not anymore. Man that saves me a lot of money.
 

XT inc

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Jul 29, 2009
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Really Nintendo? That is the dumbest thing I ever heard.If you expect your console to sell then other people will have said controller, and they will Bring it over. I mean no one likes buying controllers. It is an investment you have to take up for your friends enjoyment and not your own.
However to flat out reject this option and have only one controller is just dumb.

If your track record of bsing core gamers and catering to kiddies you really think its going to work out to have these little kids fighting over the one good controller ffs.
 

Saltyk

Sane among the insane.
Sep 12, 2010
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Am I the only one who thinks that the controller looks like a crime against humanity? I mean Penny-Arcade once did a comic about how big the original XBox controllers were. But this one just takes the cake. PS3 and 360 controllers are light weight, but I bet this thing weighs a couple pounds. Is there really a need for a touch screen in the controller? I can see it being useful in very few games.
 

DoctorPhil

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Apr 25, 2011
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What? Only Wii controllers? PleasepleasepleasePLEASE allow gamecube controllers too Nintendo. Don't let me down!
As for the WiiU controller, I don't care, that thing looks pretty unweildy anyway, I'd rather play a competetive multiplayer game like Smash Brothers on a nunchuck+Wiimote than a WiiU thingy.
 

Madmanonfire

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Jul 24, 2009
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Logan Westbrook said:
Nintendo wasn't planning to ask its customers to ask customers to buy more than one controller anyway, Iwata added.
That's good. I wasn't going to ask random fellow customers to buy another controller regardless.

OT: This shouldn't be too bad if the other four players can use classic controllers.
 

Nalgas D. Lemur

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Nov 20, 2009
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8bitmaster said:
well there goes my plan to buy it to go out the window. I was hoping they were gonna use the controller design to reboot games like crystal chronicles and four swords adventures for gamecube, to reboot the idea of everyone has their own screen kind of thing. Not anymore. Man that saves me a lot of money.
Those are exactly the kinds of games I was hoping they'd use the DS connectivity with the Wii for that they dropped the ball on, and the first thing I thought of when they announced the Wii U. Those were so awesome with a room full of people. Oh well. So much for that idea.
 

YunikoYokai5

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Jun 16, 2010
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I wasn't planning on buying one, but why hasn't Nintendo allowed the option for others to bring their controllers over? It's also going to cause havoc in a family situation: 2-3 kids, all want the fancy controller, there's only 1, who gets it? I feel sorry for the parents...

Edit - Also read in the comments that there isn't going to be Gamecube support? ...Well, I play my GC more than my Wii (thanks to the GB Player) but they won't even support the controllers? I love the GC controller! Its my favourite to date...
 

Dorkmaster Flek

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Mar 13, 2008
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DoctorPhil said:
What? Only Wii controllers? PleasepleasepleasePLEASE allow gamecube controllers too Nintendo. Don't let me down!
I think they already said they're dropping GameCube support entirely, so that's a no.
 

Abedecain

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Jan 15, 2011
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So the new controller is not motion sensitive?! Isn't that what the Wii is about... because it defiantly isn't for the fantastilistic graphics and speed, lulz
 

EternalFacepalm

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Feb 1, 2011
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This is why you should read through your article before posting.

Anyway, I always thought the controller looked insanely uncomfortable anyway. So I don't really see the problem, you still have the Gamecube-controllers, right?
[sub]right?[/sub]

Abedecain said:
So the new controller is not motion sensitive?! Isn't that what the Wii is about... because it defiantly isn't for the fantastilistic graphics and speed, lulz
There was a struggle getting it to have crappy graphics? Wow...
 

XT inc

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Jul 29, 2009
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Saltyk said:
Am I the only one who thinks that the controller looks like a crime against humanity? I mean Penny-Arcade once did a comic about how big the original XBox controllers were. But this one just takes the cake. PS3 and 360 controllers are light weight, but I bet this thing weighs a couple pounds. Is there really a need for a touch screen in the controller? I can see it being useful in very few games.
To be fair this Wii U one isn't the biggest controller sold.


 

Juan Machado

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Apr 18, 2011
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I am greatly disappointed by this decision. "Iwata said, while the Wii U could technically support multiple controllers, it would raise costs quite considerably", maybe they could change this limitation after it comes out with a firmware update.
 

WanderingFool

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Apr 9, 2009
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XT inc said:
Saltyk said:
Am I the only one who thinks that the controller looks like a crime against humanity? I mean Penny-Arcade once did a comic about how big the original XBox controllers were. But this one just takes the cake. PS3 and 360 controllers are light weight, but I bet this thing weighs a couple pounds. Is there really a need for a touch screen in the controller? I can see it being useful in very few games.
To be fair this Wii U one isn't the biggest controller sold.
That is awesome... unwieldy as hell, but awesome
 

Innegativeion

Positively Neutral!
Feb 18, 2011
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I must say this is a really dumb decision.

What's wrong with the model a lot of games went by on the wii?; Use if the wii remote and nunchuk if you feel like it... or don't, use a gamecube controller.

It just seems like not allowing the option is extremely pointless.

So you don't want to force us to spend more. Fine, make all games compatible with wii remotes as an optional control configuration, but DON'T sever any chance for multiplayer applications of these controllers. Limiting the vast number of things this controller can do to one person is squandering its potential.
 

SilverUchiha

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Dec 25, 2008
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Um... but if my friends buy their own consoles as well... wouldn't that sort of solve the problem of them having to buy expensive controllers? Why can't we just have the option of not using the WiiU controller instead of not being able to use 4 all together?

honestly, if you were going to have such a problem, maybe this controller is the wrong idea at this point...

... Also... it's NINTENDO! You have enough money from the Wii to buy a fucking continent. Surely a little loss on controllers won't kill you, especially when you could easily recoup the loss from games (as long as they aren't all shovelware games like on the Wii).
 

Proteus214

Game Developer
Jul 31, 2009
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Not having to buy 4 controllers at what will probably be $100+ price point each and eat through battery life more than any controller to date?
Cutting the cost of a console by not letting it render and broadcast 4+ wireless video streams while doing everything else a high-end console is supposed to do?
Nintendo wants to deliver a next-gen gaming console at a reasonable price?
Nintendo wants to make a marginal profit off of technology that costs an absurd amount of money to develop, distribute, and support so that they can continue to do business in the future?

I really don't see a problem with any of this.
At all.