Nintendo's new console can support two of its screen-controllers, or GamePads, Nintendo announced during it's E3 2012 press conference this morning.
Nintendo has been coy about whether the Wii U can support two controllers since last E3 when the company first showed its upcoming 2012 machine. Last year, Nintendo designer Katsuya Eguchi told us that the company is "considering our options" for experiences that support two controllers.
Support for two controllers would allow players of say, a football game, to both call plays on screens on their controller while competing in the same living room.
The Wii U streams video content to the GamePad screen controllers instantaneously, allowing games to be displayed on a TV and on the controller's screen with no lag. It's been unclear if the Wii U is powerful enough to do that to two controllers at once. It's possible that dual-GamePad support might not enable that depth of functionality.
It's also not clear how many gamers Nintendo thinks would be willing to buy a second GamePad, which is presumably going to cost more money than the average controller.
The primary way Nintendo is showing same-room multiplayer on Wii U this year involves one player with a GamePad and the others with Wii Remotes.