Witness The Janky Origins of the Wii U GamePad

Illustration for article titled Witness The Janky Origins of the Wii U GamePad

In a roundtable discussion posted on Nintendo's website last night, president Satoru Iwata and the team behind Nintendo Land revealed some interesting tidbits about the Wii U development process, as well as the hilariously constructed GamePad prototype you see above. Part of the ongoing Iwata Asks series, the talk quickly turned to the topic of simultaneous software and hardware development.

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Nintendo Land directors Takayuki Shimamura and Yoshikazu Yamashita (who were also behind Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort) were apparently tasked with developing ideas for the game before the details of the Wii U were even locked down, though Nintendo was set on multiple screen gaming.

Illustration for article titled Witness The Janky Origins of the Wii U GamePad
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In fact, one of their first ideas was a screen mounted on the end of a Wii Zapper with an embedded gyro sensor—while that model obviously never made it to market, Iwata claims it did result in Miyamoto demanding the 11th hour addition of a similar sensor to the 3DS.

Eventually they stumbled on what would be the rough form factor for what we now call the Wii U GamePad, constructing a prototype "stuck together by double-sided tape" which they used with "two Wii consoles to run simulations for Wii U." You can read the rest of the Iwata Asks for more insight on the mindset behind Wii U and the gestation of Nintendo Land. Or you could just look at that picture some more and shake your head, slowly.

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DISCUSSION

MyNameIsDistance
MyNameIsDistance

This is just further support for the fact that this whole new control feature should have just been an add-on to the wii. Not for some full console release. Will not be long and smart-glass will probably be able to do everything the new wii controller does for xbox and you can use it on any tablet vs just some expensive one-use function like the new wii-u controllers. They already have 4 handhelds on the market, why cant they made the various ds devices be controllers for the wii-u?....I do not get their drive at all, and it looks like so far, there are very few games that get any positive responses to how they are handled with the wii-u controller.