Nintendo reveals early Wii U prototypes

The game designer shows an early Wii U Game Pad concept: two Wii controllers stuck to a monitor with double-sided tape

The original concept for Nintendo's new Wii U game controller?

Two older Wii controllers soldered and attached to either side of a small monitor.

The company discussed the prototype in an "Iwata Asks" column published over the weekend, in which Nintendo president Satoru Iwata interviews several company engineers on the development of the Wii U.

"It's very high-tech - a monitor and controllers stuck together by double-sided tape," jokes Takayuki Shimamura, a software engineer, in the column.

An earlier prototype, which Shimamura says was the first to include a smaller screen to supplement the main TV output of a home gaming console, consists of a tiny monitor mounted on the nose of a Wii Zapper gun peripheral for the Wii.

"This was the start of two-screen gameplay," says Katsuya Eguchi, a general manager in one of the company's software development teams.

Iwata discusses the development of the Wii U with the engineers, saying Nintendo's development strategy in playing with new ideas is often to "make something makeshift and actually try it out."

The Wii U is the long-anticipated successor to the Wii, launched in 2006, which introduced motion-based gaming to the masses and has been a smash hit for Nintendo, selling nearly 100 million units total worldwide. Unlike main rivals Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is strictly a gaming company, and its business relies on just a few game consoles it sells worldwide.

A main feature of the Wii U is its "GamePad" controller, which is similar to a full-fledged tablet in itself. The advanced controller has features including a touchscreen, motion detection, camera and stylus. Its small screen can be used to supplement game play on the main TV, or serve as a main display.

The new console had a warm reception in its Japan launch last week, with dozens of gamers lining up outside electronics stores before sales began. The company sold out of consoles in its U.S. launch, despite software problems including a large, required update at launch and outages on its new "Miiverse" gaming social network.

Nintendo aims to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles globally by the end of March.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Nintendopopular sciencegameswiinintendo dsHandheldsGame platforms

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?