One Touchscreen Only Confirmed On Wii U

Miyamoto, the legendary Nintendo idea factory, has confirmed to an Australian news site that the Wii U will only feature one of the new tablet-style controllers per console. Apparently, the controller configurations are not yet set in stone and Nintendo are still looking into ways of allow you to take your Wii U tablet to use on a friends a console but the language used implies that this might be limited use, if at all.

They’re also looking into the possibility of allowing players to use a 3DS as an extra controller but the initial plan is simply to allow one tablet controller with extra players using Wii Remote Plus controllers.


This seems like an excellent way to allow a less costly upgrade path from the current Wii console but one which might disappoint many existing Wii owners who have grown accustomed to the multiplayer aspects on offer.

It also raises questions about controlling single-screen multiplayer games like fighting and football franchises. There are enough buttons, sticks and triggers on the tablet controller to enjoy a game of FIFA but if player two has to make do with a Wii Remote Plus, there’s going to be fights in front of the flatscreen.

Source: via CVG



  1. Seems like a step backwards to me. Going from the ‘group’ play appeal of the Wii to the just ‘U’ play of the Wii U. Still not overly impressed.

    • Totally agree. I had this argument today actually, I was complaining that the Wii U doesn’t seem to be embracing the connected world (which it seems not to be). The counter argument was that ‘hey, Wii has always been about social interaction in the same room, not isolating people’. The thing is, only one touch screen thingy means you’re automatically isolating everyone else – or at least giving them a watered down experience.

      Oh, and I’m sure only having one awesome screen controller thingy per console won’t cause kids (and adults) to fight :).

    • yes, I am hugely impressed with the imaginative uses they mocked-up for the show and I think it could be really amazing but it seems odd that they’re going from equal group play to this kind of system of elevating of one player above others. Or just saying “no, play by yourself now”. Although, all the old party game Wii stuff will still work with a handful of Wii Remotes (Plus…)
      I am losing some enthusiasm for it though.

      • Really? I watched it back and thought… meh. I love the idea of having a map whilst playing Battlefield or an inventory for Zelda but thinking it’s more a nice tickbox rather than the selling point.

        My “ooo I might want this” is quickly turning into a “oh dear…”

    • I just don’t see how having a screen on the controller is a good idea – you can only look at one screen at a time so what’s the point? If you’re playing a fps the last thing you want to do is to have to glance down to check a map.

    • Nintendo needed to come up with a ‘new’ control concept and this is it. My personal view when all is said and done is that you cannot beat the good old fashioned Dual Shock 3, it does exactly what it said on the tin.

  2. There should be an option for more.
    I know there can be nasty arguments over who gets which controller with local games.

  3. Forgive me but the more I hear about this the more I lose faith! Only one per console? it just seems rather silly to me that the main controler for the system could be so limited.

  4. And down go the stocks…

  5. It’s ok, the PSVita is here to save us.

  6. so that’s why they called it U.

    seriously, it’s one step forward, two steps back with nintendo.

    they’re getting rid of the friend codes, but no hard drive and now only one of the main controllers per machine.

    i’m guessing there’s a technical reason why, maybe bandwidth or having the processing power to generate the graphics for more than one pad screen as well as outputting to the tv.
    but still, nintendo should have planned for some way to provide more than one.

    seems like a sacrifice made for the sake of making the console cheaper to make.

  7. This doesn’t make sense. Unless you can have 4 WiiU controllers hooked up at the same time it’s a bit silly, and will kill a lot of the local MP possibilities.

    I think the reason for this is more to do with wireless than the main console’s hardware. It has to push a lot of data constantly to the WiiU controller, and is likely doing so on an already established frequency set, probably a mix between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The more devices, the more bandwidth it has to put out, and the increasing likelihood that you’ll encounter interference from other things, restricting how wide a frequency set you can use and so on.

    The main way to get local, individual screen based multiplayer, then would be to have the processing done on the handheld, and be able to use much lower bandwidth. That’s where the 3DS could come in, or for Sony the NGP (or even the PSP, really), for some cross platform play.

    This shortcoming definitely diminishes the appeal of the WiiU for me.

    • I’d rather assume Wii U controller will be communicating via Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi, just like Wii Remotes? BT version 3.1 has enough bandwith (40Mb/s) to handle this surely?

  8. Nintendo want their cake and eat it. They want a console with technological poweress with out loosing money on a single unit unlike MS and Sony.

    Its going to backfire this time because its confusing for the normal consumer why they can only use one tablet-like controller instead of 2 or 3 or 4 like a 360 or PS3.

  9. I think the ability to use the 3DS as a controller with a screen will implemented

    And surely they’ll allow at least two of WiiU controllers once the specs get finalised, other than that the ability to use your existing peripherals is brilliant, although I think they should lock it to Wii Motion + only so as devs aren’t forced to cater for the huge inaccuracies on non+ controllers

    • But they’ve said it won’t… And using the 3DS controller as a screen is hardly cost efficient. By that use, the PS3 and Vita may be a far more viable option surely.

      • But if you’ve already got a 3DS anyway, cost efficiency isn’t an issue. You’d have an extra touchscreen controller for your Wii U console for no direct additional cost.

    • What if one doesn’t have a 3DS or DS etc? What then? I think this needs to be looked at critically and rightly so instead of looking for work arounds.

    • You sound hopeful, but truth is this is what they have confirmed now and that’s the way it seems. A 3DS wouldn’t be that good since it’ll loose the large screen, the right nub and 2 of the back buttons.

      Personally I think this should’ve been an extension of the wii, not a new console. But i suppose that isn’t possible because they need the bandwidth, power and graphics to make it possible.

      • The “its not set in stone” leads me to believe they can revisit it and see if they can make it work within their budget… maybe

    • but the 3ds only has one set of shoulder buttons and only one analog control.

      that limits it from being used as a second controller if some of the controls aren’t there.

  10. Hmm, that does sound like a crappy limitation. Nintendo’s big focus has always been local multiplayer (Mario Kart/Tennis/Party, etc + countless mini-game collections) so this does sound like a step backwards.
    Still think the overall tech is wicked though ;)

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