Nintendo almost dropped Wii U GamePad

Company president Satoru Iwata reveals tablet controller nearly scrapped due to projection of high cost, takes shot at Microsoft's SmartGlass app.

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One of the Wii U's most unique features--the tablet-like GamePad--was nearly scrapped. Speaking to The Telegraph, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that the Tokyo game giant harbored concerns over the cost associated with such a controller.

The Wii U GamePad almost never was, Iwata says.
The Wii U GamePad almost never was, Iwata says.

"Sometime during that final discussion we almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen," Iwata said. "This was due to our concern over the expected high cost. It may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers."

Elsewhere in the interview, Iwata explained why he feels the Wii U is an optimal experience when compared to competing offerings, like Microsoft's SmartGlass companion application.

"Just imagine that you are playing with the traditional game controller and they are saying that you need an additional screen as well," he said. "Most of us just have two arms, so how are we meant to hold this additional device?"

Lastly, Iwata was critical of Nintendo's 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing last week. He said the company fell short of communicating the uniqueness of the Wii U experience during its presentation.

"I knew there was a lot of skepticism after our presentation asking if the uniqueness would be appreciated by the consumer," he said. "But what happened was that more people came to our show booth every day and started to appreciate the unique approach of the Wii. Even so, that excitement wasn't fully communicated."

The Wii U is due for a worldwide release this holiday season. No price for the system has been announced, but one analyst recently suggested the console must sell for under $300 at launch.

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