As many would have noticed, Nintendo has run its own pre-E3 show to show off a couple of neat things before the main event starts tomorrow. There’s some really great stuff in there – the Miiverse, especially, looks like a great take on a gaming social network and precisely what Nintendo needed to do with its online. Overall, the presentation has me excited to see what Nintendo will reveal over the course of E3.
But one bit of news from the show greatly concerned me. It might turn out to be nothing more than my own paranoia, but that Wii U Pro Controller is a terrible idea.
It’s being positioned as an alternative way to experience Wii U games, for those who don’t want to use the tablet controller. It has the same number of buttons and a similar layout, it just lacks the tablet screen in the middle.
And that’s the problem. Is that a concession by Nintendo that, like motion controlling, not everyone is going to want to play with that tablet screen? Is that Nintendo’s answer, to provide players with a cop-out?
One of two things are going to happen with this fragmented approach to hardware. 1) With a rare few exceptions, developers don’t make the tablet screen a fundamental part of the gameplay experience, as they don’t want to annoy the folks who only want to use the Wii U Pro Controller, and thus lose sales. 2) The Wii U Pro Controller becomes a useless piece of plastic for the majority of Wii U games, and that annoys anyone who bought it.
Either way, it seems Nintendo has not learned its lesson when it comes to hardware – getting it right the first time and sticking to it is infinitely preferable to releasing add-ons and accessories to act as hardware “patches.” The fact that this “patch” has been announced before the Wii U is even released does not bode well for Nintendo’s confidence that people will want to use the touch screen controller.
The reason the Classic Controller Pro on the Wii was so great was because it added more buttons to allow people to play the Wii in a very different way to motion controls + nunchuck. Removing functionality with this new controller, however, is the very definition of counter-productive.
I am very interested in hearing from other people what they think of this hardware announcement. Be civil, but sound out in the comments below!
I agree that this is showing a lack of confidence in the _entire idea_ behind their system, but it doesn't bother me too much. I think option 2 is most likely, and if that's the case then I just won't have to buy one. Then again, one look at my "Wii peripheral basket" shows I already have about 7 pieces of plastic for the system, and only half of them are useful. Nintendo is definitely not learning from its mistakes by continuing to try to cover all of their bases with as many hardware accessories as possible.
This whole situation reminds me of the controls for Metroid: Other M. The developers stated in an interview that they decided against optionally including more traditional 3D third-person action game controls with the nunchuk because it would detract from their vision for how the game should be controlled and indicate a lack of confidence in the NES-esque setup. Of course that turned out horribly for them, but I still respect that they tried not to undermine their main control scheme with another optional one.
Overall, though, I thought this was an amazing Nintendo Direct that did nothing but excite me for Wii U.
Agreed with you on the last point. I'm keen to see what Nintendo has in store at E3. It should be a good show from everyone, I think.
the hating already starts for no good damn reason……….
this is what people wanted………….alternatives
Options are never bad………
a wii u controller will come with the system
I don't see this as a problem at all. You can have one main Wii U GamePad, and one 3 of these for 4-player games. If you want 2 Wii U Gamepads, I guess that's an option.
"And that’s the problem. Is that a concession by Nintendo that, like motion controlling, not everyone is going to want to play with that tablet screen? Is that Nintendo’s answer, to provide players with a cop-out?"
No concession at all. Just providing a more cost effective way to get everybody gaming on the console.
"Either way, it seems Nintendo has not learned its lesson when it comes to hardware – getting it right the first time and sticking to it is infinitely preferable to releasing add-ons and accessories to act as hardware “patches.” The fact that this “patch” has been announced before the Wii U is even released does not bode well for Nintendo’s confidence that people will want to use the touch screen controller. "
I'm a Nintendo skeptic, but I don't see how this is anything but good for the consumers and developers. A Wii U controller will be standard with the system, so that's a given…but AGAIN, these just make 4-player games more cost effective than a $70-100 gamepad would.
" It might turn out to be nothing more than my own paranoia, but that Wii U Pro Controller is a terrible idea."
Paranoia. Or, lack of coffee…could be a both!
With rumor of the Wii U only being able to handle 1 or 2 of these game pads, I'm sure you will be really happy to have the controller pro for super smash or mario kart when you want to play with 3 of your friends locally.
That's a good point, Karimchak. Will the original Classic Controller/ Classic Controller Pro work with the Wii U though (I missed news either way there). Because sure those would be fine for local multiplayer? Nintendo could have simply continued producing those.
I'm assuming it will, because it works with the Wii Remotes…though, whether or not Wii U games are programmed for the Classic Controller Pro input from the Wii Controller, is the key.
Hey, I'd be quite happy to be proven wrong here. 🙂 My great concern is the touch screen – I want Nintendo and third parties to use it, and for it not to turn into a gimmick like motion controls largely ended up being.
I don't like that Nintendo is already promising an alternative to the touch screen controller before people have even started using that touch screen controller. It just doesn't sit well with me – from the point of view that Nintendo should be showing unwavering confidence in the original controller.
But roll on E3. I'm sure my concerns will be proven unfounded!
"My great concern is the touch screen – I want Nintendo and third parties to use it, and for it not to turn into a gimmick like motion controls largely ended up being."
Actually, I would argue that motion controls being a "gimmick" were/are the result of lazy developers, wanting to stick with what they already knew…now you do have Microsoft promoting Kinect like crazy, which I find pretty interesting, but even on Kinect the amount of games that are successful commercially is questionable. (that's what you call DIGRESSING)
(Digression continued…) Motion controls when done well, are not a gimmick, and games that were enjoyable with good motion controls, should still be enjoyable in the future with the same controls.
As for, "Hey, I'd be quite happy to be proven wrong here. 🙂 "
I think you already have been, by a few of the comments already, and not just mine. 🙂 The Wii U gamepad is going to be standard with every console (I would be shocked if not, and then your concern is not a concern, but a reality), and hopefully Nintendo not only provides excellent developer support with the system, but we get to see just that this week…so that developers will see what can be done, and hopefully expand with new options moving forward.
The lazy developer thing is a really good point – and it goes core to my concerns. If developers no longer need to even bother with the touch screen (as in, at all), do you think they're going to?
I don't. Except for Nintendo's own output, and perhaps one or two smaller indie projects – perhaps Square Enix in some of its traditional Nintendo-exclusive games – I don't think the touch screen is going to be core to a great deal of the games I'm going to be playing on the Wii U.
Ubisoft's Assassins Creed – I don't see Ubi going the extra step to implement tablet stuff when it would be more economical to copy over the code from the PS3 version. Same goes for THQ's Darksiders 2, Activision's Call of Duty – any third party franchise where the Nintendo version is going to be seen as the "third wheel" (at least, early in the life. Things would no doubt turn around if the Wii U came to dominate the "hardcore" market).
This disappoints me, and I am going to continue believe Nintendo made a mistake in giving "lazy" developers an out right up to the point where the games start flowing in.
Classic Controllers will be compatible (as will all Wii accessories), but they require you to be connected to a Wii remote to even function. This new Pro controller seems a lot better to me because you'd have to hand out four controllers to two players and have a cord lying around. This one just works wirelessly on its own and seems like it would be less confusing to consumers because of that.
Its not an alternative its an addition. The core gaming experience is centred around the WiiU gamepad as the presentation clearly states. For local multiplayer (split screen) games I can understand the use for the Pro controller as a less expensive alternative (which it is). But I am still hoping for a 2nd WiiU gamepad support. I don't understand how you new school web journalist come to your conclusions when the facts are clearly presented. Last year I bared witness to industry wide stupidity from people who claim to know (and also report on) gaming when journalist could not tell the difference between the then showcased WiiU running a nextgen Zelda in HD with a standard def Wii. The lamest excuse came in the form of "but they only showed the controller so it became confusing". Confusing for who??Gamers or non gamers. Yours supposed to be the experts who know about these things and worst can make educated guesses (emphases on Educated).
The only thing that wouldbe confusing or better yet if you believed it was a standard wii accessory is "how the hell is the standard Def Wii running HD graphics if there not showcasing their nextgen console".
Its it too hard for you guys to think about what you are writing as sometimes it just feels more like your just rumour-mongering for hits.
Well, the only controller that developers know the Wii U is shipping with is the Wii U gamepad, so I would assume they can/will do some in game features with the screen. Even if it's small like menu/controls and play selection in games like Madden.
" I don't see Ubi going the extra step to implement tablet stuff when it would be more economical to copy over the code from the PS3 version."
I would actually argue that Ubisoft is one of the developers that will try new things, considering they have been very successful on the Wii with the Rayman Raving Rabbids games, and Just Dance. They also did Red Steel 2 with the WM+ unit as a "first" game for that control method, and we know they are developing the Killer Freaks from Outer Space FPS game for Wii U currently.
Now, it's not just up to Ubisoft or THQ though to implement new things in those games, as I would argue a good first party – third party relationship is where Nintendo steps in and offers SOMETHING in return for exclusive features only on the Wii U.
Microsoft often touts DLC "first" before the PS3, and hopefully we see this with Wii U games moving forward.
I think to suggest what you suggest is to assume that Nintendo is not comfortable with their controller. If that were the case then why not just use that extra juice to put out a hyper system with that same regular controller?
Just the Idea and uniqueness of the gamepad will eclipse the pro controller. But….theres nothing wrong with an alternative.You have to figure that around this time last year, a bunch of idiots had already given up the goods on Nintendo forcing them to do a reveal. Same thing with the 3DS. Then this year, Nintendo changed out the slide pads with analog sticks and guess what? Some Idiot, who really didnt like his job, decided to sneak a tweet pic before Nintendo had a chance to reveal. If anything, Nintendo is getting a jump on the jumpers. With only a day before their conference, I dont think it really matters. And having a regular controller along side their "Gimmick", since thats the trendy term to apply to anything other than the established norm, is a plus, in my opinion, not a minus.
I think I understand whats going on right now. I actually saw it in another article more reputable than most. There are so many people who feel that they are good enough to be journalists but most of their writing is bias and unbalanced. Basically fan boys favoring one system over another, forgiving the obvious sins of one while condemning the sensible gambles of the other. Dont get me wrong. We are ALL guilty of this travesty so while you might agree or disagree with my opinion/theory just know you are one of those I speak of.
I say, at the very least, let E3 pass for all and everybody before we start concerning ourselves with whats good and bad for each company, publisher, and studio.
Look, there's no big dilemma here. Nintendo HAD to release a decent wireless joypad basically because a few so called "big" companies including Crytek complained that the wii u pad ate into the ram, etc of the machine and they made an enquiry to nintendo whether the streaming to the pads screen could be switched off. They apparently had crysis 3 up and running in 1080p almost perfectly, but wanted the pad switched off. This confirms to me that the wii u is one powerful machine, at least 50percent more powerful than the ps3. The problem is that as innovative as the pad is, it diverts alot of power away from the internal gpu of the console. And that's with only ONE pad connected! The wii u's O.She is also reportedly huge with a ton of apps ready at launch. So I can't see anyway that it will be able to run unreal engine 4 or higher spec cryengine, UNLESS with these so called "hardcore" games, the alternative joypad is used, with most power going towards running the actual software.
Just regarding your last point: It never ceases to amaze me in gaming journalism that when a journalist makes a statement, or even a suggestion (and this piece was clearly there to generate discussion and be questioning, not to even provide answers of my own), that a gamer doesn't agree with, then immediately that article becomes "biased" or whatever.
I wonder why so many gamers seem to think that, despite having no credentials other than playing games, they know more about the industry than the journalists.
Not to say they don't in all cases. But I've never seen you on this Website before and therefore I can only assume you're new here. I have no idea how you think you can judge my opinions on an article that doesn't even have an opinion in it. It's a question.
Thanks for the input and I look forward to seeing you around in the future – where you'll realise I'm not biased at all 🙂 I just ask a lot of questions.
Overall I was very impressed with the video and new features we learned about today. I also like the design of this controller and welcome a dongle-less setup. I see your point, but don't think this will be an issue. I see it more as a nod to the [cliche term] 'hardcore' or dedicated gamer. I also suspect it may not work with all games and will be supported like the classic/classic pro as an alternative. For example in 007 GoldenEye you have numerous control options which include the classic or mote/chuck setup.
While I like it not having to plug into a mote I also kind of like the Wii's attachment/dongle setup.
1) You don't need to charge or put extra batteries into the classic.
2) They're cheaper than a real mote. I already have 4 motes, 2 chucks and 1 classic. If this comes out for $40 I'm less motivated to buy a few. It feels like I'd be better off buying a classic Pro assuming it would still work on the U. (classic pro looks to be much more comfortable than the original classic)
Well Matt, allow me to provide an answer to your question. First I am not a journalist, I am a gamer. But Im not just some arbitrary teenage gamer. Ive been gaming for a long time so I know a little bit about gaming history. I am new to your site but I usually surf VG chartz, IGN, Kotaku, and Industrygamers.com.
The problem I have with your article is this….You posed a question that influences a potentially one-sided answer/conversation against Nintendo based on your concerns with a marketing decision they made which is actually more common place in the industry than your article alludes to. Here are some of your concerns.
“But one bit of news from the show greatly concerned me. It might turn out to be nothing more than my own paranoia, but that Wii U Pro Controller is a terrible idea.”
How is allowing a consumer to have an option a terrible Idea?
“And that’s the problem. Is that a concession by Nintendo that, like motion controlling, not everyone is going to want to play with that tablet screen? Is that Nintendo’s answer, to provide players with a cop-out?”
How is this decision by Nintendo different than any other in the industry? There have been hundreds of variations of system controllers that improve on the foundation of the original. Your assuming Nintendo is uncomfortable with a product they spent 3 years developing and is ready to go to market. That doesnt sound strange to you? Thats like saying Apple would be questioning the validity of the Ipad touchscreen if they ad on a blue tooth controller. And yes, there are after market stick controllers that you can use on the Ipad.
I also say Bias an unbalanced simply because of this. Nintendo has been around for about 123 years now. Their main staple has been some variation of gaming starting with cards. For the last 30 years they have, in my opinion, been one of the great innovators of the industry. Yet for the last 7, their decisions have been questioned by gamers and journalist alike. Now everybody has their favorite system and publishers so the scales weighing to one side or the other is understandable, but if anyone should have a balanced, well thought out position I would think it would be the journalists.
The Wii released 2006 to laughter and curious criticism. Underpowered and catering to the casual consumer, journalists dogged Nintendo for the system and the name. Yet it sold almost 100 million units in less than 5 years despite its momentum coming to a crawl.
3DS released and was met with the same mixed reviews with some complaining about the 3d effect. Right then Journalists came out the wood works dooming its ability to be a big seller and how inferior it was to the Vita. They were half right. Now, with the price cut and big selling titles, it sits at 17 mill.
When PS3 released most of you guys gave them a pass even though the system was overpriced and the processor and GPU was hard to work with.
Then comes Vita which Sony, coincidentally, made the same promises and then some better than Nintendo. Journalists praised its tech, screen and thought the price was justified despite the money you would have to spend just to start the system up. Those promises have been broken since the launch and yet it wasnt until these 4 months later that there have been growing concerns with the system and Sonys financial situation alone.
I could go on and on but what Im saying is stop trying to fix the vote. Let E3 pass, put your hands on the system and play with it if you can before you judge it then make an objective decision on Nintendo passing or failing. Stop dooming it or having CONCERNS before the system is even out the gate.
Your and everyone else are welcome to your opinions as not just gamers but journalists. But just a suggestion….layoff man. Wait until Nintendo actually screws up before assuming that reality for them.