‘It’s not our objective in the short term.’
When Nintendo first announced the Wii U back in 2011, they announced that the console would only support one of the fancy new Wii U Gamepads. But when they re-unveiled the system back in 2012, they announced that they had managed to make it work for up to two Wii U Gamepads at once.
You might have forgotten that, and with good reason- you see, no Wii U game actually supports dual Gamepad support yet. As a matter of fact, Gamepads are not even sold individually anywhere in the world but Japan (where they cost as much as $150). Nintendo, as a matter of fact, has made no indication that they ever plan on making this a reality. IGN recently decided to ask famed Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto about whether this will ever materialize, and this is what he had to say.
“Certainly as we’ve been working on Wii U, I think we’re at a point where we don’t feel it’s realistic to expect people to purchase two GamePads yet,” Miyamoto said. “We’re still trying to get as many people as possible to buy the system itself, and that’s where our focus is right now. For the time being, two GamePad gameplay is not within our objectives in the short-term.”
“From a technical standpoint, I think if we decided to pursue that, technically we would be able to and we can perform system updates that would allow for that,” Miyamoto explained. “It’s also very interesting from a gameplay perspective idea because there are a lot of possibilities with two GamePads. But, at the same time, taking that kind of approach would again be a drain on resources and require us to continue to utilize our development resources for that. So then it would become a question of where do we want to devote our resources: Is it to creating regular GamePad games, or creating games centered around two GamePads?”
Miyamoto does have a point on both fronts- Wii U sales have only now started picking up after nearly two years of struggling at retail, and Nintendo has only just managed to showcase software that seems to utilize the Wii U pad properly, which they debuted at their E3 this year.
Whether or not the Wii U even lives long enough to where dual Gamepad support is a thing remains to be seen, but at least it’s good to see that Nintendo hasn’t forgotten about this yet.