Nintendo Confirms Multiple Controller Support for Wii U

June 17th, 2011 at 8:55 am

It looks like I do not have to eat (or for that matter, buy) my own hat as news from Japan is that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has confirmed the revolutionary new console – the Wii U – will support multiple touchscreen controllers.

The unfounded doubts came from all sides of the media following the Wii U’s reveal last week. Geeks pointed out that Nintendo didn’t show any games that required more than one controller and – as they usually do – the media jumped to the conclusion that the Wii U will only support one touchscreen controller, opting to use current Wii Remotes for multiplayer games.

But speaking with Diamond Online, Iwata confirmed the Wii U is technically capable of supporting multiple touchscreen controllers, but there is a cost issue involved in the obvious price increase of the device over the standard Wii controller.

Iwata mentioned the decision to keep Wii Remote compatibility is due to the extremely high sales of that controller; no less than 170 million Wii remotes have been sold worldwide, he said, all of which are still “fine to use”. He also talked about how five-player games, such as the “Mii Chase” demo shown at E3 can be enhanced by the fact that only one person is using the separate screen.

So what it all boils down to is; yes, Wii U will support multiple controllers however Nintendo are aware that the controllers will be expensive, and that you already likely own a Wii Remote or – given the choice – would rather buy a Wii Remote anyway. What we think is likely to happen is that the massive blockbuster games, like “Call of Duty” will support multiple Wii U touchscreen controllers while other games support either both, or a combination of touchscreen and Wii Remote.

It’s like the whole “two Wii Remotes for one player” scenario – a great idea in theory (for, say, games where you play the drums), but when it came to expecting players to buy 8 Wii Remotes for 4-player games, to most people it was simply out of the question. So the issue is not with hardware limitations, but with customer expectations to get everything as cheap as humanly possible.

Besides, you’re probably going to be playing online multiplayer more than local anyway.

Ty is the founder, Editor-in-Chief and nice guy of The first console Ty owned as a kid was the Sega Master System II which he used to enjoy games like Alex Kidd, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mickey Mouse. Since the early days, Ty's hobby became an obsession and over the years he has amassed a huge collection of video games from all manufacturers. You can read Ty's weekly opinion column here, and follow him on Twitter.

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