Wii U multi-controller support may be possible, says Miyamoto

Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that the Wii U console is meant to pair with one tablet controller, but says Nintendo is "doing research" about allowing multi-tablet play.

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The Wii U console is meant to be paired with just one tablet controller, but Nintendo is looking into letting users play with more than one under certain circumstances, according to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. In an interview with News.com.au, the producer confirmed earlier reports, but gave some hope for multi-controller play.

"The basic premise is that you can just use one with a system," he said. "If we got to an idea of having multiple (controllers) it might be just more convenient for people to use their Nintendo 3DS and have a way to connect that. That being said, we are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friend's house and they want to play together on Wii U, to whether or not something like that would be possible."

Yesterday an unnamed Nintendo representative reportedly claimed the controller would not be sold separately, and that the console was meant to pair to one controller. Miyamoto's comments seem to imply that two Wii U owners may be able to get together, but it still doesn't sound like the tablet will be sold individually. Nintendo may still allow that, though, as the console isn't set to launch until sometime in 2012.

Miyamoto also says the Wii U will be "very difficult" for other consoles to imitate, due to its hardware design focusing on sending a low-latency signal to the tablet.

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  • reply
    June 9, 2011 9:42 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Wii U multi-controller support may be possible, says Miyamoto.

    Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that the Wii U console is meant to pair with one tablet controller, but says Nintendo is "doing research" about allowing multi-tablet play.

    • reply
      June 9, 2011 10:02 AM

      i wonder how much each tablet would cost. $75?

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        June 9, 2011 10:24 AM

        I'm guessing $69.99, though that depends on if there's any processing being done on the tablet.

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        June 9, 2011 10:33 AM

        $599 US Dollars!

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        June 9, 2011 11:13 AM

        If they are selling the nunchuck and wii controller for $60 combined, the wii u controller is maybe in the vicinity of $100.

        • Zek
          reply
          June 9, 2011 11:16 AM

          $60 is no doubt an extremely high profit margin for those things though. I think Nintendo would have to cut their profits down a lot to sell these separately if they do end up doing that, but I still see it being $100.

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          June 9, 2011 11:17 AM

          materials and labor on nunchuck & wiimote are probably quite low, and the $60 probably has a really large margin of profit. Materials on the wii u controller are not likely even close to as low as tthe nunchuck & wiimote..

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            June 9, 2011 12:02 PM

            from what I can tell, it's essentially a wiimote with a screen and a high bandwidth wireless connection, the question is what the screen and better connection cost.

            • Zek
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              June 9, 2011 12:12 PM

              It also has the camera.

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                June 9, 2011 12:41 PM

                Forgot about the camera. I wonder if they can/do use the camera to help with accuracy in motion, maybe to enhance cheaper gyros, for instance?

                I didn't see the entire show, did they demo a use for the camera?

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              June 9, 2011 12:27 PM

              and hopefully a rechargable Li-ion battery, along with the camera as Zek mentioned

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        June 9, 2011 8:56 PM

        I could pay that. I've payed more for controllers (you don't want to know how much I've payed for really old new in box controllers for old defunct consoles...not to mention arcade sticks...mechanical keyboards, flight sticks).

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      June 9, 2011 10:08 AM

      What happens when the tablet screen cracks/breaks? no replacement?

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        June 9, 2011 10:18 AM

        Definitely. They definitely would not set up some way to get a replacement. You'd have to buy a whole new system.

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      June 9, 2011 10:18 AM

      Not only should they figure out how to make multiple tablets work, they very much should have a 3DS connection available for the developers. Go crazy with the connectivity. Please.

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        June 9, 2011 10:23 AM

        Given the next Super Smash Bros is supposed to be playable by people on the Wii-U and the 3DS together I would say that's already a possibility (though not the same as a direct connection like the GBA cable was).

        • Zek
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          June 9, 2011 11:08 AM

          Pretty sure that's not the case, Sakurai has talked about the games being different. i.e. Smash 3DS will be the "casual" version or some such. Both games are still in the planning stages of development.

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            June 9, 2011 12:14 PM

            Nearly positive I read they will be playable together, I'll have to look it up now.

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      June 9, 2011 10:25 AM

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLESE PLEES PEES I'm hungry

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      June 9, 2011 10:28 AM

      sounds like "we've got top men on it" talk

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      June 9, 2011 11:00 AM

      I have faith. I'll buy a Wii U regardless of how this issue plays out, but the multiplayer possibilities are just too cool to let lie. I hope they can work something out; I love the idea of using a 3DS as a controller/screen, but the 3DS lacks the extra shoulder buttons. That could be an issue depending on the game.

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        June 9, 2011 12:16 PM

        I am in the same boat and I hate Nintendo for making me love their brand of crack so much.

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      June 9, 2011 11:22 AM

      One tablet per console is obviously because of hardware constrains , they don't want add another wireless transmitter which would probably raise the cost of the console.

      What they mean in "some circumstances" is that multiple controllers connected would only be possible in some games which support split screen play and do not need full wireless capacity; OR; the quality of HD display video will be reduced when each additional controller is connected, sacrificing graphical quality for latency which is crucial imo.

      It's probably latency issue , but i think those "some circumstances" are probably they're looking into reducing the HD quality in some sort to compensate for more controllers imo...


      Because they're making some serious wireless i don't think they can afford to connect more controllers ... it might be possible they might add some support for frimware updates to the controller which can be updatable later for optimizing wireless performance and latency.

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      June 9, 2011 11:32 AM

      I like how they claim that "no one else can figure this out like we did." Yeah, okay Nintendo.

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        June 9, 2011 11:49 AM

        When did very difficult and impossible become the same thing? And honestly there are similar results from different approaches, but not quite the same. Vita allows you to move saves back and forth but not streaming data to the screen. PSP did some, but not all games will do it as this is designed to do. There is a new iPad game doing the control thing, but we don't know if the game is being streamed or if the Apple TV is running an app and just getting input from the App running on the iPad in tandem and that game is nowhere near on par with the Mario demo given. The closest thing I can think of is OnLive and they get to use server farms to stream it to your device not a small box attached to your TV. Not saying any one of these is better or worse, but it probably would be hard to replicate the tech.

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          June 9, 2011 12:40 PM

          I'm pretty sure the tech is dead simple. Multiple frame buffers just like with a multi-monitor setup and a simple encoder that encodes/compresses the frame buffer for the tablet and deconstructs it into packets for wireless protocol transmission.

          On the other side, input from the tablet is no different from any other wireless input device.

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            June 9, 2011 12:58 PM

            It has to be simple in order to be as quick as it wants to be.

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            June 9, 2011 8:58 PM

            Its all in the FBOs I would guess...shouldn't be too hard...the trick would be latency and getting the wireless stuff fast and efficient.

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      June 9, 2011 12:18 PM

      That is good to hear... I think it should allow at least 2 tablets to be used at the same time.

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      June 9, 2011 12:41 PM

      That thing looks so uncomfortable, carpal tunnel inducing.

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        June 9, 2011 2:09 PM

        Reports indicate it's quite comfortable.

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        June 9, 2011 8:59 PM

        Actually your wrists being further apart than with a standard controller should be easier on said wrists I would think.

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      June 9, 2011 2:26 PM

      Why would a company like Nintendo design a new system with a new controller, and not think to have it be able to use more than 1.

      It's seems like a pointless addition, if you can't at LEAST use 2.

      As soon as I saw the first pic, I thought they were going for something like the GameCube Cyrstal Chronicles (where you could use 4x Gameboys as controllers), for extra info and to free up screen space. Apparently, that wasn't the case.