Wii U GamePad won't be sold separately at launch

Nintendo of America director of public relations Marc Franklin confirmed to Shacknews that additional GamePads will not be sold at launch.

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In Japan, additional Wii U GamePad controllers can be purchased separately for more than $150. However, Nintendo fans in America won't be able to do the same.

Nintendo of America director of public relations Marc Franklin confirmed to Shacknews that additional GamePads will not be sold at launch. Instead, customers that want to buy another controller (or potentially repair a broken unit) will have to contact customer support instead.

Franklin noted that while the Wii U can support two GamePads, they will not be available for purchase at retail. As M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pidgeon pointed out to me, there are currently no games that take advantage of that feature. Offering a standalone controller at retail that serves no real purpose might cause retail confusion.

Nintendo has admitted that titles that support two GamePads will come "well after launch."

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    September 13, 2012 12:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Wii U GamePad won't be sold separately at launch.

    Nintendo of America director of public relations Marc Franklin confirmed to Shacknews that additional GamePads will not be sold at launch.

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      September 13, 2012 12:02 PM

      Huh, well I mean I guess no games are going to use another one at launch so that's ok, just be really careful with it in the meantime.

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        September 13, 2012 12:04 PM

        This stuff just sounds like my previous prediction was right. Nintendo exists the living room hardware market after this generation.

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          September 13, 2012 12:05 PM

          They have at least one more left, if this and that one both flop then Nintendo turns into Sega 2.0.

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            September 13, 2012 12:17 PM

            I don't know, I think this is going to be a big fail. Hell the 3DS was a pretty bad launch fail. Yea, they maybe have cash to burn by trying one more time. However, their strategy is pretty conservative when it comes to hardware so they are not going to leap past the PS5/XBOX1080 generation with whatever they have up their sleeves after the Wii U. I think they would be better served by focusing on making a killer hand-held before smartphones completely kick them out of that market.

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              September 13, 2012 12:25 PM

              Who knows, this might be the last console generation period for all we know.

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                September 13, 2012 12:44 PM

                Seriously, it's all merging. Nintendo will probably make it to the end, at which point, they will be competing with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Sony in the wireless-entertainment-hub-device market. It will look a lot like the smart phone and tablet market now.

                The upside, we might get to play Zelda on PC!

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      September 13, 2012 12:05 PM

      Wait, why are they releasing this in Japan then? Seems pointless to have a second one if no games utilize it.

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      September 13, 2012 12:20 PM

      ok so then can i buy the system without the pad for the 99.99 you just made it worth Nintendo ? #Nintenfail

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        September 13, 2012 12:33 PM

        W-what?

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        September 13, 2012 12:37 PM

        $173.329 USD --> http://i.imgur.com/ugdC6.jpg

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          September 13, 2012 12:40 PM

          which means it'll be $150 here in the states. wow..

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        September 13, 2012 12:39 PM

        I really wonder if you really NEED the pad, thus selling the pad you get with the system for $300 on craigslist on the 18th. Hmm.

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          September 13, 2012 1:09 PM

          You need the pad if you're going to play any of the games, yes.

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            September 13, 2012 1:24 PM

            Not really if you are going to use the Pro Controller.

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              September 13, 2012 2:03 PM

              You can't use the Asynchronous stuff in Nintendo Land and Rayman Legends with a pro controller though. Or use it to manage your inventory in ZombiU or throw batarangs in Arkham City, etc.

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        September 13, 2012 12:40 PM

        Wii-U price - controler price != 99.99

        Isnt the console going for $350?

        350 - 150 = 200

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          September 13, 2012 12:47 PM

          There is a basic bundle for $300.

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            September 13, 2012 1:22 PM

            but if you want two players wont it be like $450?

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              September 13, 2012 2:05 PM

              it doesn't support 2 wiiU controllers

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                September 13, 2012 2:20 PM

                yes it does, it's just that none of the launch window games take advantage of having 2 of them

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                  September 13, 2012 2:58 PM

                  Performance will take a big beating if they use two controllers, pumping out video to three displays

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                    September 13, 2012 3:33 PM

                    So what than its greatest advantage/newest thing is one player only? I mean you can still play the other style games with wiimote and nunchuks normally but not two player with the fancy controllers, that would be sad.

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                      September 13, 2012 4:14 PM

                      Based on Rayman Legends, ZombiU, and tech demos I've played, its actually really fun!

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                  September 13, 2012 4:16 PM

                  that's new information then, well newer than when it was first announced.

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                    September 13, 2012 4:40 PM

                    It was announced at this years e3 that it would be able to use 2 WiiU controllers. It's still a huge performance hit so I don't imagine a lot of titles will take advantage, and it isn't something Nintendo is pushing on developers to support.

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                September 13, 2012 4:37 PM

                And this is why WiiU will fail. I'm calling it here on Shack Chatty. Mark my words.

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      September 13, 2012 12:32 PM

      *record scratch*

      sort of

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      September 13, 2012 12:45 PM

      I'd like to know can you get the system without the stupid pad(starter edition)? I might go for that....

      Are all or some going to force you to use the pad?

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        September 13, 2012 12:53 PM

        valcan the pad is literally the only reason to get a Wii U. (Unless you really want bayonetta 2)

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          September 13, 2012 12:59 PM

          And Mario, well then its clearly not a platform for me, I have no interest int he pad what so ever... huh

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            September 13, 2012 1:01 PM

            I agree. Even with the pad, the uses for it are complete gimmicks at best, and detrimental at worst. (based on what we have seen so far)

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              September 13, 2012 1:09 PM

              The fact that the player can hide information from other players opens up lots of possibilities for multiplayer gaming. ZombiU's VS multiplayer mode is a great example of that (one player plays the game normally on the HDTV while the player with the tablet spawns zombies on a minimap to try and kill him). The augmented reality stuff they've put into the single player is also great (hold the controller up to scan a la Metroid Prime), very immersive.

              I haven't turned on my consoles in ages and a next-gen with just higher specs and nothing else (4k resolution holly shit!) bores me. I'm mainly a DOTA 2 and Starcraft 2 PC guy, hard game club, and if I do play a console game like Darksiders 2 I'll just play the port from my PC to my home theater.

              The WiiU tablet controller is the first good reason not to play on my PC in a while.

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                September 13, 2012 1:52 PM

                yeah, just having the tablet as standard opens up so many interesting gameplay opportunities that i think could be really interesting and fun. pitting a player against a group, or having some sort of rts game where the person with the tablet is the 'general' and 3 people with wii remotes are soldiers sounds amazingly fun.

                and what you describe happening to you with the consoles/pc is exactly what has been happening with me. I'll play everything on my pc and just output it to my tv if i want to play on a big screen and use a xbox controller. It should be an even nicer experience now that steam is toying around with the 'big picture' idea.

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              September 13, 2012 1:18 PM

              I think Rayman Legends looks really good and makes good use of the Pad in 2 player and single player mode.

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                September 13, 2012 1:22 PM

                Yeah, its super fun

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                  September 13, 2012 1:23 PM

                  I did not play Origins but Legends looks pretty awesome - I am more interesting in it than the new Mario honestly.

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                    September 13, 2012 1:33 PM

                    It was one of the best things at E3, so good. And I agree, it was more fun and innovative than the Mario demo I played. I wish Nintendo gave a bit more time to show off the Ubisoft games in their media. I understand that they want to push their own games first, but Pikmin 3 is the only Nintendo game I played that I'd put up on the level of Rayman Legends and ZombiU.

                    There was a deathmatch demo they showed at E3 2011 that was amazing, one player controlled a UFO that he controlled with the WiiU tablet controller using the screen, sticks, and gyroscope, while two players on another team controlled players on the ground with standard controllers on the HDTV. Both teams were out to kill each other. The players on the ground don't always know where the UFO is because he has his own screen, and the UFO controls made great use of the gyro to aim.

                    It was just a demo to show the capabilities of the system, but I'd love for something like that to end up in an actual game. Maybe it is one of the minigames in Nintendo World that I don't know about, I dunno.

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              September 13, 2012 5:24 PM

              That's your lack of imagination talking.

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            September 13, 2012 1:21 PM

            But you love having multiple screens! It's the whole point of video games right?!111one

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          September 14, 2012 10:05 AM

          Uhh... no.

          What's always been the reason to get a Nintendo console over another console?

          First party exclusives. And that hasn't changed. The pad is just another reason to get it, like the pad was.

          But on top of that, it supports the wiimote and nunchuck. I'm not sure if you're aware of this, because the number of FPS on wii is so slim, but the wiimote is infinitely superior for FPS than a regular controller. Apart from turning it's arguably better than using a mouse as well, and apart from all the buttons available to your hand on a keyboard the nunchuck is better than a keyboard because you can hold it in any position, it's more ergonomic, and it allows analogue movement, which WASD doesn't.

          I say this as a predominantly PC gamer who hasn't touched my wii other than for Zelda in a good 3/4 years.

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      September 13, 2012 1:13 PM

      so many kids are gonna break that expensive controller.

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        September 13, 2012 2:37 PM

        at $150 a pop, I am betting Nintendo is hoping for just that.

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      September 13, 2012 2:35 PM

      NIN-TEN-DO It's a cereal NOW! After purchasing and selling a Wii, and then purchasing another a year or so later, I'm done with Nintendo systems. PC/360 all the way. The Wii was only used during parties for bowling, and now that I'm married, we only party at other people's homes.

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      September 13, 2012 7:20 PM

      Nintendo is finally done. Bye bye.