Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

Summary: Nintendo's newest console will only be able to support a single Wii U controller at a time. Are the Wii U's specifications to blame?

TOPICS: Hardware

Nintendo's Wii U may be capable of a lot of things, but support for more than one of its impressive new controllers won't be one of them.

That news comes from Nintendo senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto, who confirmed yesterday Nintendo's newest console isn't designed to interact with more than one of the new controllers at a time.

"Our basic premise is that you can use one with a system. 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," Miayamoto told

While disappointing, Miyamoto's confirmation should not come entirely as a surprise considering that Nintendo never indicated otherwise during the Wii U's unveiling. Instead, as shown in the photo above, the new tablet controller (WiiPad?) was always shown accompanied by a number of Wii Remotes. This shows that the Wii U's multiplayer capabilities will mostly be variations on the 3-versus-1 minigame demonstration that Nintendo showed during E3.

This is likely due to the Wii U's technological capabilities which, while impressive, are unlikely to be able to support streaming content to multiple Wii U controllers simultaneously.

As if that wasn't already clear, Nintendo has separately confirmed that it would not sell the Wii U controller apart from the console itself. Is this a deal-breaker for anyone? I suppose we will find out next year.

Related stories:

The six big questions Nintendo has to answer about the Wii U and its new controller

Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

Topic: Hardware

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  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

    Meh, there went a lot of my excitement about the console. Oh well.
  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

    Four vs. one, I think you mean. Wii Chase is 4 vs. 1, and the Wii Battle is 2 vs. 1.
  • Wii's advantage over its competition just went away

    Wii's advantage was that it was more of a "family" console. Can you imagine the fights breaking out over which kid gets to have the controller? No parent would want that in their house.
    Michael Kelly
  • One Word

  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

    I was looking forward to selecting plays in Madden without my opponent watching my every move.
  • Sigh of relief...

    As a parent, paying $60 for a Wiimote and Nunchuck is an expensive proposition. So we ended up with about 6 Wiimotes and 4 Nunchucks as the Wiimotes aren't indestructable.

    I could not see how Nintendo could keep the new touchscreen controller under $150, so this is great news!
  • AHHHH!!

    I was really excited like silverdl said, football with out the other team seeing your playing calling. how about a map/inventory for each player while playing a 1st person shooter. the 4v1 games are cool for the non gamer market. but this system was supposed to get gamers back into playing nintendo.
  • Not a deal breaker at all for me

    Personally, I kinda expected this to be the case. Unless you want to pay like $600 for the hardware, to something powerful enough have HD graphics, streaming online features, and the wireless streaming content of multiple Wii U controllers would mean that the hardware would have to be packing some serious specs closer to a supercomputer than a console (though, interestingly, IBM put a processor based on their Watson supercomputer in the Wii U).

    I say Nintendo played it smart here. I DO love the Nintendo 3DS, and I still do have my Wii accessories. I don't mind using Wii accessories for some games anyways, because some games just won't NEED the Wii U's touchscreen. Super Smash Bros., for instance, wouldn't benefit very much with the Wii U controller's touchscreen, so I'd use a Classic Controller Pro to play a SSB with HD gameplay with local friends, and use the Wii U controller and streaming online when I'm home alone. Plus, I can use the 3DS as a controller, though I could just play Wii U opponents using a copy of SSB for the Nintendo 3DS. So many alternative options!

    Besides, I think the awesome online gaming experience (as demonstrated on the Ghost Recon trailer for Wii U) will well make up for it. I anticipate that this console will be priced at about $350, thanks to this strategy, which would be pretty darn decent.

    Any naysayers are just people who WANTED to find something wrong with the console just to complain about it. We can't have EVERYTHING without paying the price for it. I say, about a predicted $350, this would be more than enough for my gaming needs. I say, wise move, Nintendo.
  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

    To Nintendo, if Nintendo wishes to make 3DS family friendly, then why not have a 10" screen or larger? Sure, it's bulky, but it would be nice for the family members with visually impaired to play games with a touchscreen with other family members but with 3D effect turned off.

    Otherwise, families should just forget about the Wii-U controller with touchscreen. It's not going to be family friendly and this could cause kids to start a fight on who wants a touchscreen controller. This could even lead to a frivolous (I selected "frivolous" when Firefox marked "frivilious" to be spell checked) lawsuit against Nintendo.
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U will only support one touch screen controller per console

    That is disappointing. I thought people would be able to have secret info on their controller their opponent (in the same room doesn't.) They way the Dreamcast and their VMU and the little screen worked. This seems along with getting late on the HD board, a blunder for Nintendo.
  • Bummer

    You bet it is a deal breaker. Guess I'll just keep playing with my "traditional" console and my traditional controllers. And keep using audibles in Madden.
  • The Specs Are Not Yet Final

    The specs are not final yet, so we cannot say with absolute certainty that more than controller will not be supported. Overall, I was very pleased with the console and I do not believe that only using one Wii U controller will be much of a restrain for me (I play games online with friends). However, I believe if this is a limitation in the final product, it will hurt Nintendo's overall multiplayer experience. Thus, I hope that Nintendo fixes this issue. I feel that the Wii U has a tone of potential, but Nintendo has to make sure that things like this do not limit the market appeal of the console. The Wii U fixed the graphics problem; Nintendo, EA, and Ubisoft are working to fix the online limitations problem for the Wii U; Nintendo, please fix this problem with the final console.
  • Miyamoto also said

    they haven't ruled out the ability for someone to bring their controller from their console over and user it as well. The system controls will likely only work with a single controller. Same with the ability to switch from the big screen to the tablet. However options/buttons could be displayed on multiple controllers. EA also specifically mentioned the ability to select plays in Madden without others seeing what you're selecting, even in the same room. So, if your friend has a Wii U as well, bring his controller. If not, he can use the classic controller pro, which will have all the same buttons, just no tablet interface.

    I think worrying over kids fighting is silly. If you looked at Chase Mii, whoever tagged the person was "it" next, so they got the Wii U controller and gave the Wiimote to the other person. I'm sure in these kind of Wii Play minigames it will be randomly selected or based on previous winner. Being it every single time in Chase Mii wouldn't be fun either.
  • 1 controller for 1 base

    Multi-streaming through 1 base unit does not rule out other tablets via wifi. It simply provides for hack-free serious integration.