Serious doubts are being raised as to whether Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console has the power to support more than one of its wonder-controllers in play, something Nintendo seems to have been keeping quiet by only showing it running with one controller…
The problems were raised by Dean Takahashi, a prominent games journalist (for what this is worth), when he was interviewed about Nintendo’s E3 showing:
With Nintendo, where do you think they came up short in the way they showed the Wii U?
They have a major issue with the capability of the Wii U console where it has a single processor but it has to drive multiple displays.
A single graphics chip inside the console has to drive the big screen, the main game screen, but it also has to provide the imagery for the tablet controller, the game pad.
And yet the system itself isn’t that powerful. Nintendo only showed games with one game pad controller and the TV.
Most games out there, if you’re in a social setting, you want two controllers. Nintendo didn’t show any games that do that.
They admitted in a Q&A that the games are going to run slower if you have two game pads and playing on a main display. That’s a fairly big issue for them.
They made a good case that you can play with one controller and multiple Wii controllers, what they call asymmetric gaming where one person is looking at the small tablet screen and trying to deploy zombies while the people playing with the controllers were all on the main screen. You come up with very creative, different kinds of games where it’s one against four, or one person going online.
They tried to justify and turn into an advantage this major weakness of the Wii U, but I think a lot of people saw this as a weakness.
Nintendo came up as a pretty big disappointment at E3.
The fact that the Wii U’s graphical capabilities can apparently barely hold their own against the existing generation of consoles has already provoked much debate, one that looks set to intensify should it be true that it can barely drive its own controller – not that this necessarily matters if Nintendo can sell as many of the consoles to children and old people as they apparently hope.