Wii U Gaming Problem
Wii U consoles are sold out across America and retailers are waiting for a fresh supply of inventory from Nintendo. While the console has been impressive and has a just as impressive launch library, the console has a looming issue. The issue is not the long load times (which has a patch on its way), its internet play, the company’s history of 3rd party developers or anything like that. The issue is the Gamepad controller.
Having played on the Gamepad since launch day, the Gamepad controller offers brand new ways to play home console games. Madden’s options on the Gamepad are striking and allows for the most in depth game play on a Madden game ever, even outdoing the Microsoft and Sony versions by far. Call of Duty allows for split screen on the go and fast access to menus for classes and settings. In short, the game’s usage of the Gamepad has been appropriate and useful, pushing Nintendo’s software to a higher level.
With such great words to say, how could the Gamepad be the console’s problem? In short – it is just not fair. The Wii U is only allowing for one Gamepad for each console at the moment, with the company saying it may support up to two. If I am playing Madden and getting to fine tune my player’s hot routes and adjust man to man coverage, while my opponent is getting to hope Ask Madden just happens to work that play, it is not fair. If I am getting to use a controller that gives me view of the entire map and not just the small segment showed in the radar and have access to my weapons faster than my opponents, it’s not fair.
Of course gaming is not about equality; it is about competition at times. On Xbox 260 though, you have a controller and your opponent has a controller. It is truly about out playing the other person to win. One could argue that not all players use headsets, but all players are given the option to do so. On the Wii U however, not all players are given the same option to use the same equipment. Imagine going to a hockey game where one team’s goalie is allowed to use a face mask, but the other is forced to not wear one. Fair? Not at all.
This issue has led to one individual on a console having the luxury of playing on the latest video gaming technology, while the other is stuck with last generation controllers that offer nothing new. New does not always mean better, but when new directly impacts game play, it does mean better.
We saw Nintendoland being played where one person uses the Gamepad while the opponents uses the Wii-motes. Let’s just say, in most situations, the gamer did not want to be the Wii-mote guy and would have much rather been using the Gamepad. I for one, was hoping the Wii-mote would go away this generation. Oh well… But regardless, one player is put in control of a device that gives them more in game information, more accessibility to the tools needed to complete their goals and more options, while the other player is left with a standard controller with limited or slower options or a Wii-mote to jump all over the screen. Fair? Not at all.
Here is to hoping Nintendo begins selling the Gamepad controllers so consoles can have a second one asap, and to Nintendo hopefully developing a fix so that their consoles can support more than two. While the Wii U has been impressive and the Gamepad just as much, let us hope that its success is not the reason for its downfall.