Report says Nintendo redesigning hardware to compensate.
Last year, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto impressed gamers with an inspiring tech demo of the company’s latest console, the Wii U. The Wii’s successor showed greatly improved hardware, a stylish design, and finally, a new high-tech controller that combined the gyroscopic abilities of a Wii Remote with the HD touch screen of a tablet computer. The only problem was that the system could apparently only support one of them, forcing other players to make do with any Wii Remotes and 3DSs they may happen to have around. Now, according to a “trusted game development executive,” that limitation may be changing.
“Nintendo now know they absolutely need to support two tablets,” the anonymous executive explained. “At E3 they didn’t commit to this, but they know how important it is to make it technically feasible to support two screens.”
The initial reason for the one-tablet limit was cost and capability; reportedly, in order to support a second controller, the Wii U would need to be built with much more RAM and processor speed than originally planned. As we’re still in unconfirmed-rumor-land, there’s been no announcement of how Nintendo would hope to overcome this problem, but the company’s interest in correcting this issue seems perfectly feasible. According to the source, Nintendo wouldn’t just be addressing the concerns of players, but developers as well.
“Even if [allowing a second tablet] affects framerate, as a developer and player, I don’t care. It needs to work. Developers will design appropriate games for this. If you’re building a quiz game you’re not going to give a shit about the framerate.”
The source also confirmed that engineers are currently at work adding the capability to Nintendo’s current iteration of the Wii U, and that if they’re successful in their efforts, two tablet controllers will definitely be the console’s upper limit. Until this whole thing is sorted out, the Wii U’s ultimate RAM count and processing power won’t be finalized either.
As long as a second controller doesn’t drag the Wii U’s graphical capabilities back below contemporary systems, I think this is a great, if not necessary step for Nintendo. After all, it’s sort of hard to imagine a company renowned for its local multiplayer not allowing its newest technology to be part of the fun. Hopefully, if this anonymous source is legit, Nintendo’s engineering team can find a way to make it happen. According to official Nintendo sources, we’re going to see the Wii U in its final form at E3 2012 either way.