E3: Nintendo’s Wii U Supports Two Gamepads

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Nintendo banishes worries there was limited multiplayer on the Wii U.

During its press conference at E3 this morning, Nintendo released a few new details of Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U, and the capabilities of its gamepad. Most importantly, it announced that the Wii U will support two separate gamepads at one time.

In addition, Nintendo also gave a quick tour of a more final version of Wii U gamepad’s technology, which almost turns it into a handheld gaming console all on its own. Along with a touchscreen built into the pad, the Wii U also includes motion controls, a microphone, camera and stereo speakers.

All these features are meant to support a new kind of gameplay. “The new disruption is called asymmetric gameplay,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo America. What “asymmetric gameplay” means is that the person playing the game on the Wii U gamepad will have different mechanics and even goals than the player using the TV. Ubisoft President Yves Guillemot said the innovative “asymmetric gameplay” is what drew his company’s designers to making games for the platform.

The design of the Wii U gamepad certainly implies that you and a friend will be able to team up to play a game cooperatively (or competitively), putting to rest any doubts that the Wii U would have limited multiplayer capability. It does raise another interesting question: Could the Wii U allow two individuals to play two different games from each other off of the same console?

We should find out more soon when The Escapist team gets its hands on the Wii U this week at E3.

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See all our coverage directly from the E3 2012 show floor.

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