Nintendo aims to fix the gamepad by bringing DS games to the Virtual Console, and making more games that utilize it better.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said in his corporate management policy briefing that Nintendo has not been able to properly communicate the Wii U gamepad's full value. He says that the company's top prior is to enrich the value of the gamepad, by focusing on titles that are only made possible because of the gamepad, allowing users to play original DS games on it via the Virtual Console, and better utilizing some of its lesser-known features, such as its Near-Field Communication (NFC) capabilities.
"We have not been able to fully communicate the value of the gamepad. We also realize that we have not been successful in answering consumers' questions such as, 'What is the difference between Wii U and the previous platform, Wii, and what is the benefit of upgrading it?'"
Iwata specifically mentioned that making gamepad-heavy games "will be one of the top priorities of Mr. Miyamoto's software development department this year." Can the man who brought us Mario, Zelda and Pikmin pull another rabbit out of his hat?
To elaborate on NFC, Iwata says that the Wii U is the only console with NFC capabilities, and that only one game, Pokemon Rumble U, has used it to any real effect, and multiple proposals, including the implementation of NFC payments with Japan's "Suica" card, will be detailed soon.
He also said that the company will enrich the gamepad's "off-tv play" functionality by implementing a "quick start" menu for it in an upcoming update. The quick start menu will allow gamers to load one of the software titles they have recently played without being routed to the console's main menu.
"We are now sure that we can solve the technical problem of displaying Virtual Console software from Nintendo DS on the gamepad," confirmed Iwata, announcing that titles from the DS library will begin to appear in the future Virtual Console lineup for Wii U. Hopefully, this "technical problem" fix also means that players will soon be able to actually use the gamepad's buttons to play original Wii games.