Nintendo: We Designed the GamePad Before the Tablet Trend

Nintendo: We Designed the GamePad Before the Tablet Trend

One of the most common misconceptions with the Wii U is that Nintendo are trying to compete with tablets with the GamePad controller, and the recent popularity of tablets inspired Nintendo’s direction with the console.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, however, states that the company had planned the controller design prior to the release of Apple’s iPad, despite the Wii U releasing years afterwards.

Speaking to The Nikkei, Iwata discussed the following:

“We began talking about having another screen being a good idea around 2008. We thought thoroughly about our other options, but in the end, this was the idea which was the most logical for us.

“So, in 2009, just as we began to press forward with this idea, sure that we were on the right track, this thing called an ‘Ipad’ came into the world. 2.5 years after the debut of the Ipad, when we were announcing the Wii U, it was the start of the tablet boom, the reaction was, ‘Nintendo’s just added a tablet to a game console, and there’ll be no revolution this time.’

“Even though we’d been working on dual screens prior to the release of tablets, it looked like we were just following a trend.”

I’m glad that Iwata is reinstating something I tell everyone who is confused or skeptical about the Wii U: it’s a successor to the DS, not the Wii. As he says, the Wii U is a pure two-screen experience, different than what a tablet alone can provide; unfortunately, it’s hard to convince casual consumers without them playing it first.

[Source: The Nikkei via My Nintendo News]

Article from


Related posts:

  1. See the Original Wii U GamePad Design Here
  2. Nintendo Merging Home And Handheld Console Departments
  3. Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet Out Now on iOS and Android
  4. Nintendo Direct: New Wii U Details, Nintendo Network and Wii U Chat Revealed
  5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf Learned from City Folk’s Mistakes

About the Author

avatar An aspiring writer from England. Reece was born with a controller in his hands. From the age of 4 he had his filthy mitts on a Game Boy, PSOne and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis to you Americans!),. Open to any system and genre, he remains completely unbiased as a proud owner of a Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3 and 3DS.