To say that Nintendo's developers have been hamstrung by the requirement to use hardware features anytime recently is insane. That was a valid criticism on the Wii but if anything they're not doing enough to showcase the Wii U functionality.
I don't think management is forcing the developers to use certain hardware features as a requirement or something. However, I believe sometimes Nintendo's developers force themselves and that's why it's been somewhat uninspired in certain games. For example, the GamePad doesn't really work that well in Super Mario 3D World. It felt like they decided to use the GamePad because it's there, not because they had any interesting ideas that couldn't be implemented within the confines of their design otherwise.
I agree that they aren't doing enough showcase it. A sequel to 3D Land isn't the right game to do it with while Zelda Wii U might. I really want to see another game from Nintendo that revolves around the GamePad. They have to design a game with the GamePad in mind from the get-go, not design a game then think of ways the GamePad might be useful.
On the Wii U though, they do seem to be a lot less interested in pushing the Gamepad than one would expect. Okay, so why are you making us buy this expensive controller and likely compromising the specs to keep the system at an affordable price point? It's like they learned from the forced remote usage but didn't realize that basing the whole system around a pack-in accessory kind of requires you to force the usage to justify it.
I don't think it's fair to make that assumption. Third parties aren't interested in Wii U in general, but I doubt it's rooted in the GamePad. If there was no GamePad, we'd probably be looking at the same level of support.
And for the love of Jebus, man, would you stop calling the GamePad expensive without context? We've been over this 42716261717473818 times already. You keep complaining about this without also acknowledging that every other controller on the market today is obscenely and insanely expensive because these companies are selling them for like $50 to $60 when it costs them $5 to $20 (for the new consoles, maybe) to make. There's nothing that expensive in the GamePad itself.
You keep pushing the same nonsense that the GamePad compromised the specs. Explain, please. Seriously. Are you claiming research and development cost? Every company has sunk millions on research and development, but those are operating costs. It apparently bears repeating that Nintendo has been following Gunpei Yokoi's philosophy for decades, well after he left Nintendo. This is not new. Even without the GamePad, Nintendo wasn't shooting for the stars with the specs. Look at 3DS. It's a sizable spec bump over DS and perhaps a bit higher than expected, but when you look at Vita, it's obvious Nintendo could have taken it so much further. As long as Nintendo keeps their policies the same, the specs Nintendo chooses will always be modest. People always point to GameCube, but had Nintendo released GameCube a year earlier, directly against PS2, the specs undoubtably would have been reflective of the year it was released. Wii is the oddball. It's the only Nintendo console that was deliberately behind where Nintendo would have traditionally ended up hardware wise.
TLDR: You're killing me, Smalls.