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Is There a New GamePad Coming?

by Alex Culafi - December 15, 2014, 9:23 am PST
Total comments: 21

That Japenese commercial looks mighty fishy!

If you go on NeoGAF, /v/, or pretty much any online community centered around video games, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen this commercial making the rounds, posted a few days ago on Nintendo’s Japanese YouTube channel:

Around the 0:07 mark, pause and look at the man’s hands. You will see this image:

That doesn’t look like the GamePad we know and love! It looks compact and sleek compared to the original, and it could just be me, but does the screen look a little larger? A new GamePad would be an interesting idea – a means to cut costs two years after the system originally came out, especially if Nintendo was planning on selling the controllers separately. But if that’s the case, why would some actors get their hands on a new GamePad without it at least being a focus of the commercial?

The short answer is that they probably didn’t.

As it turns out, an identical commercial was posted on the Nintendo UK YouTube channel…back in May. This one:

Nintendo Life did a good job of calling this second UK commercial to attention, which provides a similar effect, showcasing the Wii U GamePad looking similarly warped in slightly different ways:

In reality, that’s all this probably is: an effect for a television spot. To show off how fast the actor’s chairs around them were going, they likely used special effects to distort the objects around them, including the Wii U GamePad. If that’s the case, then why didn’t this turn into a huge thing back in May? There are three possibilities.

  1. People were more focused on the Mario Karting at the time.
  2. People assumed that a UK commercial wouldn’t carry such an enormous global announcement, especially compared to one released on Nintendo’s official Japanese channel.
  3. It’s mid-December, news is slowing down, and something like this is naturally a bigger deal at this time of the year.

I suppose that doesn’t really answer the original question, however. Is there a new GamePad coming? I wouldn’t be surprised if they put something out to coincide with games like Zelda Wii U and Star Fox (which seem to heavily utilize the GamePad) coming out next year, but this commercial is not the confirmation we’re looking for.

What say you? Do you still have faith in this rumor? What do you want to see in a new GamePad?

Images

Talkback

KITT 10KDecember 15, 2014

I don't put any stock into a rumor because more than half the time they seem to be false. I will say however, that that while I like the way it is now having a slimmer Wii U touch screen controller would be pretty cool.

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorDecember 15, 2014

Yet again, Betteridge's Law of Headlines holds true.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines

Quote from: StrikerObi

Yet again, Betteridge's Law of Headlines holds true.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines

Haha. I guess that makes me 1 and 1 with breaking headline question standards.

ejamerDecember 15, 2014

I'd love to see a new gamepad, especially if it meant that replacements would be available to buy at a reasonable rate. With two young kids in the house who love playing games, it's only a matter of time before our Wii U gamepad takes a spill and needs to be fixed or replaced. Could be a month, a year, or more... but being able to replace the pad without buying a whole new console would be reassuring since it's a critical part of the system.

Leo13December 15, 2014

If they made the Gamepad significantly better (like Dr. Metts has advocated for on RFN) or significantly cheaper (such that they could then lower the price of a new console) then yes I'd believe that they would do it, but I doubt they'd waste the resources to do it if it wasn't a significant change and I don't think making it slightly smaller would constitute significantly better

CericDecember 15, 2014

$80 for a replacement one is not far off from the competitors controllers.

New Gamepad will be new system or revision.  No sooner.

Quote from: Ceric

$80 for a replacement one is not far off from the competitors controllers.

If you think about it, it's actually way more reasonable. A DualShock 4 will run you $60 (at least MSRP, it's not that hard to find one a bit cheaper), and it has far less functionality.

ejamerDecember 15, 2014

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Quote from: Ceric

$80 for a replacement one is not far off from the competitors controllers.

If you think about it, it's actually way more reasonable. A DualShock 4 will run you $60 (at least MSRP, it's not that hard to find one a bit cheaper), and it has far less functionality.

This is all true.


But where can you buy a gamepad for $80?  It's not pricing that I have a concern over, it's availability. I can't even find them on Nintendo's online store. Maybe you can make a special order via phone to get one?

Mop it upDecember 15, 2014

If the screen looks larger, it may just be because everything else on the controller is smaller so it makes the screen look larger than it actually is.

Dunno if I'd pay for it, but I do want a smaller GamePad. However, I also want it to have handles, so this thing still doesn't look very comfortable.

Triforce HermitDecember 15, 2014

I don't think Nintendo will offer an alternative gamepad unless its for a new console. If they actually do, then they must be hiding it until after the holiday sales to say "we announce the New Wii U" like they are doing with the 3DS.

TurdFurgyDecember 15, 2014

They edit screens in in post because you'd never get a good picture adjusting to the lights in the room. They fellow who edited the video made the screen too big when he added it in.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)December 15, 2014

If you think about it , it's not as if WiiUs have been flying off the shelves (until very recently), so why would they start selling an expensive controller separately that few people are asking for?


Selling an $89.99 slimmer model GamePad makes no sense in this current climate, no multiple GP games exist, so it would mean people selling/throwing out their existing ones for...what? Slightly better battery and screen?


The GP will always be a pack-in with the system, so if they ever do this, it will only be coupled with later revisions of the system, which due to the relatively low-success of the WiiU, may never actually come unfortunately...


Related note: I'm surprised that they haven't already started putting the improved battery in all GamePads going forward. I hope that after the current stock of WiiUs have sold through, they will move up to the new battery.

MASBDecember 16, 2014

Quote from: Webmalfunction]Do

Considering this 'rumor' appears to be based on jack and shit, why would anyone have faith it's true? I hadn't heard of this rumor until your article and it's so flimsy a premise, I'd hesitate to call it a rumor. Maybe a stray thought caused by too much caffeine given credence by people on websites who don't know any better, but on second thought, it's probably simpler to call that a rumor. :P

Honestly, I think the article would have been better off just asking if Nintendo ever releases a new Wii U GamePad, what would you want changed (starting it off with your own opinions/wishes).

I do wonder if they'll ever make a game that uses a second GamePad. Unless they can bring the cost of buying one down (let alone offering individual GamePads for sale outside of Japan), the answer is probably "not likely" due to cost considerations for their customers.

AdrockDecember 16, 2014

I was pretty skeptical the moment I saw this if only because "Why?" Introducing a new GamePad now doesn't help Nintendo much. It would be stuck with a bunch standard GamePads nobody wants and a new production line for a console it's still trying to convince people to care about. Revisions are typically meant to prolong the life of a popular product and spur stagnating sales. Nintendo doesn't have that. It has a product people almost want. And Nintendo doesn't want to prolong the life of the console. It wants to stop the bleeding only until it can launch a new one.

The GamePad itself isn't the problem so Nintendo would be addressing the wrong thing. At this point, Nintendo should (and probably does) accept Wii U for what it is and try to improve the console with what it has. Focusing on software like Nintendo has been for the past year or so is the company's best bet for now. Keep chugging along and building that library. Any thoughts of a GamePad revision should be saved for a successor where it can actually make a difference.

SorenDecember 16, 2014

The only thing the GamePad desperately needs is better battery life, and that can be sold separately. A revision is useless right now.

CericDecember 16, 2014

Quote from: Soren

The only thing the GamePad desperately needs is better battery life, and that is sold separately in Japan. A revision is useless right now.

Fixed that.  The compartment has space for it and I know for a while they were selling a bigger battery in Japan.

Not just in Japan, they sell it on their online store here. Also, in checking that was true, I see Nintendo at some point updated their store web site from the one that looked right out of Front Page '98 they had until very recently.

CericDecember 16, 2014

Front Page '98 is being generous.  I don't really count anything just sold on the Nintendo Store to be  actually available in the US.

They couldn't get retailers to stock the thing even if they wanted to.

Most likely, the commercial was shot with the gamepad turned off (or showing something they didn't want in the final version). Whomever edited the image onto the screen in post-production just made it disproportionately large.

daverhodusDecember 17, 2014

A lighter GamePad would be a big deal for me. I avoid using the GamePad in favor of the Pro Controller because it's just easier to use.

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