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Justifying the Wii U GamePad

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Nintendo Wii U
The folks over at Nintendo Everything have posted a pretty interesting article about the Wii U, its controller and the concept of the killer app. Their writer Austin argues that while a lot of press are criticizing the GamePad for having no far and away reason for existing yet, that isn't what is necessary to validate a console. While Wii U doesn't have its killer app yet, it doesn't necessarily need to change the way we play a certain genre of games or even all the games on the console--it's just another option for developers to use.

I have to agree with him. I'm far more in favor of tools like Oculus Rift or Wii MotionPlus being an option used to enhance or dramatically change the way we play a certain kind of game, instead of a mandate. When the DS and Wii first came out you had developers--including Nintendo--using the hardware in awkward, unnecessary ways simply to justify using the new hardware at all, not in ways that made the gameplay any better. Forcing new control schemes onto established genres that work perfectly fine with their current control schemes is just the wrong way to go about it.

If it works better with some new control technology, wonderful--I think the Wii remote did some amazing things for FPS and swordfighting games on consoles. But I'd prefer that developers use new interfaces like the Wii U GamePad to augment the controls of current genres rather than hamhandedly trying to replace them. That's a lot more enjoyable for everyone until developers get a handle on the technology, and build that brand new kind of game that uses the new technology to its full potential.