Wii U GamePad's prototype created from ingenuity and a buttload of tape
Sometimes when in the concept design phase, you need to think outside of the box. Just ask Nintendo who, even with all of the resources imaginable, had to get quite creative in mocking the Wii U GamePad prototype.
In the latest Iwata Asks session, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed a very early prototype that consisted of a monitor and two WiiMote controllers held together with a crap ton of double-sided tape. As you can see, it wasn't pretty, but it was effective. It's also very different from what consumers have in their living room today.
"We used this prototype and two Wii consoles to run simulations for Wii U. EAD [Software Development Department of the Entertainment Analysis & Development Division] isn't a hardware department, but a "handicraft team" knowledgeable about hardware makes stuff like this," said Katsuya Eguchi, producer of Nintendo Land.
The concept of the Wii U GamePad, as rough as it was in its early stages, actually led to the development of Nintendo Land and the overall concept of "asymmetric gameplay." For those unfamiliar, the idea behind asymmetric gameplay with the Wii U is that the one player with the GamePad is in a solitary world competing differently, maybe even winning in a different way, while playing the same game as their friends. The Player with the Wii U GamePad takes on a special role, playing in the same game world as those with the Wiimotes, but have a different perspective on the same game being played. These players are given different information and likely play a different role than others.
If you have played any Wii U games, you'll probably notice this type of gameplay pops up quite often. It's definitely noticeable in Nintendo Land, but other Wii U titles like ZombiU have also employed this game design.
It just goes to show you that creativity and a little bit of sticky tape can go along way. In Nintendo's case, it led to an entirely new system that has been quite successful in its early release.