news\ Jun 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Wii U now supports two GamePads

The Nintendo Wii U will support two GamePads, the company confirmed at their E3 press briefing.  The GamePad is Nintendo's new name for the Wii U's innovative tablet controller.

The announcement likely comes as a surprise to many since all of Nintendo's previous demonstrations and concept videos only showed one GamePad being used.  Despite the news, Nintendo's E3 press briefing didn't show off any footage of two GamePads being used simultaneously.  Instead, Nintendo has focused mostly on single GamePad challenges, or what they are calling asymmetric gameplay.

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.

The example shown included Luigi's Ghost Mansion which had the player with the GamePad assume the role as the ghost who could see all of the other players.  The players with the Wiimotes, who couldn't see the ghost, were tasked with shining their flashlight on the ghost. The one with the GamePad had to stun the other four players, while the ones with the flashlights had to work together to find the ghost.  Five players, playing the same game, but with different roles and ways to win. That is the idea of asymmetric gameplay.

Although the announcement of two GamePad support was huge in my eyes, I'm surprised Nintendo didn't share any more information. At this point it is unknown as to whether there will be any sort of limitations when using two GamePads, or how that will affect gameplay. Nintendo did say we could look forward to dual GamePad experiences in the future, however. More details about the Wii U GamePad can be seen here.

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