updated 11:55 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Nintendo Wii U may get two controllers after all
Nintendo's Wii U might get a much-requested support for two of its signature tablet controllers. A developer executive claimed to Develop that there were clues in the code that it was being readied to support the special, very high speed wireless controllers. The console designer looked like it was "on the cusp" of solving the problems that had led it to at first limit the Wii U to one of the special gamepads.
Four gamepads to match the original Wii experience was very unlikely, the developer added. Nintendo nonetheless knew that it had an "absolute need" to support two. Developers were willing to sacrifice game detail to make the titles work.
Other parts of the hardware also hadn't been completely settled, such as the processor speed and RAM, and meant the final performance could change by the time the Wii U was done.
The Wii U relies on ultra wide band wireless to get not just controls out but sound and video to the 6.2-inch touchscreen along with output from the camera. Its use of higher wireless frequencies forces it to use a relatively short range and to be more sensitive than usual to interference. As such, while a system like a PlayStation 3 can have up to seven Bluetooth devices hooked up, the Wii U risks lag and interruption glitches if it's not optimized properly.
Nintendo has already shown signs that it won't show the finished Wii U until E3 2012 next June, likely leaving it to ship for the holidays that year. With no new PlayStation or Xbox systems on the immediate horizon, the long wait may work to Nintendo's advantage by letting it add the second controller, fine-tune performance, and get more games ready.