Wii U controller almost didn't happen

Posted by Mike Luttrell

The Wii U experience is all about the controller, but that controller almost didn't come to be.

Apparently, Nintendo was very concerned about the cost of the touchscreen tablet-like device, and even up until the last minute, the company had reservations about incorporating such an expensive piece of equipment.

In a Telegraph interview, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was quoted as saying, "Sometime during that final discussion [of the system's design], we almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen. This was due to our concern over the expected high cost; it may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers."

However, Nintendo eventually overcame the price obstacle, by reducing the controller's computing power. Instead of incorporating a full processor, it only receives data from a connected Wii U console, which means the user experience will be admittedly limited.

But there is a problem with the fact that the Wii U device is a controller, and for any game console, you need two controllers if you want the most optimized multiplayer experience. Nintendo has said that it will support games with two touchscreen game pads, but that won't happen until well after the console's launch.

The only retailer that has actually pinned a price to the controller is a Swedish site with a massive $200+ price tag.

If that is anywhere near accurate, we could be looking at a very expensive Wii U console. Nintendo has been very careful to not reveal any pricing details. We'll be very interested to see when the company makes that announcement.