One of the best pieces of intel we got from Nintendo's surprisingly tight-lipped E3 press briefing was the news that the Wii U will allow for games that use multiple gamepad controllers. Now, Nintendo of America Vice President Reggie Fils-Aime has gone back and tempered our unbridled excitement, saying that games won't begin incorporating multi-gamepad support until "well after launch".
In an interview with Gamasutra, Fils-Aime said that the feature, which wasn't available in the original Wii U showcase shown at E3 2011, is an advanced feature that developers won't be inclined to work with until they've gotten some experience developing for the upcoming console.
"Games need to be built that can take advantage of the two GamePad controllers," says Fils-Aime. "It's going to be well after launch for those game experiences to come to life."
Fils-Aime specifically noted that he felt developers would begin exploring the Wii U Gamepad's capacity for asymmetric gameplay before they moved on to multi-gamepad support.
Reggie spoke similarly of the Wii U Gamepad's Near-field communication support, which would allow the controller to read data from devices with certain microchips, similar to technology used in Activision's action figure/video game hybrid, Skylanders. Fils-Aime said that developers still need time to figure out what to do with the technology, and that there are no Wii U games in development that take advantage of the feature.
"There's a lot of things that can be done," he says. "I've already gotten letters from Pokemon fans wishing we would do something with it."
I guess Nintendo's in it for the long haul with the Wii U, considering there are at least a couple of features that we won't even see until after the console has settled into the console landscape.