Will the 3DS work as a Wii U controller?

Nintendo reveals internal debate.

Using the Nintendo 3DS as a controller for upcoming home console Wii U is technically possible, but, according to Nintendo, there is much more to consider.

In an investor question and answer session, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said the Japanese company will enable the 3DS as a Wii U controller "without hesitation" if it's the "most obvious choice", but is wary of doing so.

"If software from Nintendo for the Wii or the Wii U system could not be enjoyed without the Nintendo 3DS, some consumers might feel that Nintendo is saying that consumers must buy both systems," Iwata said.

"So that consumers will not think of Nintendo as a company that made the Nintendo 3DS a controller because it wanted consumers to buy both hardware systems, we will not adopt this idea unless connecting the two systems is the most natural thing to do."

When it comes to connecting handhelds to home consoles, Nintendo has form.

It allowed the use of the Game Boy Advance as a controller for the GameCube for a number of games, including The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.

Then, a cable was required to connect the two devices, limiting, Iwata said, mass appeal.

With the 3DS and Wii U, however, a cable is not required.

"But even if we should do this, we would like to develop this service so that we will not receive comments from consumers saying, 'Why does Nintendo force us to buy both systems?'"

Iwata confirmed that, currently, using the 3DS as a Wii or Wii U controller prevents both home consoles from accessing the internet.

"This technical restriction will remain unless we add some special hardware," he said.

Oli Welsh went hands-on at E3 for Eurogamer's Wii U preview. The console launches next year, but not before April.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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