If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Iwata: Wii U could have been portable

Nintendo mulled separate tablet system.

Nintendo considered making the Wii U's tablet-sized controller a separate portable system.

The device simply streams content from the Wii U base unit, but Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Gamasutra the company debated whether the Wii U controller should work independently.

"During the roundtable discussions there were such arguments about should we make it capable of being a standalone system or should we make it work only with the [base console] system," Iwata remarked.

"We came to the conclusion that this controller is only going to show the images generated and processed by this hardware unit - and sent from the hardware unit wirelessly."

Nintendo made that decision for the sake of conserving power. "That means sharper graphics. A battery couldn't do that."

Iwata revealed the Wii U was in development shortly after the Wii launched, with Nintendo settling on the second-screen concept as early as 2007.

Originally the controller and second screen were separate. The LCD screen device would be placed on a nearby table and presumably would not have been touch-sensitive.

Nintendo publicly revealed the Wii U at E3 this year, although the hardware was shown to publishers earlier in the hopes of enticing third-party support - something Nintendo has notably lacked previously. It launches next year.

Iwata talks Wii U with Shigeru Miyamoto.

You're not signed in!

Create your ReedPop ID & unlock community features and much, much more!

Create account
Tagged With
About the Author
Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

Comments
Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Explore our store
Eurogamer.net Merch