One of the big features of the Wii U GamePad is that players can simply turn off the TV and continue playing their game on the GamePad tablet controller. This feature is now likely to support old Wii games as well: according to a new report, they’ll be playable on the Wii U touchscreen controller. This is possible because the controller has a built-in sensor bar, so players can point the Wiimote at the controller and get full motion control functionality. Of course, this means that you won’t be able to hold the GamePad in your hands while playing the Wii game — you’ll likely have to set to down on the Wii U dock and use it as a screen.
The news was revealed by Nintendo’s Spanish division brand manager Pepe Arcas, who said that he can’t officially confirm the feature, but quickly added that “it makes sense” that Wii games would be playable on the GamePad by using the built in motion sensor. Now, Arcas was talking about simply using the Wii U GamePad as a screen to play Wii games, which means you won’t be able to use the controller itself, it’ll only serve as a screen and sensor bar. A much better feature would be to somehow make Wii games playable by using the tablet controller itself, much like with Wii U games. That would obviously require some patching and updating of old games to support the new control scheme. Something that’s unlikely to happen.
A variety of this feature was previously revealed in a patent Nintendo filed last year, showing an interaction between the Wiimote, television set, and the GamePad:
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