The Wii U GamePad features a set of stereo speakers and headphone jack, and those aren’t just used to pipe the regular TV audio through the controller. According to Toki Tori 2 developer Two Tribes, the Wii U supports separate audio channels, one running on the TV, and another running on the GamePad. We previously got a hint of this at E3 with Nintendo Land mini game Ninja Castle. In Ninja Castle, players use the controller to “swipe” throwing stars at ninjas, and when they do, the GamePad uttered a “swiping” sound, while the TV had the regular game audio. It’s easy to imagine plenty of scenarios where this new audio feature would come in handy in games of all genres.
Two Tribes now confirmed via Twitter that third party developers will have access to this feature. The GamePad has dual speakers for stereo support, and a headphone jack as well. This is necessary when players opt to play the whole game on the controller instead of the TV.
Earlier this Summer, Nintendo also confirmed that the Wii U will support two GamePads, however, the frame rate will drop to 30 fps if two tablet controllers are used at the same time. Which makes sense considering the extra horsepower it takes to render the graphics on an extra controller.