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A look at some early Wii U GamePad prototypes

Wii U prototypeNintendo has been working on the Wii U for many years, going through several prototypes and iterations before settling on the final hardware. One only has to look at the difference between the GamePad revealed at E3 2011 and the one at E3 2012 to see how the design improves over time.

Now Nintendo has revealed some of the early Wii U GamePad prototypes, and explained how they got to the current design. In the latest segment of “Iwata Asks”, where Satoru Iwata talks to developers and hardware designers, they brought in some of the early GamePad controller prototypes.

Wii U prototype 2The GamePad was actually inspired by a Wii Zapper mod Nintendo made to experiment what would happen if they had another screen on the controller itself. And this in return inspired them to add the gyro sensor in the 3DS.

You can see how the second GamePad prototype looked on the first image above. It’s basically a screen with two Wiimotes stuck to it with double-sided tape. This prototype in return led to the creation of Nintendo Land. You can check out the full Iwata Asks here.

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  • Megan Allen

    thats awsome : )

  • Pameliza

    I don’t get it.

  • Mickey Mouse

    Those Wiimotes taped to that pad look very strange.

    • TheLordOfDarkness

       They look like a low-budget, homemade type of gadget. I think that if it were published like that, it would’ve generated a lot of ridicule, to be honest :/

      • Lalu John

        why so serious?

  • Bcphoton Host

    That first picture is cool.

  • DANCRAD

    The first one looks cool with the sort of retro feel. Dont you think? :)

  • TheLast

    Wii U = 2 Wiis duck taped together confirmed?

    /sarcasm/

  • SoulSilverZero

    WOW I WANT THAT CONTROLLER!
    *sarcasm*

  • http://www.mpt-online.eu/ Sylux

    I guess in the second picture the gamepad acts like a sniper scope on the wii zapper. The first picture… Whoa back to the 80′s :P

  • Linskarmo

    I wonder how much the first prototype would go for on eBay…

  • fireheartis1

    lol Thank God they didn’t go with the first prototype people would have never bought the Wii U.

    • Sidney Majurie

       The prototype (first pick with 2 wii mote stuck to the sides) was never
      made for it’s design. Looks like Nintendo mocked it up because the wii
      motes have Gyro ability and that screen in the middle doesn’t. They
      added the screen in the middle to simulate what the GamePad would
      eventually do when finished. That way, they didn’t need to spend extra
      R&D time and money before making the actual GamePad. That’s why it’s
      called a PROTOTYPE. You take the existing tech and slap it on to the
      touchscreen. It was NEVER going to be the design. It was made to test the functionality…

  • Colin Kells-Murphy

    Thank god that first image did not get approved, it would have been the Virtual Boy 2 if that was the case

    • Sidney Majurie

      ..

  • Sidney Majurie

    The prototype (first pick with 2 wii mote stuck to the sides) was never made for it’s design. Looks like Nintendo mocked it up because the wii motes have Gyro ability and that screen in the middle doesn’t. They added the screen in the middle to simulate what the GamePad would eventually do when finished. That way, they didn’t need to spend extra R&D time and money before making the actual GamePad. That’s why it’s called a PROTOTYPE. You take the existing tech and slap it on to the touchscreen. It was NEVER going to be the design. It was made to TEST THE FUNCTIONALITY. Sheesh guys…sheesh.