Compared to Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, Nintendo says the Wii U GamePad offers the only real innovation this console generation.
Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales Scott Moffitt recently went on record to defend the GamePad — the tablet-like controller for Wii U that offers a second screen experience. While Moffitt admits the Wii U GamePad wasn’t initially marketed to its full potential, he remains confident that it’s Nintendo’s ace in the hole.
“With games like Star Fox and Mario Maker, we are continuing to show the promise of the GamePad and, candidly, early on we probably didn’t showcase the promise of the GamePad as well as we could have, Moffitt told Examiner. “That’s our real secret sauce is [the Wii U GamePad] it is the only real innovation in this console cycle, it’s the only real new idea or game experience and with Super Mario Maker it shows you how magical it is to create levels with that GamePad. It’s so easy and intuitive.”
In June, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto blamed lackluster Wii U sales on competition from tablet devices, saying the Wii U GamePad wasn’t as unique as the company intended.
“Tablets themselves appeared in the marketplace and evolved very, very rapidly,” Miyamoto said. “Unfortunately the Wii U system launched at a time where the uniqueness of those features were perhaps not as strong as they were when we had first begun developing them.”
When Super Mario Maker launches on Wii U next month, players will be able to create their own custom Mario-themed levels and share then with friends. Star Fox Zero, due to release on Wii U this holiday season, places the player in the cockpit (on the Wii U GamePad), while providing a third-person view on the television screen.
As of December 2014, Nintendo’s Wii U sold just over 9 million units worldwide since debuting in November 2012. Since releasing in November 2013, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems have sold over 12 million and 22 million units, respectively, as of March 2015.