(Photo : Nintendo)
Nintendo has announced that the Wii U GamePad will not be sold separate from the console, as no game currently in development for the console will take advantage of two separate tablet screens.
In an interview with IGN, Nintendo of America's(NOA) president, Reggie Fils-Amie, states: "We have deliberately not announced the availability of the GamePad as a separate, standalone accessory here in the United States."
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He adds, "The reason for that is simple - there are no games in the launch window that take advantage of a second GamePad. And [because of that], I want all of that hardware production to be focused on driving sales at retail."
Note that the NOA president does not rule out future releases of the accessory, and cites manufacturing considerations for Nintendo's decision. There is a likelihood that, as the Wii U ages, the GamePad will be introduced into the marketplace in order to take advantage of future game development advances and serve an established consumer base. This holiday is a very sensitive time for Nintendo, and they must tailor their offerings to create the need for a second GamePad in the first place.
Reggie continues, "What I mean by that is that Wii U is a console and a GamePad together. If I were to take additional GamePads and make them available as an accessory, then I would have less Wii U console hardware to sell into retail. You know, probably one of your questions is whether I'm going to meet demand. The only way we're going to achieve that here in the Americas is to not have that GamePad accessory, so I can maximize my overall volume."
The original Wii saw the release of numerous accessories, including the Wii Fit balance board and the Wii Motion Plus, which enhanced the motion sensing capabilities of the controller. Expect Nintendo to release the accessory no earlier than when launch demand is met.
The Wii U will launch on November 18 with a basic set the costs $299.99 and a deluxe version priced at $349.99.The Basic is white and will have 8 GB of memory and come bundled with a sensor bar, AC adaptor, and a HDMI cable. The deluxe is black and will have 32GB of memory, and supplements the basic option with a copy of Nintendo Land, a GamePad charging cradle, and stands for the GamePad and console.