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[Updated] Is a New Wii U Gamepad In The Works?
Update: According to new evidence from the folks at NintendoLife, it’s been uncovered that the commercial advertising the alleged “slim” Wii U gamepad is, in fact, a rather old one from a re-aired on Japanese television from last spring. The site’s UK branch reported on the commercial back in May and it’s since been theorized that the gamepad in question may have been obscured by blur effects, coincidentally appearing smaller. In light of this case being solved, enjoy the gamepad you have. Nothing to see here, folks.
Original Story: Nintendo has yet to sell separate Wii U gamepads at retail, but if a recent ad can be believed, the company may be bringing a redesigned version of the peripheral device to market for its domestic base.
In one of Japan’s latest ads for Mario Kart 8, a family can be seen enjoying the game with what appears to be a slimmer version of the device while joyously winning (and losing) laps. It remains unknown why the commercial portrays a decidedly American looking family in a Japanese ad, but the question remains: what kind controller are they holding exactly?
The part of the commercial which shows the new GamePad simulates a man playing with the controller on his couch, as his couch actually moves around the house as well. Subsequently, the GamePad that you see in the image above appears mysteriously blurred. The end of the commercial further presents what’s clearly a current, Japan-exclusive, 32 GB white Wii U model.
For the second that the new GamePad appears, however, the change is unmistakable. The controller seems smaller with more space dedicated to the gamepad’s screen. The screen itself not only moves outwards to the corners of the controller, it also borders very close to the GamePad’s physical controls on either side. Compare the image above with the current gamepad below.
The divisive controller has received a variety of criticisms since its release with the console two years ago and critics have long argued for the replacement of the device in favor of the Wii U’s Pro-controller.
If this video really does show a new Wii U GamePad meanwhile, it may be the default replacement gamePad Nintendo plans to bring to retail. This redesign may have been necessary to keep costs down, and possibly open up opportunities for multiple GamePad games, and so Nintendo would have made design improvements as well.
Are you a Wii U owner? Would you buy this new gamePad to replace or supplement your current controller? Share your thoughts with us down in the comments below.