Nintendo Considering Using Nintendo 3DS As A Second Wii U Controller

By Ishaan . June 9, 2011 . 10:02pm

As of now, the Wii U can only accommodate a single of its special controllers. The tech demos displayed by Nintendo at E3 utilized a combination of Wii remotes and the new tablet controller for multiplayer games. So, will you be able to use multiple tablet controllers with the system once it’s released? posed that same question to Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, who replied that he believes it may be more convenient for people to simply use their Nintendo 3DSes as secondary controllers if they happen to own them.


“Our basic premise is that you can use one with a system,” Miyamoto clarified. “If we got to an idea of having multiple (controllers) it might be just more convenient for people to use their Nintendo 3DS and have a way to connect that.”


He continued: “That being said, we are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friend’s house and they want to play together on Wii U to whether or not something like that would be possible.”

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  • XypherCode

    it’ll really be convenient but personally i prefer using multiple new controllers instead of the 3DS. just saying :D

  • d19xx

    If Sony should use the NGP as a controller for the PS3, instant Wii U.

    • XypherCode

      well they already did with the psp right?

      • Croix

        That was the idea, but I for one would like to see more of it. Or at least some more creative attempts at it.

    • mikanko

      PSV actually has multi-touch, so they’d already be a step above Wii U’s controller. D:

      • ninjaonizuka

        not that much nintendo ds dual screen? and that wud be to much for the wii u soo its fine :>

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Why would Nintendo not consider this in the first place? It must really be in prototype stage.

    • Well they don’t plan to release it untill mid to late 2012 so they have a fair amount of time to be slow with the draw of ideas.
      Personally I think that this Idea will work great with Super Smash Bros. 4.5.
      Both the 3DS as controllers, and friend bringing over their Wii U controller for some multiplayer fun :D

  • If this were to be indeed implemented, then the #WiiU will be region-locked.  >_>

    • PersonaBull

       How so? I’d imagine the Wii U would be ‘region-locked’ in the sense of not being able to use a japanese 3DS with a US/EU Wii-U for this, but I don’t think it automatically means that the rest of the Wii-U functions and capabilities would be.

      • malek86

        True, but regardless, considering Nintendo’s approach to the region question as of late, I have little to no doubt that the WiiU will be region locked.

    • mikanko

      As brazenly hardcore Nintendo has gone to update Wii firmware to make it harder to play import games on the system, it should go without saying Wii U will be region locked.  =/

      • Joanna


        Only thing I really dislike about Nintendo. I want to play those Europe-only games!

  • EusisLandale

    I read this, and all I’m getting is “If you REALLY want to get proper use of the Wii U, you’ll have to shell out for 3DS too. And hey, while you’re at it buy some games for it too so you don’t feel stupid for paying $250+ for a controller!”

    • I knew someone would — whether intentionally or unintentionally — approach it from this angle, so I tried to word my post as clearly as humanly possible. I honestly can’t see a single line in there that suggests anything that you typed in your comment. Are you just trying to start trouble for the heck of it?

      • EusisLandale

        Not trying to start any trouble. I just really do see that being what’s going on there. The can’t use multiple Wii U controllers, but 3DSs instead just screams to me that they will, eventually if not quickly, nudge people as hard as they can to shell out for something they may not really want.

        • I really don’t see it. He used the word “their,” which would imply they already own a 3DS. 

          • EusisLandale

            True, but then that assumes they have it. Sure, for a while and perhaps most games the Wii controllers will suffice. But how long until some game comes along that expects that you can utilize the 3DS? How long until they just stop making Wii controllers and you HAVE to go the 3DS route?

            The idea of simply tying a portable system to a console for the purpose of multiplayer just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want to have to tell my friends and family that they have to go buy their own systems to play with me right there in the same room. I should be able to buy an extra controller that’s just that and not have to worry about strings attached to the deal.

          • Suicunesol

            There may come a day when a game will offer “perks” to people who use a 3DS controller, but I believe it will always be optional. GBA to Gamecube connectivity was optional. So was DS to Wii connectivity.

            And I doubt they’ll drop Wiimote support. Their console, after all, still has “Wii” in its name. Wii U is still a Wii through-and-through.

            …however, in the off chance that some games do require 3DS controllers, hopefully the 3DS will be worth buying at that point, and most people who will own Wii U will already have one.

          • Joanna

            But Miyamoto also said they are looking in to add more controller functionally: “…we are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friend’s house and they want to play together on Wii U…” If they are looking into that, then they are going to make it possible to have more then one controller (if they should get it done). Also previous Wii U articles have mentioned that you don’t need to use this controller to play, you can use Wii mote plus or classic controller, so I’m with Ishaan on this one, I just don’t see it.

      • HistorysGreatestMonster

        He could have stated it in a more delicate manner, but it does very much seem like that’s what Nintendo are going for here.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    I forgot where I found this, but just for the kicks here ya go (even though it is obvious to everyone, a little imagery makes it more recognizable, right?)

    • I love that!!
      Nintendo is so revolutionary they think up the future before they thought that they thought of the future!!!!
      (try making a sentence about video games with more “th” words than that lol)

  • Code

    rarr, I feel the whole notion of WiiU is so convoluted to me T_T; One minute it’s all about the Wiipad, next thing everyone is suddenly using wiimotes again; but suddenly everything’s hucked aside for 3DS’s. rarr, I love you Nintendo but this is like that time I fought a grizzly bear for it’s pile of diamonds; only it wasn’t a grizzly bear, it was a kitten, and it wasn’t fighting as much as was petting, also it may have been on 3DS and the diamonds might just be cataracts, I don’t remember for sure opo;

  • Oh man. PLEASE let me just use my 3DS as the controller period instead of the Wii U one. I always loved using my DS or GBA as a controller with Pokemon Revolution / Zelda Four Swords (respectively) and Crystal Chronicles, and would love the idea of syncing the two devices together for whatever I played.

    Plus I can’t help but think the ergonomics of the 3DS would beat out that behemoth of a controller.

  • Would this really work? 3DS has only one analog stick…

  • malek86

    I’m still not sure if being only able to use one screen controller is a good idea. While I can understand there are technical limitations to it, one must remember the Wii made its fortune on the concept of local multiplayer for the family.

    • It seems kind of unfair that in multiplayer games only one can use the Wii U controller while everyone else is resorted to last gens wonky Wii motes, etc. Will Wii U really take off with people desiring to, in multiplayer games of say CoD etc playing with Wii mote controls…

    • Ladius

      Yeah, this is a major problem, having local multiplayer with one superior controller and three inferior ones is a no-go, and since apparently you won’t be able to buy another Wii-U controller (apparently they aren’t sold as stand-alone, even if this could change) it looks like a poor job for the successor of a console that built its fortune on multi. Also, if the only way to play with two controller will be using a 3DS or bringing another Wii-U controller from a friend’s home I can already smell PR trouble for Nintendo, not to mention they have already admitted that their conference wasn’t able to communicate Wii U’s nature (aside from forum dwellers and journalists, almost everyone think Wii-U is an optional control unit for Wii…).

  • gumby_trucker

    Clearly the reason everybody is asking about multiple pad controllers is because we’ve been expecting something like gc-gba connectivity. I for one would have loved a new four-swords or crystal chronicles, plus the idea of having public and private data (for every player) is as old as gaming itself and lends itself to many cool ideas.

    It is possible, however, that Nintendo actually have something else in mind with this system, perhaps something they haven’t shown us yet. One idea I can think of is a family game where the ‘core’ gamer of the family has a more complex, managerial task to perform, while the parents/little sister play a simpler, more tactical role.

    Regardless of what they come up with, if Nintendo seriously plan on having games both hardcore and casuals can play together in completely different styles at the same time, and get equal amounts of enjoyment out of the experience, they’ve got their work cut out for them.

    • I dont understand the benefit from playing a Wii U version of four sword or crystal chronicles versus just using 4 3DSs to play a 3DS game in that manner? 

  • doomspeller10

    Only one Wiipad per console and Nintendo considering using the 3DS as an additional Wii U controller? Seriously, this sounds a bit short-sighted to me. If I had to choose I’d use the 3DS any day, play Wii U on the big screen and then take it anywhere and play 3ds games… kind of like what Sony did with remote play with the psp and ps3. I won’t deny that it sounds expensive as hell.

  • there’s a video on kotaku that shows multiplayer in the the Killer Freaks game which utilises two wiipads at the same time..unless in the final build the person controlling the protagonist won’t actually be using a wiipad during multiplayer but just use a standard control and watch it on the tv, which would explain why during that segment he controls it with the analogue pad rather than spinning around and whatnot..but that’d be disappointing

    • gumby_trucker

      that’s a classic controller.

      • Sorry yeah you’re right. Well that’s crap – it’d be a lot more fun dropping enemies in behind another player and watching them have to actually spin around and shoot them, etc, the way the single player works. I mean I have my reservations about motion control generally and the the wii U/wiipad in particular but it’s in the area of multiplayer that it gets most interesting, but that’s cut back a lot if there’s only one wiipad used at a time. Oh well

  • HistorysGreatestMonster

    This is great if you already own a 3DS, but if you don’t, this really does seem like they’re trying to get you to buy a $250 controller, if you have no interest in portable gaming. I don’t see why Nintendo has to make this so complicated and not just sell the tablet separately or allow people to continue to use a classic controller option. I know the lack of the classic option is due to no more Gamecube backwards compatibility, but still, they could give the option to use it.

    So much about this system has just seemed like awful, awful ideas.

    • Ladius

      Apparently they don’t want to sell more Wii-U controllers because you won’t be able to use four of them (even if infos are admittedly foggy on this topic, so it’s too soon to comment) and they don’t want parents to buy multiple (and costly) units only to rage when they understand they aren’t able to use them.

      But yeah, the Wii-U presentation was a mess (Nintendo’s stocks reportedly suffered a hit afterwards) and even if it was clearer the concept behind this new console seem to be unclear even to Nintendo, seeing how some details apparently haven’t been sorted out as of yet. Maybe it would have been better to wait some more to show it.

  • eilegz

    without dual analogs, i dont find it useful at all. somehow they should release an improved classic controller pro without the attachment to the wiimote

  • DarkWaterClone

    I am so disappointed that Nintendo is allowing you to only use one of these new controllers. I hate playing Mario Kart & Super Smash Bros with the WiiRemote & because of this you will have to play it with that remote.

    I enjoy the WiiRemote for different kinds of games but it should not be forced to be used with all games. I will be there day one picking up the WiiU but it should support more then one controller. Because for me at least controllers beat remotes.

    I would be perfectly fine if you use the new controller with more then one person you can’t use the screen. But I guess Nintendo wants you to always have the screen on. I think the idea of streaming is cool. But how many times will people need to change the channel so little Tommy can still play a game. I myself have four TVs so I will not run into that problem. I don’t think everyone has that many but you would think that people have at least two. So for me have to use the WiiRemote’s when friends or family come over is not the best way. Because why should only one person get the best setup.

    Also from what I have heard the GameCube controllers will not work with this system. I hope that is not true. Because I use the GC controllers to play most of my games that way. Plus when you have games that would work better with a controller like Donkey Kong Country Returns. But use the WiiRemote instead you almost feel like the rumor that GameCube controllers will not work with the WiiU is true.

    So I hope Nintendo finds away to get more then one controller to work with the new system. Because I prefer controllers more.

    Also I own the 3DS & would still much prefer to use the new controller instead. Because the new controller has more buttons.

    • You can use Classic Controllers as well…

  • I really hope they do this, then I’ll be able to use my 3DS as a controller too :D I also hope that they make the Wii U region free so I can finally import Trace Memory 2 for the Wii ><

  • darkfox1

    Makes Sense

  • Those WiiUmotes look expensive but you’ll miss an analog stick with the 3ds.

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