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From a pure conceptual perspective, which is the better "Gimmick controller", Wii U Gamepad, or Joy-Con?

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - From a pure conceptual perspective, which is the better "Gimmick controller", Wii U Gamepad, or Joy-Con?

I also wouldn’t really call either a gimmick. A gimmick is something like “blast processing” or “New tropical blue colour.” Basically a novelty attribute with no substantial purpose other than generating interest: while Wii U’s Gamepad and the Joy Cons clearly have interface applications of substance - regardless of how you feel about them.

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The Wii U gamepad is a genius idea that simply takes a lot of effort to see its benefits. Easily the better of the two, (possibly the best idea for a controller ever) but one that needs to be realized which takes time and money from developers. With this controller only one is needed, you don't need a pro controller, but even if you did the pro controller was like $50.

The joycons are wii motes that don't stay attached to my Switch, and a pro controller is a must. weird botton placement and small design means it's uncomfortable to use for one person, and a straight chore for two people. A pro controller is also $80, which SUCKS!

bigtakilla said:
The Wii U gamepad is a genius idea that simply takes a lot of effort to see its benefits. Easily the better of the two, (possibly the best idea for a controller ever) but one that needs to be realized which takes time and money from developers. With this controller only one is needed, you don't need a pro controller, but even if you did the pro controller was like $50.

The joycons are wii motes that don't stay attached to my Switch, and a pro controller is a must. weird botton placement and small design means it's uncomfortable to use for one person, and a straight chore for two people. A pro controller is also $80, which SUCKS!

I only have the Joy Cons, and I find the dual-joy con approach more comfortable than any other controller I've ever had. To be honest, I don't really like any kind of pro controllers.

To each their own, but I definitely will never need a pro controller, or use one if I had it.

 

Anyway, a lot of people are focusing on the Wii-like capabilities of the Joy Cons and ignoring their other major application: attaching them to the tablet in order to make it into a handheld. From what I have seen, the hybrid capabilities of the Switch carry a very strong appeal for potential consumers, especially with certain types of software.

If you're a Mario Kart fan, you'll quickly find that one gamepad is not nearly enough. This is where the Switch and its hybrid mode shines, you can have up to 12 people playing at once; whereas Mario Kart on Wii U there was a smaller limit, only one person had their own screen. Of course, there's online and single layer mode, but they feel more like practice/unlock extra stuff modes than the actual game... I also strongly feel that the hybridization (thanks in part to the joycon ability to hook to the side of the console) is a large part for Mario Kart 8 being such a huge driving factor for selling the Switch. For the most part the main reason they bought a Switch after the Zelda Breath of the Wild push, was so they could play Mario Kart with us at lunch hours; and given the sales figures of Mario Kart + Switch that have been going on since the launch of the title, I can't imagine my anecdote is anywhere near a unique story.



Both are decent concepts, but the joy-cons are executed far, far better.  

The joy-cons fit perfectly with the concept of what the Switch is.  They allow you to play in handheld mode or make your own type of Pro controller or the more free-hand dual joy-con approach.  Also for a lot of multiplayer games they count as 2 controllers.  And of course they have motion controls for Wii style games.  The only thing I don't like about the joy-cons is the HD rumble, which I feel is an unnecessary feature that drives up the price.  Other than that the joy-cons are an awesome concept with a great execution.

The Wii U gamepad to me is a bunch of wasted potential.  But to me the wasted potential is in the Virtual Console/eshop.  First of all they could have put a ton of popular mobile games on the eShop.  I mean if I have this touchpad, then why not give me touchpad games?  They missed the whole mobile market which could have been there.  On top of that they could have put a ton of DS and 3DS games on the Virtual Console.  You can use the TV to be the "top" screen and the gamepad to be the "bottom" screen.  I would have liked to play a lot of those DS/3DS games on the big screen.  At first it seems like DS and 3DS games would have to be handheld only, but it wouldn't have been hard to make it happen on the Wii U.

So, basically I can't fault the hardware designers at all in either case.  But whoever was thinking about the Wii U didn't really make it nearly as consumer friendly as it could have been.



The dual screens worked with DS/3DS because you could actually look at the two at the same time. That isn’t the case with Wii U, you’re either looking at the TV or looking at the Gamepad. So 3DS/DS style 2-screen games do not work on Wii U at all. Not to mention the two screen play completely defeats the purpose of off TV play... if that purpose wasn’t already defeated by the fact that it was like a 5-8 meter range.

The stuff that the gamepad did do as a two screen device works no more efficiently than going into another menu screen on a single screen device. Games like EBA can’t be done on Wii U the way they can on DS... not unless they fit it all on one screen.

One sort of game that could conceivably be done better is a game where a person has a screen hidden from other players, and they compete against each other... and the Switch can do that way better since you can have multiple people with their own hidden screens.

Last edited by Jumpin - 5 days ago

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Jumpin said:

The dual screens worked with DS/3DS because you could actually look at the two at the same time. That isn’t the case with Wii U, you’re either looking at the TV or looking at the Gamepad. So 3DS/DS style 2-screen games do not work on Wii U at all. Not to mention the two screen play completely defeats the purpose of off TV play... if that purpose wasn’t already defeated by the fact that it was like a 5-8 meter range.

The stuff that the gamepad did do as a two screen device works no more efficiently than going into another menu screen on a single screen device. Games like EBA can’t be done on Wii U the way they can on DS... not unless they fit it all on one screen.

One sort of game that could conceivably be done better is a game where a person has a screen hidden from other players, and they compete against each other... and the Switch can do that way better since you can have multiple people with their own hidden screens.

It's true that not every game on DS/3DS would transfer well.  But that ignores the fact that a lot of games have the top screen as the primary screen, and the second screen can often be things like inventory or map or something else that you only look at occasionally.  Really most of the games that I've seen on the DS/3DS are like that.  For example I would really like to play New Super Mario Bros on a big screen.



I would say games did that as more of a “because we should use the screen for something” thing rather than something essential to the game. Even the way XCX used it (and was praised for using the Gamepad correctly) would be transferable to another menu screen. I don’t see much convenience gained by simply looking at another screen rather than simply pressing the select button.

There is one benefit to the Gamepad over the joy cons as far as I can see, and that’s that it has a touchscreen interface when in console mode. The Switch can have that too in handheld mode, and in console mode it can use the gyroscopic pointer (which works much like the Wii IR) it simple directional controls. When it comes to applications that benefit from this, they’re not going to be very action oriented of attention is required between two screens - mostly things like Miiverse and Netflix; IMO the Apple TV remote is superior to the Gamepad for this sort of thing since you don’t need to look away from the TV screen to control what’s happening. Future joy cons will have trackpads if they’re important for any of Nintendo’s applications - right now I don’t think games generally benefit from these: maybe Civ 6?