Misc Missed potential of the Wii U

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
EDIT: Just for clarity off the bat, this missed potential I speak of is in regard to experiences that could only really have been uniquely experienced on a system like the Wii U. This isn't about the missed potential of what could have made the system a commercial success. That aspect holds no weight in the topic I wish to discuss here.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to look back at the Wii U and recognize that despite being a commercial failure that it was a great and unique system that truly offered some unique experiences that can't (easily) be experienced elsewhere (2 Switchs can accomplish the same kind of setup when they're directly connected to each other, if one is docked and one is handheld, Pac Man Vs on the system lets us realize that same kind of functionality, but beyond that and just having multiplayer Switch games played in such a way, that's about all we've seen of such functionality on the Switch. Also a Vita communicating with a PS4 could achieve similar results, but to my understanding that kind of functionality was never really utilized by Sony beyond remote play).

Even still, while we got some great experiences on the Wii U, it isn't hard to recognize that there is still a lot ground that could be covered with the system. We know they dropped some of such features because a game was then getting a multiplatform release, like Breath of the Wild originally offering an always displayed Map on the GamePad and allowing for on the fly inventory management without pausing like in Wind Waker HD. I'd have certainly enjoyed those features, but I digress.

But what else would you have wanted to see for unique Wii U experiences that never materialized? Here are some thoughts I've had:

-It probably goes without saying that the announced ability for 2 GamePads on the same system was never realized, and that alone could change up a LOT. The major GameCube games that played when linked to a GBA could certainly have reappeared here as 2-player only versions: Four Swords Adventures or Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles would have made for great 2 Player versions on the Wii U with both players having their own GamePad for their equivalent GBA functions in the original games.

-Split Screen multiplayer Virtual Console games could have had an option to display one split screen on the TV and the other split screen on the GamePad. Nintendo 64 games are an easy target here, 2 player Mario Kart 64 or Donkey Kong 64's multiplayer for example could have done this (maybe even 3 player split screen if they had implemented the ability to connect to a second GamePad). But there are old games that had split screen too that could have utilized this: Super Mario Kart, Sonic 2 and 3's race modes definitely could too(I know Genesis wasn't on the Wii U's VC, but it's an example that could have used the feature regardless).

-Seems like Mario Kart 8 could theoretically have offered 5 player multiplayer where the TV is split in 4 screens, and the GamePad is their own screen. I imagine this wasn't an option because at that point, frame rate and/or resolution would take a hit, still why couldn't one player get their own screen on the GamePad and not have the GamePad mirror the split screen on the TV when playing with 2 to 4 players?

-If they had released the ability to connect two GamePads to the system, then a Remake of Spy Vs. Spy could have been perfect. Both players play mainly on their GamePads, but when they both enter the same room and are able to fight, then you'd both look at the TV and see each other in the same room and could fight there, as kind of an evolution of how that mechanic originally worked in the original games of the series.

-The ability to play GBA virtual console games in multiplayer seems like a no-brainer. Those multiplayer experiences go largely unrealized today, yet there are so many great ones, seems like it'd feasibly be possible to have 2 Game Boys emulating at once (potentially 3 if they again added that second Game Pad connectivity), one on the TV, the other on the GamePad, and then have them connected so they could be experiencing the multiplayer aspects of those great games (I genuinely miss the GBA version of Mario Bros that came bundled with every freaking Mario game for the system).

-Minecraft dropped the ball with their Wii U port, they could have allowed for on the fly inventory management without having to pause the game, but instead the screen is just mirrored, not allowing for this feature, even though I believe the devs tweeted that the ability would have arrived in time, it never did.

-The Wii U can communicate with a DS (or 3DS), so why not allow for any DS VC game on the Wii U to be able to wirelessly connect to DS systems for multiplayer experiences? This feature is incredibly underutilized and when they had a perfect use for it, they didn't even bother to implement it, such a shame.

-Pokemon Snap. Do I need to say more? No system will ever be as perfectly designed for a Pokemon Snap game than the Wii U, and the fact that the Switch actually saw a new Snap game, makes this all the more maddening that it never saw a Wii U release. I'm sure you know what I mean: your GamePad is your camera, utilizing the Gyro, you move it around to get your best pictures, while the TV continues to show your craft as it moves along it's path to help you catch glimpses of what else is happening around you beyond what you're looking to capture on your GamePad.

-Circling back to Breath of the Wild, I do kinda wonder if they may have had bigger plans for Wolf Link in the game. Like maybe a second player could have controlled Wolf Link on the GamePad. I bet they considered this at some point, but realistically it would have just been too taxing on the Wii U, and framerate and/or resolution would have taken a big hit to implement, still that would have been really cool if they could have done that.

-This one is more theoretical, I'm not sure if this easily could have been implemented or not, but when in the vWii or launching Wii VC games from the Wii U menu, it'd be nice if the system could be tricked into recognizing a Wii U pro controller as a Wii Classic controller connected to a Wiimote. As it is, the GamePad can function in this way for Wii VC games and injects, but not the Pro Controllers.

-The native Super Mario 64 port could utilize the modded code that allows for 2 player split screen, and again, have one player on the TV and one on the GamePad. I'm fairly certain this one is entirely possible now, but no one has done it yet.


Those are just my immediate thoughts on the matter. I imagine that some of these things could theoretically be accomplished by the homebrew scene, though I'm certain not all of them can, and I'm also not holding my breath on any of them ever being realized at this point. But I really would have loved to see a lot of this realized on the system. Regardless, what are your thoughts? Are there other experiences you can think of that you'd love to have seen accomplished on the Wii U? If so, I'd love to hear your ideas too.
 
Last edited by MikaDubbz,

Olmectron

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
2,463
Trophies
1
Age
29
Location
A game
XP
2,909
Country
Mexico
Pokkén Tournament did the thing about a player in the Gamepad and the other in the TV output. Such a simple feature, yet so genius.

About other games, like N64 games split screen between Gamepad and TV... Well, that would have required a lot of reworking from Nintendo on the original source code, and they weren't doing that without calling them "remasters" or whatever.

Everything else is on point. My biggest complaint will always be how they nerfed the BOTW experience just because they wanted Switch owners to feel good they got the same version as Wii U.

I would have loved if eating and changing weapons in BOTW was only done real time, it would have added a real challenge for every speed runner out there.
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
About other games, like N64 games split screen between Gamepad and TV... Well, that would have required a lot of reworking from Nintendo on the original source code, and they weren't doing that without calling them "remasters" or whatever.

Actually I know a fairly simple way they could have done it. Just take the Single Display and stretch it to be twice as tall, and position the screen so that the top half displays on the TV and the bottom half displays on the GamePad. I think that theoretically we actually could accomplish this ourselves without Nintendo officially implementing the feature. Granted Resolution wouldn't be the greatest, but it'd still be pretty cool. And yeah, the display would always be stretched if we accomplished it, but if Nintendo properly implemented it, it could have just been a display option in the settings that you could toggle like the DS VC display options.
 

Olmectron

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
2,463
Trophies
1
Age
29
Location
A game
XP
2,909
Country
Mexico
Actually I know a fairly simple way they could have done it. Just take the Single Display and stretch it to be twice as tall, and position the screen so that the top half displays on the TV and the bottom half displays on the GamePad. I think that theoretically we actually could accomplish this ourselves without Nintendo officially implementing the feature. Granted Resolution wouldn't be the greatest, but it'd still be pretty cool.
I'm not a fan of stretched emulators, so...

Alright, I mean, that counts as a way to achieve it, just doesn't feel right.
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
I'm not a fan of stretched emulators, so...

Alright, I mean, that counts as a way to achieve it, just doesn't feel right.
haha I don't disagree that it wouldn't have been the prettiest or most viable means of accomplishing it, but it would work. And yeah it stretches the display, but the split screen for games like Mario Kart 64 is already kinda crunched anyway, so it'd kinda be a counter to that. Either way such a game doesn't look too pretty in 2 player split screen, so how those games would look wouldn't be my biggest of concerns.
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
I love the Wii U and it had so much potential if Nintendo made better choices with the system. The best choice they could have made was scrapping the "Wii" name, that would have freed them up far more than anything else.
This is true, but I'm not really talking about the missed potential of what could have made it a more successful system (there is plenty of that), I just mean the missed potential of experiences the system could have offered but never did.
 

KleinesSinchen

GBAtemp's Backup Reminder + Fearless Testing Sina
Member
GBAtemp Patron
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
2,625
Trophies
2
XP
5,995
Country
Germany
Giving individual players individual screens at full resolution would be a lot better than stretching, but goes beyond throwing the old ROMs into an emulator. That would have meant work: "work=time=money" You will have to achieve a great amount of sales more to justify it.

For GBA multiplayer games it wouldn't that complex if they allowed the emulator to load more than one instance of a ROM at a time.
=========

I agree with the thread title: The Wii U has a lot of potential that was never used. Sadly this will most likely not change through homebrew.
 

The Catboy

GBATemp's Official Lesbian Catboy
Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
24,504
Trophies
3
Age
30
Location
In front of my Switch
XP
24,331
Country
Antarctica
This is true, but I'm not really talking about the missed potential of what could have made it a more successful system (there is plenty of that), I just mean the missed potential of experiences the system could have offered but never did.
Fair, there’s definitely a lot of that as well. The Wii U could have easily been one of the best remembered systems if it wasn’t so mishandled
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
Giving individual players individual screens at full resolution would be a lot better than stretching, but goes beyond throwing the old ROMs into an emulator. That would have meant work: "work=time=money" You will have to achieve a great amount of sales more to justify it.
Oh for sure, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying stretching the display is the best option for accomplishing such a thing, I'm just saying it'd be an easy way to accomplish the effect. And with Nintendo being Nintendo, if they did offer such a feature on the Wii U, that likely would have been the route they'd have gone instead of the more satisfying, but requiring much more extra work method.
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
Another missed feature is a native media player. Sure it had some streaming services, but I don't understand why they didn't add a media player that could play your music and videos from your SD card directly from the Wii U side of the device.

An eReader also seems like a totally viable option for the Wii U, heck Nintendo essentially made one just for Hyrule Historia, shame that wasn't adapted for any ebooks we might have on our SD card as well.
 

Zense

GBARunner2 config: Touch touchscreen -> Press R
Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
1,868
Trophies
1
XP
3,253
Country
Italy
I agree with all the listed missing features and personally I would add that the Wii U would have been a perfect chance for console gamers to experience Strategy games, both real-time and turn-based, since the gamepad's touch functionality would have made this work well. Pikmin 3 mostly proved that actually. So for example you could have had Starcraft, Warcraft, CnC etc. Also classic point n click games would have worked well on the gamepad or even with wiimotes.

Also CoD also gave you the option to have one player on the TV and one on gamepad which was and is great when playing online, apart from the hit on resolution obviously.

I think eventually we'll see more gamepad-utilizing homebrews appear, but Wii U will take a lot more time to get stuff like this due to the initial and continued smaller interest.
 
Last edited by Zense,

KleinesSinchen

GBAtemp's Backup Reminder + Fearless Testing Sina
Member
GBAtemp Patron
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
2,625
Trophies
2
XP
5,995
Country
Germany
Another missed feature is a native media player. Sure it had some streaming services, but I don't understand why they didn't add a media player that could play your music and videos from your SD card directly from the Wii U side of the device.

An eReader also seems like a totally viable option for the Wii U, heck Nintendo essentially made one just for Hyrule Historia, shame that wasn't adapted for any ebooks we might have on our SD card as well.
The same argumentation as with the DVD/BD functions: Virtually everybody already has some kind of device being able to do that task. I don't know if there would be any additional fees to pay for a device offering h.264 decoding – for DVD/BD it is the case.

Another thing: Additional software using offline, user provided data has attack surface. Nintendo hates homebrew… and a complex media player has a lot of potential for exploits. They tried to mitigate possible browser exploits on the 3DS with the version check before allowing browser usage at some point. For pure offline exploits in a media player there is nothing that can be done: Vulnerable version = Jackpot
=======

I agree with you here as well. Having additional functions for music/video/ebook on the Wii U would be nice (not thinking about possible exploits).
 

MikaDubbz

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
2,250
Trophies
1
Age
34
XP
4,049
Country
United States
The same argumentation as with the DVD/BD functions: Virtually everybody already has some kind of device being able to do that task. I don't know if there would be any additional fees to pay for a device offering h.264 decoding – for DVD/BD it is the case.

Another thing: Additional software using offline, user provided data has attack surface. Nintendo hates homebrew… and a complex media player has a lot of potential for exploits. They tried to mitigate possible browser exploits on the 3DS with the version check before allowing browser usage at some point. For pure offline exploits in a media player there is nothing that can be done: Vulnerable version = Jackpot
=======

I agree with you here as well. Having additional functions for music/video/ebook on the Wii U would be nice (not thinking about possible exploits).
For the record I wasn't talking about blurays or dvds, just media you put on your SD card. It'd be nice if you could play music on the Wii U while playing video games like Sony and Microsoft have offered since the PS3 and 360.
 

KleinesSinchen

GBAtemp's Backup Reminder + Fearless Testing Sina
Member
GBAtemp Patron
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
2,625
Trophies
2
XP
5,995
Country
Germany
For the record I wasn't talking about blurays or dvds, just media you put on your SD card. It'd be nice if you could play music on the Wii U while playing video games like Sony and Microsoft have offered since the PS3 and 360.
I understood you were not talking about DVD/BD. I just compared the missing file based media player to Nintendo's official statement why they omitted disc playback: "Everybody has a device doing that." The same is true for playing files from SD/USB.

I don't see the point playing different music while in game... guess this comes down to personal preference so the option should be there - doesn't do any harm for users not wanting it.

Loading arbitrary user files for playback, background or not, still has some attack surface. Didn't Nintendo also get rid of the user accessible browser on the Switch (don't have one)?
 

Zense

GBARunner2 config: Touch touchscreen -> Press R
Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
1,868
Trophies
1
XP
3,253
Country
Italy
I understood you were not talking about DVD/BD. I just compared the missing file based media player to Nintendo's official statement why they omitted disc playback: "Everybody has a device doing that." The same is true for playing files from SD/USB.

I don't see the point playing different music while in game... guess this comes down to personal preference so the option should be there - doesn't do any harm for users not wanting it.

Loading arbitrary user files for playback, background or not, still has some attack surface. Didn't Nintendo also get rid of the user accessible browser on the Switch (don't have one)?
They more or less got rid of it. Basically you can open it if you try to connect to a Wifi spot that requires you to accept something in a browser.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KleinesSinchen

UltraDolphinRevolution

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
1,224
Trophies
0
XP
1,772
Country
China
like Breath of the Wild originally offering an always displayed Map on the GamePad and allowing for on the fly inventory management without pausing like in Wind Waker HD.
Now that you mention it: Perhaps you weren´t originally meant to be able to pause the game in fights and heal every few seconds (kind of like in Zombie U). Would have made combat more challenging and exciting.

Split Screen multiplayer Virtual Console games could have had an option to display one split screen on the TV and the other split screen on the GamePad.
This feature actually exists for the 2 Call of Duty games.
Seems like Mario Kart 8 could theoretically have offered 5 player multiplayer where the TV is split in 4 screens, and the GamePad is their own screen. I imagine this wasn't an option because at that point, frame rate and/or resolution would take a hit, still why couldn't one player get their own screen on the GamePad and not have the GamePad mirror the split screen on the TV when playing with 2 to 4 players?
So what if the framerate takes a hit? Just reduce graphics quality. Way better than getting minor changes to the same game over and over again. They really didn´t take enough risks on Wii and Wii U. How about a Smash Bros game where a 5th player can manipulate item drops or stage hazards etc...

In general, we should have seen more Coop with asymmetric gameplay... instead they even cut out the Tingle feature in The Wind Waker HD... a crime against humanity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MikaDubbz and Zense

Zense

GBARunner2 config: Touch touchscreen -> Press R
Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
1,868
Trophies
1
XP
3,253
Country
Italy
Now that you mention it: Perhaps you weren´t originally meant to be able to pause the game in fights and heal every few seconds (kind of like in Zombie U). Would have made combat more challenging and exciting.


This feature actually exists for the 2 Call of Duty games.

So what if the framerate takes a hit? Just reduce graphics quality. Way better than getting minor changes to the same game over and over again. They really didn´t take enough risks on Wii and Wii U. How about a Smash Bros game where a 5th player can manipulate item drops or stage hazards etc...

In general, we should have seen more Coop with asymmetric gameplay... instead they even cut out the Tingle feature in The Wind Waker HD... a crime against humanity.
That Smash idea souns pretty cool actually! You'd sort of do the job that the Master Hand does.
 

Deleted member 514389

GBA Connoisseur
Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
510
Trophies
0
Location
the toolshed
Website
f.ls
XP
753
Country
Germany
That's like talking about the "potential of my first failed marriage".

Nintendo's "second" marriage was successful however, and as they say, that means the first (WiiU) didn't really fail.

If there isn't really a effect on the present n future, dwelling in the past is a waste...
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
    KennieDaMeanie @ KennieDaMeanie: Gitgud cheaters