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Does The Wii U GamePad Have Latency Issues?

Shack News recently received the opportunity to play Mass Effect 3 on Wii U at EA’s Summer Jam event. The publication said that they encountered slight latency problems when playing the game exclusively on the Wii U GamePad.

Taking your eyes off the action to look down at the GamePad feels cumbersome–and in harder difficulties, would likely mean the death of your character as it gets pummeled by enemy fire. The GamePad’s odd size also makes it difficult to quickly access these buttons. Letting go of your right hand in order to press a button in the middle of the large controller doesn’t feel fluid as simply hitting X on a controller, for example.

I actually preferred playing exclusively on the GamePad, as it was less confusing than the TV hybrid play. However, I felt as though there was a tiny bit of latency. My response time felt slightly slower than when playing on the TV–makes sense, given the Wii U GamePad is receiving a wireless video feed. Also, the game obviously loses some fidelity on the GamePad’s low resolution screen.

204 thoughts on “Does The Wii U GamePad Have Latency Issues?”

    1. Doesn’t it feel like every News Media is trying to find every way possible to make the Wii U have a bad name? They will never do this to the next Xbox and Playstation

  1. It’ll obviously differ from game to game. We’ve had past examples of the gamepad screen displaying things before the TV did…

      1. Exactly, actually this latency issue is all the developer’s fault. RockBand, Guitar Hero, hell I think even DDR had latency calibrations to sync what was done on the peripherals to your TV’s capacity. If the game has latency issues it’s all the developer’s lazy fault. And even if these people mention it, when I played it I didn’t notice anything at all. In fact I bet that the sole reason we hear complaining is because of a lack of being able to multitask between two screens, which isn’t hard to do. Some people just decide to blame their failure on whatever helps them sleep at night for being such an unskilled player.

  2. a latency issue would definitely hurt alot for this consoles credibility but I am pretty sure Nintendo knows that as well and would never let the console get into consumer hands if they knew there was a flaw with the controller streaming feature.

    1. a latency issue would definitely hurt alot for this consoles credibility

      I am so glad that you actually see a weakness in the wiiU. I salute you. If only more people admitted to Nintendo’s failings more often…

      +1 from me

        1. This is old news that I read before sickr posted this. and what the guy said tells me everything. It is a problem that needs addressing. If xbox or sony copy the wiiU pad and make it better, then Nintendo will flat on their face… simples

              1. I just downloaded Dead Space 2 (good old Psn plus giving it me for free :3), and, if all games had that quality graphics till the end of time, id be okay with that. Its look fantastic. Gaming companies should just be saying, “no, fuck it, these graphics are good enough, its not nesseccary anymore, lets just make good games”.
                I mean, DS2 is 11GB of memory, and its about 6 hours long….seeing as next gen will all have 25GB disk, that can also be dual layered to be 50GB, companies should just be making longer, better games. This gen was all flashy, but not substance. Obviouslynot with all games, but the most part. I mean the Wii disks hold a maximumof 8.5GB, thats the dual layered one. Skyward Sword is over 30 hours long on average. Thats why games appear expensive, because theyre too short. Gives us bigger, longer games for next gen, not better graphics, we’re not restricted by graphics anymore, just lack of creativity and laziness.

                1. Wow, I agree with this so much, people don’t realise that the graphics are fine, look at Super Mario Galaxy, it looks fantastic and it’s not even on a console that’s considered to have good graphics

                    1. Lack of substance? You forgot Oblivion and Skyrim :P both Award winners.

                      Mario galaxy was visually impressive but I played it on Nintendo dolphin (an emulator that upscales to 1080p) Pity Nintendo decided to be cheapskates and only did a SD console. It looked fantastic on the PC.

          1. If Sony and Microsoft copy the Wii U and make it better, I don’t see how it would fall on it’s face. There’s of course the obvious issue of “Let’s get this, I heard it wasn’t laggy”. But keep in mind it would encourage developers to get more multi platforms on the Wii U. Time will obviously tell if they balance out.

            Let’s hope nintendo fixes this. This will definitely hurt in the long run if it isn’t addressed.
            And if it isn’t, I’ll be waiting for the inevitable “Wii GamePad plus controller, better streaming!”, or the “Wii GamePad plus add-on, attach to improve your streaming capabilities!” :P

            1. By the time a wiiUpad plus comes out, the competitors will have their own versions and prob better tech. Not counting the SmartGlass but the next xbox console itself.

              This is a problem that needs addressing. Also when reggie used the gamePad for zombiU it glitched when it tried to zombify him. Thank god Nintendo actually bit the bullet and now want core gamers to play wiiU with traditional controls and not gimmicky wagglesticks. Not enough though, I need to see NEXT GEN games that will impress me not ports or games that look as good as what is out atm.

              ps: pikmin 3 was originally a wii game but upscaled for wiiU instead so dont bother arguing saying that is next gen.

                1. sigh do your homework Gamer


                  Miyamoto said the following

                  “Originally, I was making Pikmin 3 to be launched on the Wii platform,” Miyamoto told Entertainment Weekly. “Because the Wii U is capable of HD quality pictures, and will be accompanied by the subscreen on your hand. I thought that I would be able to make a Pikmin that was closer to my ideal. I am now actually enjoying myself, working on the game.”

                  Case adjourned

              1. *pikmin 3 was originally CONSIDERED to be on the wii, but then they began development on the wiiu and decided it should be on the wii u instead. it was fully developed on the wii u .

          2. Nintendo has patent on the game pad so Sony and Microsoft can’t copy it for some years no matter how much they want to do so. The patent they have covers it up good enough to avoid cheap rip-offs. They will not be able to copy it until the end of the Wii Us life cycle and then it will be PS move all over again and i don’t think Sony will redo that.

            1. I agree and besides you can’t use smartglass like the Wii U gamepad because you need to have the 360 controller in one and the the device running the smart glass app in the other.

      1. Yeah, it would. Except it doesnt have an issue. I posted a video showing it doesnt, and some guy below posted a click where they actually did a test to see how much “slower” it was. It was 116ms FASTER on the gamepad

            1. Yep. It’s also funny how 360 made ZERO profit for MS until Kinect got released! So, MS will have to focus on Kinect 2 if they wanna make profit!

                1. Yep. And Sony can’t make an uber console because they would go bankrupt, so Nintendo will be fine for a while.

                    1. Well, they are wrong. No company this gen will make an uber console. Nintendo will make a strong console with 3rd party support, but also get casual games. Sony will make a kinda cheap console with enough power so that it handles games. Sony will try not to lose money like this gen. And MS? They will make a console that has Kinect 2…….

                    2. I heard a stupid comment that they will try to sell the other next gen consoles at a loss and make it up in software sales. The games would have to be pretty expensive.

              1. actually, and im not a microsoft fanboy by ANY means, but microsoft made a boat load of cash off of the 360 since it launched. infact, out of the three, the only company that has been constantly losing money is sony. they’ve been losing money off of the playstation 3 since the day it launched, but microsoft has been turning a profit almost the entire time.

  3. OH MY…..THE ALL MIGHTY NINTENDO HAS DONE IT AGAIN! They never do anything wrong and the wiiU tech is so so and ever so powerful!!!!!!!!!

            1. He’s a pathetic excuse for a human being, I am the real Aeolus – someone who can competently form a sentence without devolving into a stupidity-fest.

              1. i think theres 3 of you. 1 is you of course, the other is the fake and doesnt use caps like a little kid and the other is Ness trying to be his boyfriend in disguise

    1. the games not finalized yet, it was a demo. and plus since the controller connects over bluetooth and they were playing at a summer showcase event where several bluetooth enabled devices were on at the same time, there was likely just connection interference. As for him not being able to play with two screens or touch a simple command on the touch screen, he will need to pussy down and man up. It’s not like smartglass is going to be any simpler…

  4. From watching a Game Informer (i think it was them) interview with this game running, i dont get what hes talking about.

    The buttons are mapped exactly the same distance as a normal controller, and quick keys on the touch screen are mapped on the 2 sides amd customisable, so you dont even have to look, or at least only glance for a second. The only time you have to look at the screen for more than a second is when moving your team mates to a position on the map.

    As for the gamepad, he pushed the button, amd the display was on instantly, and it ran smoothly, and it was just as easy ti change back. Theres been no report of latency on any other game.

    So no, hes just not used to playing the the gamepad, which has a small adjustment period, as expected

  5. I think these issues may be minor, but I can’t say for sure until I play it myself. Maybe he just wasn’t used to the UPad yet. I imagine it would take sometime to get used to the new gameplay, especially if you’ve played the XBox/PS3 version of the game. Leave luck to heaven.

              1. Well. The lack of 3rd party support for the last 3 gens was Nintendo’s fault, so they are not really perfect.

                1. yep and they still have not learnt. All the launch is is third party ports, the only exceptions is ZombiU and rayman which will both be avaliable on other platforms in the future

        1. I never said that. many people asked me if I hate Nintendo. I dont hate Nintendo, i just HATE nintendo fanboys! Matter in fact, I have a wii sitting near me for my siblings to play.

          I am getting bored answering the same questions :P

          1. I think it’s quite obvious enough that you do hate Nintendo. Just to quote you a bit up the page;
            “OH MY…..THE ALL MIGHTY NINTENDO HAS DONE IT AGAIN! They never do anything wrong and the wiiU tech is so so and ever so powerful!!!!!!!!!



            1. Nope, he’s a wannabe.

              The majority who have commented are, actually. I find it disturbing how seriously they’re taking this though.

          1. Dumbass, i meant the ps3 launch title, Lair. “i buy a game, i want it to run the tech”. Well Lair was a piece of shit, and one of the only ps3 exclusive launch titles, along with Heavenly Sword, that nobody liked, or was too short

                1. That was something nice, but the game was so boring. Mediocre controls and the graphics………. Looked like a PS2 game. The first game that truly showed what the PS3 can do was Uncharted.

            1. You should really read about games before trying :P God bless demos eh?

              and the dumbass is you for buying shovelware…I make good purchases because I research games well :) and I NEVER buy a game at launch especially skyrim knowing Bethsda’s track record when it comes to bugs.

              The Ps3 had a bad launch but hey least I had the Wii when it was new and also my dedicated gaming PC that wipes the floor with any CONSOLE game that boast “great graphics” :P

              1. Your PC only wiped the floor with the Xbox 360 and PS3. As the Wii didn’t ever boast great graphics.


                1. Yeah the PC rapes every console’s graphics. Its obvious that the Wii never had good graphic but it did have a decent polygon power.

  6. Everyone: Read this before you lose your sh$t and start overreacting.

    “Fortunately, we’re pleased to find that latency here is impossible to pick out without some exacting method of measure. In testing the difference, we find results that completely subvert our expectations here; in instances where gameplay is mirrored between the two, the GamePad screen actually renders the image 116ms before the 50-inch LG screen does.”

    Like any console, Wii U is not perfect and I’m sure we’ll be hearing of issues when it comes out. But this one, given all the proof until now, isn’t a concern.

    It’s one thing to “feel” a certain way and then to go and measure it.

          1. Yeah it shouldn’t be too long after launch that someone gets them
            To me, I don’t really need to know the specs since I’m not a developer, but if people are curious to know I guess there’s no problem with that

              1. Me too, I think they should be ok, they most likely will be able to stand up to Sony and Microsoft’s offerings, because I doubt that either company will make a huge power house and spend years not earning a profit, I’m not entirely sure of this but I think Sony still hasn’t earnt a profit from the PS3, I don’t think they’re going to do that again

                1. Yep. 3 Nintendo consoles without 3rd party support was enough. I want to own only a console this gen! The Wii U! I owned a PSX and N64 because the N64 lacked 3rd party games. The same goes for the 6th and 7th gen!

                  1. Same here :P
                    I’d really like to not have to buy a ps4, definently wont get the next xbox since I really dislike the current one, It would be nice to not have to have more than one console and I think that will be the case because I can’t see sony or ms making a power house

                    1. Yep. And the HUGE amount of 3rd party support actually made me prefer the PSX over the N64 and the PS2 over the GC.

                    1. As a whole, which is not nearly as bad as Nintendo losing 200 million dollars when they only have one market.

                      Nice try.

                  1. They also said they never had the weakest consoles even tho the PS1 was nearly as weak as the Saturn and the PS2 was weaker than both GC and Xbox! Sony kinda exposed their-selves.

          1. I would care. If specs are rubbish then developers will either port inferior versions or just not bother. The wii cycle will repeat all over again and again Nintendo consumers will miss out on great third party games…

            1. Yeah. What I meant to say is that I DON’T wanna wait. I have been waiting a whole year for the damn specs.

              1. Yep! Dreamcast was considered trash when it came to specs, but games are still being made for it! Dreamcast 4 life!

          2. Yeah. But who the hell cares?! Remember that Zelda REAL TIME TECH DEMO. That is what a Zelda could look like on the WiiU. And since then, they updated the tech, and that was apparently alpha footage…. My jaw hit the fucking floor when i watched that. Thats proof enough. I dont need to worry about specs, because if the specs are “as bad as the wii was this gen”, if i own a Zelda game that looks like that, i’ll put on a shit eating grin and say, “like i give a fuck, im playing this beast of a game!”.

  7. Really? I still enjoy playing games on my Nintendo 64 and SNES. I’m pretty sure slight latency issues aren’t going to reduce the amount I enjoy the games.

  8. That’s the risk you run when you port.
    You can’t always port the experience on a 1:1 ratio.
    That’s a bummer, but I’m still getting it. Since I never played it before, I’m less likely to know what I’m missing. Just like I adapted to Motion Controls when playing COD Zombies on Wii.

    1. I doubt you’ll be missing anything, since it’s got more features and stuff, plus the techs also better and the controller will probably make it more fun IMO
      Well you wouldn’t be missing anything because they wouldn’t make a port with less than the original unless they’re really stupid

      1. I loced the comics on the dead-space Wii game, so I’m really looking forward to the comics this game will provide on ME1&2. :D

        1. The thing with Mass Effect is your decision effect the story of the game, in a big way. Its annoying that 2 isnt being ported, but you’ll be able to make all the key decisions in 1 & 2 through the comics. But you wont shed manly tears at some of the moments in 3
          “Does this unit…have, a soul?”

  9. could only be an issue with the game then
    several sources have already confirmed that the gamepad doesn’t suffer from latency and actually renders faster than the TV
    and on e3 we could all witness it during the presentation of rayman legends

  10. This can be fixed before launch (definitely if this game’s a ‘launch window’ title, then there’s plenty of time). If the 1/2 second you lose is that important, maybe Nintendo should offer a wired option/hook-up for the gamepad. I’m not above using a wired controller some of the time.
    And like an earlier comment points out, this can all be atributed to this being the guy’s 1st Wii U experience.

  11. meh nitpicking.. some things needs some time to get used to.. if you are playing with “it will suck” mindset, it will suck to you..

    1. I personally dont giv a shit about two screens. I just want to play on the BIG TV. I have handhelds for handheld experiences…Nintendo always try and innovate but they complicate it and it pisses developers off and just end up not bothering or never using the systems full potential…

      1. Are you not aware that the WiiU is played on a tv? No game is gamepad only. It makes gaming more immersive, and fun. But if you dont give a shit, then you know, fuck off. You dont give a shit, well we dont give a shit what you think. “i dont hate Nintendo, i just hate Nintendo fanboys”. Then why the fuck are you here? That like being allergic to shrimp and eating one of purpose. Fucking waste of space, get a fucking life.

        1. I actually own a Wii and several (casual) wii games for my family so my hard earned money does go to Nintendo and the dev in question.

          Lol man you sound so aggressive. Must be hard to be an alpha male eh Dragon pony? haha

          I am not moving from this site so moan like a grandpa all you want OCTO G1.(nice wiiU reference there for you grandad)

          Actually some eshop games will ONLY require the game pad… so you failed there. I believe Miiverse can be used with ONLY the gamepad :P

          Boy you need to do your homework before you blow your trumpet and stamp your feet.

          1. You didnt nothing but prove my point there. You have no arguement, so you resorted to calling me grandpa, which is, just retarded, and say Dragon Pony, because i watch My Little Pony, and actually expect any of that to even bother me in the slightest.

            “im not moving from this site”. Do you not stop and think (i know it must be hard for to think), and just say, “you know, i could be doing more with my life, or at least playing these “hardcore” games that i constantly mention”, rather than, sit on your PC, everyday, and just troll and comment on a site, with people you dont like. I mean, go on Neogaff and all your other poser sights, who believe having extra detail on that wall, or that box of oranges in a game makes it any better. Nintendo create the best games of all time, and its fanboys and general fans have every right to gloat, dvdn if they sound like asses every now and then. But you’re “points” are solely based on hardware….thats like having a toaster without owning any bread. Oh Uncharted? Yeah, that was good, for the 6 hours it lasted. But you’re forgetting the most important thing. We dont care about graphics. If the graphics are on par with next gen, we’ll be glad, but if theyre not, will we regret buying a WiiU? No. I dont regret buying my Wii. Yeah, it did gather dust until i went back and played games (which i dont have the care to do on any old ps3 games), but it gave me my favourite game of all time, Metroid Prime 3, as well as others that top that list, so it was worth it. And now were getting a console with a graphics card, apparently, from 2008, with optical disk that have 25GB storage, and can be dual layered to 50GB, and its going to give us Zelda, Mario and Metroid. We were sold on it the moment we heard it. You’re words are just dust in the breeze

              1. They will. Because nobody cares anymore. In fact, the majority of people who care are PC gamers. Ermm…why the fuck do they care? Thats why they own a PC. Dumbass companies like Epic, forcing next gen to be PC standard when no-one wants it to be. People play COD. Looks like shit. Do they care? No. They just want new stuff, like Black Ops 2 is doing.

                1. I dont know why a lot of people bitch about cod cos they cant really change much in a fps. It makes them look like idiots when they keep buying it. Why would slightly improved graphics make cod more fun. Some people are just retarded.

            1. I remember a year ago AMD saying that they working on a custom Radeon HD which is 40nm or 28nm. 28nm it’s unlikely since it’s Radeon 7000, but 40nm it’s very likely since it means Radeon 6000 which was the chip series AMD had when they announced that they are making the GPU for the WIi U.

      2. yeah right, games have always been becoming more and more complex. If not then how do they came up with 16 buttons controller we have now? compared to 8 buttons previously, like on the snes.

        Nintendo just going a different route in introducing more inputs to the user, as introducing more buttons obviously won’t cut it.

        you don’t need more inputs you say? then have fun pausing the game just to access dozens of powers, weapons, and what not. For example in mass effect 3, you can now activate 8 powers directly, both shepard’s and his team mate’s, without pausing the game, and without obviously introducing 8 more buttons on the controller.

        anyway, stop down talking people’s interest. you just showing how idiotic and a loser you are showing up in every comments, every article in this site down talking people.

  12. Where are the people who were bitching at me because I said I can’t imagine playing many games,especially FPS games, too well with the Gamepad due to its size now?

  13. I’m surprised abut the amount of negative comments showing up just because of one or another technical problem. Which video game doesn’t have issues? I can’t remember a single game I’ve played that doesn’t lag at some point, be it for whatever platform you name. Also, we still don’t know how much bad is the lag, or how often it occurs, so we can’t say it really is a major problem. And they’ll surely try to fix every problem they are aware of before launching the Wii U, not because it’s Nintendo, nor because it’s related to a third party, but because that’s what corporations do before releasing their products.
    Also, it’s a new console, we still don’t know anything about it’s performance, strong and weak points nor what games actually feel like, unless you’ve played one of the demos. And even if you did play the demos, there are many improvements from them to the final version. So, until the game and the Wii U are released, we can’t say if Nintendo is “falling apart” or not.

  14. LOL , knew this was gonna happen !! NINTENDO EPICALLY FAILED AGAIN !! See ? This piece of shit was so overhyped … The controller is stupid , not next gen , overpriced , useless functions , latency …WOW nintendo that is a lot of flaws … Why dont u Nintendo fanboys just give up on Nintendo ?? They don’t listens to you !! They want ur wallet …Nintendo is shit

    1. A bit over the top Ness. But yeh the idea of Streaming a game on two screens is pretty much ruined if there are latency issues. which is the ONLY thing going for wiiU.

      I am still waiting to see CLEAR NEXT GEN GAMES and so far I see NONE that match the gaming standards as starwars 1313 and watchdogs.

        1. And that guy that used to come here with ridiculous usernames and so “see shitty ninty rip off everything from atari got sued by danish lego company smh bad graphics smh sega dreamcast 2 smh”

        2. Retards ? We are just trying to make a point but NO !! You nintenfags have to butt in and be all Fanboyish and become butthurt ..if there is a retard here than its probably you ..

      1. Exactly :) I havnt seen 1 wii u game that looks next gen and if the gamepad has latency then that would ruin the conscept of the wii u , like the 3DS, 3ds had 3d which is its selling point but it failed coz it hurts your eyes do that ruined the concept of the 3DS , wii u will only be SLIGHTLY more powerful than ps3 …it isn’t next gen

  15. If you think for one second that this article/opinion is legit you got to be crazy. The tone of the wording gives it away this is some fanboys throwing out hate. They already done a text and it showed the GamePad was faster then the tv. I love how this drone r trying they best to discredit the Wii u just makes me want it me!! Latency and all. Let’s Go big N

  16. I would like to see a video of this latency issue. I am not familiar with Mass Effect 3. Was he doing something extremely taxing on the system…like trying to blow up a whole room with missiles….or was he just trying to jump? Were there other players playing at the same time as him? How much slower was his reaction time? Like I said I am not familiar with Mass Effect 3

  17. Y’know, I find it funny how trolls will jump on this as some sort of console-ending flaw just based off of one review, and yet praise others who are doing the same thing like the Vita-to-PS3 and 360’s Smart Glass while dismissing latency issue rumors connected to those, as well.

    The hypocrisy flows thick in such things.

    Having said that, one case out of, how many?
    We’ve got videos showing how quick it works, with no latency issues, before this report even came out.
    I doubt that it will become a wide-spread issue, and if it does, it can be fixed, so non-issue all around.

      1. Did you not see all of the articles about “PS3 + Vita can do WII U better” ?

        There is this amazing website, they call it google? I am sure you can find it pretty easy. Anyway, when you do find it, do a quick search, I think they call it “googling?” about how the Vita to ps3 is supposedly better than the wii U. Also, I say supposedly not in sarcasm, but as pure unknown fact.

        Good day sir.

      2. Thetruthandnothingbut

        Says the Sony fan-tard who’s still digging hard and deep for any excuse to troll this site.
        Sony fanboys shouldn’t throw stones in their glass houses.
        It’s not horse shit, it’s well-known and has been happening for a while now, unbeknownst to those who live under the Sony rock.
        If you had an ounce of intellect, you’d have googled before spouting a denial right off the bat.

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  19. So many things make me not care that much about this early report. For one, just like Ubisoft has explained, these games require more time and the system isn’t even out yet. Also, I don’t believe the issue with the gamepad/tv gameplay- from what I see, the Wii U version should maintain all the controls, but also allow you to control with the touchscreen, right? using attacks should still be a button press, but the controller can allow you to control or swap tactics without the ridiculous screen pauses. On- gamepad screenplay may have issues of course, but even those may be worked out and I doubt latency will be an issue (that happens on console, too).

  20. I don’t know what latency or low resolution they are talking about. I had the Game pad in my hand. Tried several games: Ninja Gaiden,ZombieU ,Pikmin 3, Batman Arkham,P-100 and NintendoLand. Had no latency or lag Also the resolution was great. So maybe they need to check their eyesight.

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