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Nintendo Confirms Wii U GamePad Will Not Have Backward Compatibility

Nintendo Japan has confirmed during the latest Nintendo Direct that the Wii U GamePad can’t be used to play original Wii games. To play those games you will need your Wii Remote, Nunchuck, and Classic Controller handy. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata did mention that the ability to play Wii U Virtual Console games using the Wii U GamePad may come in a future update.

46 thoughts on “Nintendo Confirms Wii U GamePad Will Not Have Backward Compatibility”

    1. exactly
      not sure why anyone would expect it to.. wii games were written with the wiimote controller scheme in mind (and occassionally other controllers like the classic controller).. any peripherals that didn’t exist back then simply can’t be supported without the wii games being rereleased in an updated version

  1. The good news is the Wii Motion Sensor Bar [compatible with selected Wii accessories] comes with the Wii U sets (Basic and Deluxe). However, there is a possibility of using the GamePad to play Wii U Virtual Console games later on (at the end of this year at the earliest).

    1. i’ve heard about that, but on it doesn’t say the sensor bar will be in te hpackage (preordered deluxe) – and if i remember correctly..

      what exactly does this sensor bar do?

      guess after my Wii U arrives, i’ll have to buy all the classic Wii controllers + all the new Wii U controllers : /

      1. it has 2 IR emitting diodes (so it’s not a sensor bar, that is a misnomer) for the wiimote to locate where the TV is
        you can achieve the same effect with a set of candles tho should you be lacking one (also that’s +100 points for oldschool)

        1. Reggie "My Body Is Ready" Fils-Aime

          Hypothetically it’s for the TV to locate where the Wii remote. The TV isn’t detect anything but the signal of direction and motion from the Wii Remote. The remote would be you getting in the ocean, the rest of the ocean would be the TV the little waves/currents you make would be the signal. I hope that ignorant analogy worked.

          1. no that analogy doesn’t doesn’t work

            the “sensor” bar only emits it doesn’t receive thus it’s not a sensor

            try it with 2 candles as a replacement “sensor” bar… trust me it works
            the wiimote can calculate its own position relative to the TV based on the location of the IR emitting diodes in the bar and then sends the position to the wii via bluetooth

            1. also since the wiimote can’t judge its actual distance (it will be able to calculate a relative change in distance however it will not know its absolute distance from the diodes at any point in time) it won’t matter much how far apart you set up those 2 candles .. just make sure they are in the vicinity of your TV ;)

  2. Really? I can’t play as shulk, Rein or the last story character on my Gamepad. Nintendo is getting a call from me today. Then Operation Wii games on Wii U game pad starts.

  3. Oh, that’s too bad, but perfectly understandable. Looks like I’ll have to buy those controllers too. Leave luck to heaven.

  4. It isn’t even possible! They are two different controllers! Imagine how hard it would be to swing that tablet to make Link attack in SS!
    Thanks for the news, Captain Obvious!

  5. Lol, that’s like trying to play a GCN game with the Wiimote + Nunchuck, or with the Classic Controller.

    I’m cool with this because the game console is backwards compatible

    1. I wish they just did a redesign of the Cube controller instead on the Pro controller. That controller is just the best

    1. The wiimote can be pointed at the gamepad :P. You could have gamepad on the stand infront of you and you would be using the wii remote and nunchuck. You can then point at the TV and the Gamepad simultaneously to peform various silly tasks. Sounds kinda hectic , but there is some possibilities for that.

  6. This is kind of obvious; most Wii games are centered around those motion controls. I just hope they’re serious about the Virtual Console games, though. I can already picture myself carrying around the Gamepad while I play Link to the Past on it.

    1. I hope you mean your house since the distance is very limited…

      I would actually play them more this way. The wife and I watch a lot of TV and movies and think how easy it would be to pop in SMB 3 on just play it on the gamepad. Then if I get bored, change over to Mario 64 or something. That would be epic.

    1. Man I wanted to play supersmashbrosbrawl on the gamepad FTW well can they still make an update for Wii games that don’t require motio. To be playable on the gamepad or wat

  7. Great, there is no point in getting one now. All I wanted to do was play Skyward Sword while I took a dump. Oh, well…looks like I’ll be getting a Vita instead….

  8. I was hoping that the Wii U pro controller would somehow be able to replace the Classic Controller Pro from the Wii and be able to be used with those games. Maybe somebody will figure out a way to do it, but I won’t hold my breath on that one. I want them to figure out how to use the Wii U Pro Controller on a PC like a Logitech controller, cause that would be awesome. I would have a new wireless controller for my laptop.

  9. Well duh. But Nintendo deceived me at first with backwards compatibility. Remember e3 2011? They showed wii sports golf using the game pad. Unless it’s another game….0.0

  10. People don’t seem to understand how it would work if it was to play Wii games… You would still have to use the Wiimote and nunchuck combo for most games anyway, as some may require other peripherals, such as the Classic Controller (pro), etc. The WiiU gamepad would not be used for input in the slightest, it would however be useful as an output for video and audio.

    That would be my only preferencial use of it for Wii games. I wonder if perhaps it is possible to do this somehow anyway… You were able to select which screen GBA games were played on with the DS.

    If that wasn’t available to users, I’m sure people will hack the system so that it would do it. I of course wouldn’t dream of hacking mine, but others that feel permanently restrained in this way could be encouraged to.

  11. Those lazy ass holes. I’ll just download the inevitable hack that will allow the wii u to receive clasic controller signals from the wii u controllers.

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