Eiji Aonuma Feels The Wii U’s GamePad Dual View “Disrupts Gameplay”

Since the Wii U’s launch, there have been a lot of mixed opinions on the console’s design. The Wii U pairs up gameplay on both the TV screen and the Wii U GamePad, allowing users to have additional options and a touch screen facility whilst playing. However, not everyone agrees that this was a good design concept. In fact, one person who feels that the Wii U’s gamepad “disrupts the gameplay” is The Legend of Zelda producer, Eiji Aonuma.

In a recent interview with Wired, Aonuma stated, “We realised that having something on the GamePad and looking back and forth between the TV screen and the GamePad actually disrupts the gameplay, and the concentration that the game player may be experiencing. You have your car’s GPS system on your dash. If you had it down in your lap, you’re going to get into an accident!”

This shows that at least Nintendo are aware of the implications of having to look at two different screens whilst gaming. Whilst sometimes it can be a plus to use the Wii U’s GamePad to view in-game maps, to add additional controls, or to continue playing on just the GamePad alone, it can also occasionally become a hindrance to have to keep dividing your attention between the two.

Let us know your thoughts below.

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Thanks, Minibitminibit



    1. Except he didn’t say it suck. All he said it can be disruptive when playing. Any time you take your eyes off something it can be disruptive. Looking at the whole TV screen is disruptive. Pausing the game to go into menus is disruptive. This is one of them examples where people adding more into something that is not there.

  1. It’s funny, considering both the Zelda remakes on the Wii U were made less disruptive by the gamepad.

    Having to pause to change inventory or check my map was way more disruptive than the gamepad ever was. Especially in the case of fishing up the things on treasure charts.

    1. Yea He’s not saying the pad ruins or hinders the games, when uses properly the pad is actually very helpful and convenient. but for example games like Kirby rainbow curse and Star Fox where these games heavily rely on you to look down at the pad for long periods of times, it often feels like, “why am I even playing on the TV when 70% of the time i’m not looking it” there’s such a huge disconnect and it ends up feeling like those games would have been better used on the 3DS than the WiiU

  2. “We realised that having something on the GamePad and looking back and forth between the TV screen and the GamePad actually disrupts the gameplay, and the concentration that the game player may be experiencing.”

    This. Pretty much this.

    Yet another big banana from Nintendo wanted to make a new entry of a then dormant franchise in which we need to pilot an aircraft taking a look at the gamepad, at the TV and gyro-ing, all at the same time.

    That big banana is a genious, isn’t he?

    1. Yeah. Better not say Miyamoto or some fanboys will get in a frenzy. *covers mouth* OOPS!!! lol

  3. Well, it depends on how exactly you use it.

    In the case of Star Fox Zero, yes the constant switching between TV and Gamepad is distracting (still loved the game though).

    However, in Xenoblade Chronicles X, it’s a huge help, allowing for quick access to skip travel points and being able to check on your mining points all over Mira.

    So really, it’s a matter of execution.

  4. ^ Like said above me, it really depends on the game. If it’s fast-paced, you’ll miss something by looking down. But it works for lots of slower games! I loved it in Affordable Space Adventure

  5. I think the second screen is a great way to enhance the “playability” of games. For example, Wind Waker HD, XCX or Splatoon utilize the second screen really well. Even the DS didn’t make the second screen essential on most games.

    I’ve always thought it was good idea for the second screen to be used as a compliment and not an integral part of the experience. I think there was a great misunderstanding of the Gamepad at the beginning. I think people were expecting the gamepad to have the same impact as the Wiimote and motion controls did for the Wii. It could never hope to live up to that.

  6. I mean, it works well on the DS and 3DS since the two screens are right next to each other, but with the Wii U, yeah, you’re probably going to end up tilting your head often.

  7. Accessing items in Zombie U and Scanning broke the immersion for me.

  8. The realize this NOW?
    Their testers during the Wii U’s QA phase definitely let them down.

    Another example of gameplay disruption:
    Mario Kart 8. The Gamepad shows the minimap, but if I look down, and then look back up at my TV, I definitely would have hit a wall, or red shelled during the time it took!! If my concentration gets pulled away even for a moment, a lot could happen within that timeframe.

    1. I don’t even look at the minimap for more than a second. All I need to use it for is to see if any players have a blue shell (so if I’m in first, I let myself drop to second so it hits the naive little sap that passed me) or Bullet Bills (so I know to stay to the side of the track to avoid getting hit by that). Or, if I have lightning, where everyone is so I can maximize its effectiveness (making jumps, taking shortcuts, etc.).

  9. It all comes down to execution and design.

    Splatoon does it well by showing you a map of the stage that reflects changes made to it as they happen (ink coverage, moving parts, allies’ positions, etc. You don’t need to look at it all the time; I usually only look at it after I get killed so I can plan my next move or see if there’s an ally across the map I can jump to and help out.

    Star Fox Zero on the other hand was the completely WRONG way to do it; I don’t think I need to explain why (at least, not again).

  10. Glad to hear a main head at the company thinks the same thing as us players. There’s quite a few titles i’ve turned down on buying just because of how forced the gamepad was. And not adding additional playstyle options furthered that decision

  11. You don’t say. Lol at least this shows that Nintendo can realize the mistakes they’ve made. After reading this, I doubt they’ll be integrating a gamepad in the NX design.

    1. Never again do I want to have to use a highly expensive controller that costs over 100 bucks for system stuff like data transfers & main console settings, so yes. No integrating the gamepad for NX. But I won’t mind it being there as an optional controller… LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITH WII U!!

  12. I really hope Nintendo doesn’t repeat their awful gimmicks with NX. I wish I could believe they won’t, but I know better to know they will try to be “innovative”.

  13. It really depends on context. I think the gamepad works amazingly well for minor adjustments (quick inventory changes ie. WWHD, quick jumping in splatoon, ect) , and quick info (map, stats,ect.) but it also works terribly for anything more complicated then that. When used right the GamePad is easily my favorite controller, but when used wrong its an annoying mess. All about the execution.

      1. This would be true for me as well, except for the fact that you can flip the gamepad image up onto the TV and vice a versa any time you want. For some reason this is a ton less disorienting than looking down at the gamepad.

  14. Kind of like how it was a fucking hindrance in Star Fox Zero! Thank you, Aonuma! You once again show why it was actually a good thing Miyamoto passed Zelda onto you years ago! Sure you’ve made the series easier but you’ve also given us some of the best villains other than same old Ganon. We got Demise, Ghirahim, Vaati, Majora (maybe), Zant even though he eventually got ran over by Ganondorf, Bellum & Maladus even though they came from the two worst controlled Zelda games ever made, Yuga even though he was most likely Ganondorf’s doppelganger from Lorule, & Veran & Onox even though they also suffered the same fate as Zant as they ended up being puppets of Ganon.

  15. You’d think that during all that time they spent designing and testing the gamepad, this thought would have crossed their minds. Or maybe it did but they were just like, “….nah”.

    1. No. It was probably more like “Maybe this might disrupt the gameplay & the immersion. Oh well. They’ll just have to deal with it! I have something I want to do! Fuck what they might want!” <.<

  16. ||As always…you little people can’t think in more than one dimension…||

    ||They knew about this from the early days…they however can’t just spew out negative things about their own creation…that would be worse than destroying it…||

  17. it’s extremely reassuring to hear Mr. Aonuma’s true feelings about the GamePad, which are similar to the feelings of most gamers. What’s done is done and in the past, so attacking him for admitting how he feels is stupid. What else is he supposed to do – change the past? He didn’t design the GamePad; he is just a huge part of Nintendo and he didn’t like the direction it went in and neither did a lot of people. It’s unfortunate that some Nintendo fanatics get too defensive and won’t accept anything but absolute praise for Nintendo. Sorry, but criticism breeds improvement, and any time I criticize Nintendo online (keep in mind I am a MAJOR Nintendo fan and have been for 23 years…lately just to support them I buy every game release they come out with along with the other big titles from their partners for both my Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS XL (and Nintendo 3DS XL). I have a game library so large I need a bookshelf because I don’t have room for the games. So it’s frustrating to get called a hater when I am speaking out of concern.

    The GamePad absolutely slowed down gameplay a lot more than I remember with any past Nintendo system. Like any time I had to switch from GamePad screen to TV and vice versa, PAUSE. It’s so distracting and gets old very fast for games that utilize the GamePad heavily that are fast paced…personally I was not a fan of the remakes of Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD’s use of the GamePad because that required me to do the pause thing so I could look down all the time at the map , my inventory, use a stylus to change items and things like that…it’s too many things going on at once, and if you’re like me, I also usually have a laptop next to me so I can look up strategies if I get lost and to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

    While of course that’s not their fault or required for gameplay, Nintendo actually recommends that people use the internet for help with gameplay as written in the little insert in my Kirby Planet Robobot case “Need help playing a game? For game-play assistance, we recommend using your favorite Internet search engine to find tips for the game you are playing. Some helpful words to include in the search, along with the game’s title, are: ‘walkthrough,’ ‘FAQ’, ‘codes,’ and ‘tips.’… so…how could they expect an additional screen that’s actually required to work with the game be a good idea, knowing this…I don’t know. But I’m so glad he thinks it’s a distraction and a hindrance on gameplay because he’s publicly stating it.

    This gives me a lot more hope for the NX.

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