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Nintendo Selling Wii U GamePads – But Only in Japan

Nintendo has been very back and forth regarding the possibility of using two GamePads with its Wii U console. But now, three years after it first went on sale, the company has finally launched the unique touch-screen controller as a stand-alone product in its native Japan.

Back when the final consumer ready Wii U was unveiled at the E3 expo in June 2012, shortly before its release in November of that year, it was said that the new home gaming system would, in time, support two person gameplay with multiple GamePads.

However this suggestion never became true and multiplayer Wii U gaming has ever since been restricted to one player handling the GamePad while additional players would be left using a very rudimentary Wii Remote – a recycled controller from the original Wii. Nintendo did employ rotation based gameplay to a number of titles, including Luigi’s Mansion which encouraged sharing of the GamePad and not one person hogging it at all times.

The Legend of Zelda creator and veteran Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto seemed to slash the rumours once and for all last year when he stated that support for two GamePad controllers was ‘possible, but not likely’. It was believed that the high cost of the GamePad as a separate item might not be too appealing to buyers and, in the dangerous financial period Nintendo was suffering post Wii U launch, selling them loose would likely have made for a costly gamble.

That said, the Wii U GamePad is now available to buy on the Japanese Nintendo Store online costing 13,824 yen (which equates to around £75 GBP).  There is no news on whether the solo product will hit the UK and Europe stores or whether Nintendo will keep it close to home but with a new console on the horizon we think perhaps this decision may suggest the GamePad will continue to play a part in Nintendo’s console eco-system when the next generation finally arrives.

In other Nintendo news, in the last week the company launched an official eBay store which currently lists several dozen items at stores.ebay.com/nintendo.

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