Nintendo made Wii U Pro Controller to secure Call Of Duty
Nintendo designed the Wii U Pro Controller because Activision refused to develop a Call Of Duty game for the console using only the standard GamePad.
The claim comes from Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who made clear his disdain for Nintendo's new console at the Develop Conference in Brighton last week, saying the console simply "isn't going to work."
"I don’t get it," he said. "I think that essentially this is a solution in search of a problem. I mean, somebody had an idea – 'let's make the controller a tablet' – and there aren't many games that are going to take advantage of that.
"Activision never said anything to me, but I know that [for] big games like Call Of Duty they said, 'No, we're not putting it on there if you don't give us a conventional controller'. So they gave in."
Pachter has been outwardly sceptical about Wii U's prospects for some time – but he wasn't a fan of Wii, either, describing the current generation's runaway market leader as "gimmicky. It worked, they got lucky, [but] I don't think they're getting lucky with Wii U.
"I don't think they suck – I just think that they really believe that, 'If we're still novel, everything we do will work'. This isn't going to work.
"Hardcore gamers will buy them; hardcore Nintendo fanboys will buy it. They could put out a piece of cardboard and say that it'll play Mario and they'll buy it."
Nintendo is pitching the Pro Controller, announced on the eve of E3 by company president Satoru Iwata during a Nintendo Direct broadcast, as ideally suited to extended gameplay sessions on multiplatform games. It's been closely modelled on Microsoft's Xbox 360 pad, with the positions of the face buttons and right stick swapped around.
With the announcement out of the way, Nintendo's E3 2012 press conference focused solely on the Wii U's main controller, the GamePad, playing up its capabilities for asymmetrical multiplayer. This further reinforced the sentiment that the Pro Controller had been designed, not just for players of thirdparty games, but the thirdparties themselves. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition shows the amount of work that has to be done to tailor a thirdparty game to the tablet controller; the more traditional Pro Controller, however, makes it much easier for Xbox 360 and PS3 games to be released on Wii U without major changes to the control system.
If Pachter is correct it shows how seriously Nintendo is taking thirdparty support in the coming console generation. The company has traditionally thrived on the strength of firstparty exclusives, but it seems Nintendo realises that may not be enough for Wii U. While 3DS's turnaround was doubtless driven by Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, in Japan at least, it was arguably Monster Hunter Tri G that did the job.
Mark Lamia, studio head of Black Ops II developer Treyarch, recently told GamesIndustry International that the Pro Controller made Wii U a viable platform for Call Of Duty games, saying: "They announced a Pro Controller which… would be really good for firstperson shooter games. It just so happens that's what we specialise in. So that's an interesting development."
Image credit: Dan Griliopoulos