New evidence has indicated that the Wii U tablet controller may be struggling to live up to its original billing as a fully wireless peripheral.
The tablet was announced as a fully wireless controller capable of streaming a game's video and audio from Wii U and displaying it on the controller, but a leaked Ubisoft Wii U video suggests the system may need to be wired to the console, in some instances at least.
As you can see from the Ubisoft video (and the image on this page), the Wii U controller is clearly shown with a trailing wire, which appears to include a removable connector for a non-wired mode.
It's understood that development consoles currently feature wired controllers but let's face it, if Nintendo wanted to remove the wire from this official promo video, it wouldn't give the special effects team too much of a headache. Or, if as it looks, the wire is able to be unplugged, why not remove it?
[UPDATE: CVG reader Dean Jones points out that Ubisoft has used dev controllers in its trailers once before. Add that to the list of possible explanations.]
It's all speculation of course, but there have been reports before that Nintendo might be struggling with the streaming of data from the HD console to the tablet controller's LCD touchscreen.
A report last September claimed that Nintendo had rushed the final Wii U architecture through the door "with undesirable consequences" including "inadequate streaming and wireless functionality".
"So far, the wireless functions simply do not work at all," a source told 01.net, a usually reliable site for leaks. As a result, they went on to claim, developers are working with a tethered controller which apparently "still does not work properly".
Nintendo's current official line is that Wii U will only support one controller. According to a Develop source, Nintendo engineers are working hard to upgrade Wii U so that it can simultaneously support two tablet controllers.
"Nintendo now know they absolutely need to support two tablets," the site was told. "At E3 they didn't commit to this, but they know how important it is to make it technically feasible to support two screens. Even if that affects framerate, as a developer and player, I don't care. It needs to work. Developers will design appropriate games for this. If you're building a quiz game you're not going to give a shit about the framerate."