Wii U GamePad prototype was a screen, two Wii Remotes and sticky tape - pictures

Nintendo shows off early Wii U concepts

It's easy to imagine Nintendo's top-secret R&D departments as sciences lab full of technology and robots, yet CEO Satoru Iwata has revealed the humble beginnings of the Wii U GamePad - and it involved sticky tape.


The first idea for two-screen gameplay was prototyped using a Wii Zapper with a screen attached and a gyro sensor for tilt detection, reveals a recent Iwata Asks interview.

Nintendo's Takayuki Shimamura explained, "After development of Wii Sports Resort, Yamashita-san and I were thinking about something new that would draw upon the knowhow for Wii MotionPlus. We tested gameplay that involved moving the Wii Zapper and having images from the Wii move in sync on a monitor in your hands. It was fairly well received."

Iwata went on to reveal that this initial concept was drove Nintendo to include a gyro sensor in the 3DS in the late stages of its development.


Shimamura went on to reveal another prototype - this one more closely resembling the GamePad's final form, but rather comically crafted using two Wii Remotes attached to the sides of a monitor with double-sided sticky tape.

"We used this prototype and two Wii consoles to run simulations for Wii U. EAD isn't a hardware department, but a "handicraft team" knowledgeable about hardware makes stuff like this," said Nintendo's Katsuya Eguchi.

Nintendo used this rag-tag device to create around 30 game prototypes.

"Making this prototype led to Nintendo Land, so the development period for Nintendo Land was quite long," revealed Iwata.

What we wouldn't give for a good rummage around in that office. Fascinating stuff.