3DS AS A FUCKING CONTROLLER?
During a shareholders meeting, Nintendo Japan President, Satoru Iwata shared many details about upcoming plans for the 3DS and Wii U. One detail that came up was on how the 3DS might be able to connect to the Wii U and act as a controller in spite of the One-Pad-per-Wii U situation.
Iwata said that they didn’t start off with the concept of the 3DS being a controller for two reasons. First, they didn’t want to give their consumers the wrong impression that they would need to buy both sets of expensive hardware. Second, in order to make the 3DS connect to the Wii U as a controller (at this point), the Wii U wouldn’t be able to connect to the internet using Wi-Fi. Since the system doesn’t use provide an Ethernet port standard, this would cut out any internet connection using the supposed feature.
Iwata added that if they wanted to remedy the No-Wi-Fi problem for that feature, they would need to add “some special hardware” into the Wii U. Iwata continued by describing Nintendo’s previous attempts at connecting their portable and home console machines, citing specifically the Gamecube and Gameboy Advance with the connection cable. Nintendo is more confident in the idea now that wires are no longer needed for the systems to communicate with each other.
Why would the Wi-Fi cut out when enacting such a feature? Iwata didn’t go into details on that. One would assume it has something to do with how Nintendo is removing communication latency between the Wii U system and the Wii U Pad for video signal streaming.
Nintendo hasn’t nailed down final specs for the Wii U, so it’s possible the system may get the “special hardware” to enable the feature if Nintendo sees fit to allow it. Back on the Wii, players were able to use their DS’s as controllers for the exclusive Pokemon Battle Revolution. Since then, few Wii games even tinkered with the connectivity idea.
Square Enix used the possible connection when releasing Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. Releasing an edition of the game for both Wii and DS, players could play locally or online with each other across the either system. The experiment was a little wonky as the Wii version was roughly a DS port with an awkward interface redesign for the Wii Remote.
Then, there’s the point that the 3DS is fundamentally less functional than the Wii U Pad. The 3DS lacks a second analog stick and the extra two shoulder buttons. The second screen on the 3DS is non-interactive, only capable of displaying 3D images when viewed at the proper angle (although 3D is optional). Would players even want to use the 3DS on the Wii U?
Considering how interconnected all our electronic devices are becoming, it would be smart of Nintendo to not rule out the feature on a hardware level. However, how much more will it cost consumers who ultimately have to purchase the Wii U to even take advantage of the feature with the “special hardware” added? A tricky decision will be made.