Nintendo Coming Up with Fix for Wii U Motion Sensor Issue

While testing out the Wii U with Nintendo’s Nintendo Land Ninja Star game, Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo discovered that the Wii U GamePad had a motion sensing problem. Essentially, after a bit of playtime, the GamePad’s sensors will lose track of the TV it’s being used with and will need to be recalibrated.

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has acknowledged the issue with the GamePad. The GamePad’s sensor issue is a result of the fact that it doesn’t have a sensor that detects the sensor bar ordinarily placed at the top of the TV when playing the Wii or the Wii U. Thus, the sensor issue doesn’t run over to the Wii Remote.

For now, Nintendo’s either going to have to design games that doesn’t require the GamePad’s sensors to be pointed at the screen, add better sensors, or add the same sensor that’s in the Wii onto the GamePad. Miyamoto’s answer at Totilo’s suggestion of better sensors on the GamePad was, "Of course, in terms of the cost of goods, if there comes a time further down the road where you're able to get much more precise sensors and you're able to bring those in at a cost that is not too expensive, there might be an opportunity to improve that," he said. "But what we're doing [now] is we're looking at ... bringing in the best technology we can within a cost that's affordable. The rest of it is on us to ensure in the software that we're programming it in such a way to adapt for that."

It looks like the “fix” that Nintendo has in mind for now is to make games and software that adapt to the issue. Cost for the Wii U is an important factor to keep in mind, especially because the Wii U will be competing with the already-lowered prices of the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Putting better sensors on the Wii U GamePad might not be a viable option now, considering the costs, but it looks like it’s definitely something that Nintendo will look into for the future.

Catherine Cai is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, VG 24/7, RipTen, and The Game Fanatics. She has also worked as a lead producer for video game projects, a manager and lighting director for the stage, and a software engineer. Currently, she works as a Production Engineering Manager for Shopify.