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.
Of course, that was the WiiMote's primary function. This is mainly supposed to be a second screen for gameplay usage. I can't say I'm too concerned with a factor I didn't like in the Wii gameplay now not being a factor in the Wii U gameplay. I'm sure this is disappointing news to some, and rather arrogant to say they will just program around it. Nintendo needs to remember their are OTHER people that develop games, and their support is also necessary to succeed. I can appreciate the honesty though. Sony probably would've just promised the feature and when it didn't work, shrugged it off and said it's no longer a feature.
But really... how much more would the better sensor cost? I wouldn't mind paying an extra 10 if the feature is built into the controller, but I don't like playing to have to stick some extra dongle in a port just to get slightly better functionality.
I noticed this at E3, too. It would be a good idea to include it prior to shipping, but it's probably too late in production.
That isn't the issue at all. Nintendo admitted there is an problem, how many other companies have you heard of in recent years admitting there is an issue with software or hardware and actually coming up with a solution to the problem? Sure it's not a perfect fix like adding better sensors but at least is some kind of a solution to the problem. They can send out the info to all game devs who can incorporate the fix into their games before users actually get their hands on them. Would you rather have had them ignore the issue then have a huge backlash from buyers because of this issue? Or would you rather have them admit to it now so that when the console and games ship the fix is in place? I'm not a fanboy, Ive owned most of the consoles out there since I was 6yrs old in the late 70's. I would much rather have them find the issue now and get the games fixed with a work around solution, than after it's release. All software/hardware can and usually does have problems on release, nothing is perfect but with future revisions and hardware price drops they can add better sensors later. This is definitely good PR for Nintendo.
It isn't good PR to say "we know we are going to be selling a flawed product, but hey, we had to save money, and you can just learn to live with it."