Why did Nintendo largely abandon the Wii Remote?

Original Article

I think Nintendo was wrong to turn its back on the Wii Remote. Even the pointer capability alone was pretty awesome, and it was actually my favourite feature on the controller. I certainly miss the pointer for the likes of arcade gun games:

Where are games like this on Wii U?

And I really liked it as way to quickly and intuitively navigate menus (although, the GamePad’s touch input largely negates the pointer method of menu navigation these days):

Also, let’s face it, Wii Sports was a total blast (especially Wii Bowling):

Skyward Sword was one of the best executions of motion control to date (although, playing games in VR with the HTC Vive’s fully-tracked motion controllers or the Oculus Rift’s Touch controllers is about it wipe it off the face of the planet in terms of motion control precision and responsiveness):

Nintendo created a motion control revolution with the Wii Remote a generation ago, and then basically abandoned it in the next generation.

At this point, Nintendo has so many different controllers and controller configurations that I don’t know how it goes forward with a new console without leaving some of them behind, and I think that’s a bad thing any way you look at it.

And it keeps adding more to the mix (although, some of the extra controllers do at least serve the same basic functions as others, so they’re really just optional):

It really is a pretty crazy situation to be in though.

This is part of the genius of what Sony and Microsoft have done by basically keeping the same standard controls in-the-box from generation to generation, while offering stuff like Move and Kinect as optional but largely ignorable extras:

You know that when you buy a PS4 or Xbox One console the controller in the box basically has you sorted for pretty much every game coming out on the system—without compromises. And it’s almost certain both companies will carry those general designs into the next generation too.

At this point, I wonder what does Nintendo do with NX’s controller that basically isn’t going to either end up disappointing a whole section of previous-gen Nintendo gamers or making all its various control solutions even more fragmented and convoluted.

This is why I thought about NX the way I did when I came up with my own idea of what it could be a while back, and why I tried hard to come up with a solution that basically incorporates as many of Nintendo’s older controller variations as I could manage in a relatively simple form factor (requiring as few additional controllers as possible):

Here’s the gist of my idea for Nintendo’s NX

I honestly tried to think about every aspect of the console when coming up with my NX concept, beyond simply thinking it would be cool to combine Nintendo’s home consoles and handhelds into one super device. But, it was a lot of work trying to make a single Nintendo console that respected all of those that had come before it.

It’s a shame it’s come to this, because Nintendo has created a bunch of great controllers over the years—some of them literally defined the majority of standard inputs on modern gamepads as we currently know them—but in recent times its got into a habit of somewhat sacrificing the old for the new (and sometimes it can be due to missing one small but important feature), instead of making the new incorporate and embrace the old too.

And, if these supposed leaked NX controller images are even close to the real thing, I really do worry about Nintendo’s controller solutions going forward:

I hope we don’t lose the Wii Remote and motion controls entirely going forward with the NX, but I fear that’s maybe exactly what Nintendo is likely to do at this point in time. Maybe I’m wrong and Nintendo has it all figured out, in ways I simply couldn’t imagine, but somehow I doubt it.

There’s still a chance, however, that the NX will blow my mind and get me just as excited as the very first time I saw the Wii Remote in action (all those possibilities):

I live and wait in hope. . . .

But, here’s the grand irony of it all: VR, the most exciting new technology in generations (paradigm shifting even), that can allow gamers to play both traditional and fully motion controlled games to a degree of precision and accuracy that surpasses even what Nintendo achieved with Wii MotionPlus (and the Wii U too, if we ignore the touchscreen stuff for a moment), is the one technology that Nintendo doesn’t even seem particularly interested in right now—yet, it’s the one technology solution that could effectively combine all of its past and future controllers into one unified system and, just like the Wii, create another gaming revolution (the likes of which we’ve never seen before).

VR can do motion controls (motion controls you wouldn’t believe):

It can do the games of old (and/or more traditional):

It can do games and experiences that are totally new:

It can even go beyond games entirely and cross into entertainment, education, social, and more:

Funny how Nintendo totally didn’t see this particular revolution coming, it seems.

6 thoughts on “Why did Nintendo largely abandon the Wii Remote?”

  1. THEY DIDNT APART FROM SPLATOON WITCH WAS THE BIGGEST BS EVER dont get me wrong gamepads 9a xis is amazing and all but its function is hindered by gamepads size

    gyro mouse in steam controller is AMAZING iv played re4 doom 2016 and halflife 2 and cod with a trackpad gyro combo every bit as good as gamepad or wii remote but lacks that feel and precision that the wii remotes one handed design is GODLY AT…

    why splatoon didnt have wii remote and chuck is mind bending but pikmin and mk8 did MAKES NO SENSE

    the only reason i can think of is trying to justify the gamepad like forced it on us for no good reason

    i love gamepads 9axis gyro but the gamepads size makes it to clunky it would destroy a steam controllers gyro in a small formfactor pad

    but BUT it doesnt take away the fact that wii remotes one handed design works best for aim gyro mouse ITS JUST PERFECT im a wii remote fps god i love gyro aim to i REFUSE POINT BLAND TO SUPPORT TWIN ANALOG STICK SHOOTERS IM NOT IN THE 90S

    PS4 AND XBONE HAVE 5 GEN OLD CONTROLS SORRY THATS DISGUSTING….

    they didnt abandan it its 4 wii remotes and one gamepad per wiiu and almsost all nintendo games have a use for it

    but WEIRDLY ENOUGH THE ONE GAME THAT NEEDED IT MOST DIDNT SPLATOON WTF NINTENDO

    IT WILL MAKE A RETURN ON NX I HOPE WITH A NEW FORM that being the nx detachable left and right controls with gyro a wii remote and nunchuck and pro pad hybrid with a leftright handed pods that detach

    IT MAKES 100% LOGIC I REFUSE TO FPS ANY OTHER WAY WELL I LIED THERE IM USING STEAM CONTROLLER

    nx give me this dual 9axis gyro mouse pods with pro pad buttons and analog sticks

    wake up nintendo

    1. Well, technically the Wii U does of course support Wiimotes, and a few games do use it, but it has been basically swept to the side this generation. And the issue is that Nintendo keeps creating all these new controllers and input methods that many people embrace and support, and then it doesn’t properly carry them forward into the next gen. So, that rather than having one solid and ever-evolving standard control we can all use, we end up with multiple different and ever-more-convoluted solutions for the one console. NX is either going to have to find a way to bring everything together or else it’s only going to get even worse. But, even if it does bring everything together, it’s still surely going to be a rather convoluted solution compared to that single standard controller on the likes of PS4 and Xbox One. 😮

  2. vr is no revolution its a joke

    and its main fail point is this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the so called hardcore (who are anything but) will not embrace motion NO MOTION NO VR THAT SIMPLE

    1. VR is the future of gaming and entertainment. Most people who are informed know this to be true.

      Now, that doesn’t mean the ways we all love to game now will go away, but much like smartphones and tablets are absolutely part of the future of gaming, so too will VR be. In fact, I’d say it’s likely going to be one of the most important and impacting things to happen in gaming in a long time.

      It may take a couple of generations for it to truly settle, but it starts here with these new VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

  3. PS AND XBOX CONTROLDS ARE stagnation

    THIS IS CALLED industry TAKE CARS THERE STILL BASED ON 70 YR OUT OF FADTE TECH A COMBUSTION ENGINE

    wen something becomes industry you end up with stagnation because the games industry had success ojn ps1 with that control THEY REFUSE TO MOVE ON

    thats not genius its the industrys way of keping it al the same CONTROL the consumer instead of educate the consumer

    everyone knows everyone should be fps ing etc today on a wiiire mote and chuck or lets say a evolved version of it

    ps4s controls are 5 gens old OW IS THAT GENIUS

    1. But at least you don’t have to buy multiple controllers just to play the vast majority of games on either the PS4 or Xbox One at this point, and these traditional controllers are so well honed now that they are nigh-on perfect for most types of games.

      There’s no point in “moving on” purely for the sake of moving on. If something isn’t broken, you don’t have to go looking for ways to fix it. And I feel like Nintendo is often fixing things that aren’t broken, which wouldn’t be an issue if it often didn’t also mean excluding the existing solutions to some degree too.

      It will certainly be interesting to see what the NX controls ultimately end up being, that’s for sure.

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