Yesterday, Nintendo let the cat out of the bag on the Wii U launch. Full pricing details, release date, and what you actually get in the box—everything you need to know—was covered. But there was still one thing missing: How much would it cost for a second Wii U Gamepad?
Earlier in the year, Nintendo revealed that the Wii U could support up to two Wii U Gamepads in addition to a number of Wii U and Wii accessories and controller options. But since there won't be any games at launch that support two Wii U Gamepads, offering one for sale is moot, and would diminish the available Gamepads available for hardware bundles at retail, says Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime.
We have deliberately not announced the availability of the GamePad as a separate, standalone accessory here in the United States. The reason for that is simple - there are no games in the launch window that take advantage of a second GamePad. And [because of that], I want all of that hardware production to be focused on driving sales at retail.
What I mean by that is that Wii U is a console and a GamePad together. If I were to take additional GamePads and make them available as an accessory, then I would have less Wii U console hardware to sell into retail. You know, probably one of your questions is whether I'm going to meet demand. The only way we're going to achieve that here in the Americas is to not have that GamePad accessory, so I can maximize my overall volume.
Sound logical to me. However, it does make you wonder how much the Gamepad—the meat and potatoes of the Wii U—will cost eventually, and how much cost it adds to the overall total cost of each Wii U hardware bundle, ranging from $299 to $349.