The Wii U GamePad started life as this

Nintendo has revealed an image of the prototype Wii U GamePad, involving two Wiimotes and some double-sided tape.

How far we've come. This is the prototype of the Wii U GamePad controller. And yes, those are Wiimotes sellotaped either side. (I'm not exaggerating either. They used double-sided tape, according to Takayuki Shimamura in Nintendo's software development department.)

Nintendo revealed the image in a Q&A with the brains behind Nintendo Land, the game that comes bundled with the Wii U.

While it may look a bit shoddy, it's an interesting insight into how the company develops its hardware. According to the Q&A, "The way that Nintendo makes hardware is to take an idea that has arisen and make something makeshift and actually try it out."

Around 30 versions of prototype software were tested on it -- one of which was shown as a screen mounted on a Wii Zapper controller. But then I suppose instigating a second screen is going to involve a lot of trial and error.

Nintendo redesigned the GamePad after  debuting the Wii U last year. The Wii U went on sale in the UK last week, though it was lacking some streaming services in the US and here in Blighty. Nintendo did give away some free games for those getting down to the midnight launch at HMV on London's Oxford Street, though.

The Wii U doesn't have nearly as much storage as advertised, Nintendo admitted recently . The 8GB model only has around 3GB of storage, for example.

In its first week,  more than a million Wii U consoles were sold  in the US. Some think that while it's a lot of fun, it's too complicated for the 'casual' gamers Nintendo wants to attract. It could prove too pricey too, with Johnny Casual used to bashing away at games on his phone for free.

What do you think of the Wii U? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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Gaming
About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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