Scott Moffit: Wii U GamePad the Sole Innovation this Generation

As part of a series of interviews with Examiner, NoA’s VP of Sales and Marketing Scott Moffit had some things to say about the Wii U GamePad. Though often maligned, he believes the controller has been the one innovation from this console generation, and the company has upcoming games to prove its worth. He also admits that Nintendo’s developers perhaps didn’t capitalize enough on the GamePad earlier in the Wii U’s life cycle (emphasis added).

We’ve proven time and time again, we make great games, they get great users scores as well as critical scores. With games like Star Fox and Mario Maker, we are continuing to show the promise of the Gamepad and, candidly, early on we probably didn’t showcase the promise of the Gamepad as well as we could have. As developers have gotten more comfortable with the technology, now you’re seeing games that really leverage the power of the Gamepad. I think that will invite people to take a second look at Wii U.

As for those upcoming games to prove the GamePad’s true value, Scott cites Super Mario Maker‘s level creation and Star Fox Zero‘s control scheme as examples.

That’s our real secret sauce is [the Gamepad], it is the only real innovation in this console cycle, it’s the only real new idea or game experience and with Super Mario Maker it shows you how magical it is to create levels with that Gamepad. It’s so easy and intuitive. Then with Star Fox Zero it’s showing how the Gamepad can give you a different view into your game world. You are piloting the ‘R Wing’ and you’re getting a cockpit view on the Gamepad. I think those types of experiences may help us propel the system to new heights.

The GamePad was intended to be Nintendo’s point of distinction from the console’s 2011 reveal. Early games like Ubisoft’s ZombiU and Nintendo Land were showcases for the controller’s possibilities, but not enough software since has used it to the same extent (the former game is being ported to PS4 and Xbox One, both GamePad-less, this month).

In recent times, Nintendo has been releasing more software that further uses the GamePad’s unique controls. Examples include Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Splatoon, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Both Super Mario Maker and Star Fox Zero are set to debut this fall, while Nintendo’s mysterious NX looms large for a 2016 reveal.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.