Monday, July 16, 2012

Nintendo Made The Wii U Pro Controller for Call of Duty?

Updated with more information on July 22, 2012

Today, EDGE released a story that details claims that Nintendo created the Wii U's Pro Controller specifically to please Activision and secure a Call of Duty installment for the upcoming console. According to analyst Michael Pachter, who is openly critical of both the Wii and its successor, the publisher refused to work with the Wii U's GamePad and forced Nintendo to make a controller with a more common design. However, Pachter's statements suggest that he doesn't have solid evidence to support his claim: "Activision never said anything to me, but I know that [for] big games like Call Of Duty they said, 'No, we're not putting it on there if you don't give us a conventional controller'. So they gave in."

So, could someone explain to me how Pachter can make a claim like that without proof? Yes, Nintendo obviously cares more about third party support with all of the new titles that they have lined up for the Wii U (like Mass Effect and Tekken). But I doubt that the company is so invested in having a Call of Duty game that they would come up for a controller just for that one game. Sure, maybe they created it to please other third party companies, but not just Activision and Activision alone.
It makes much more sense to believe that Nintendo created the secondary peripheral to replace the old Gamecube controller. When compared to the Wii Remote, many players actually prefer its more traditional design (myself not included). Since Gamecube controllers will not be compatible with their next generation console, the Pro Controller can easily fill that gap.

But I'm not an analyst, so what do I know?


In an interview with Games Beat, Pachter elaborated on his claim:

“Nintendo has never done anything altruistically for third parties, so I concluded that they added the Pro Controller because of pressure from third parties. The pressure could have come from anywhere — EA with sports games, Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed, or Take-Two with GTA — but it seems to me that the ‘prize’ that would make the Wii U legitimate as a console of choice for multiplatform games is Call of Duty.”

My previous thoughts still stand. I don't just want to yell "pictures or it didn't happen", but I think that it's best not to speculate on things like this. Only time will tell if his conclusions are correct.

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