Miyamoto reveals more Wii U details

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has been talking to press following the unveiling of the Wii U next-generation console at E3, and has let slip a few more details about next-years stocking-stuffer.

Perhaps the most surprising admission is in the number of the innovative, tablet-like controllers that the Wii U will support: just one.

Multiplayer gamers, it seems, will be relegated to using the Wiimote and Nunchuck combo from the original Wii console.

Speaking to News.com.au, Miyamoto explained: "Our basic premise is that you can use [just] one with a system. That being said, we are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friend's house and they want to play together on Wii U to whether or not something like that would be possible."

Miyamoto's response speaks volumes about the Wii U. The fact that he refers to ongoing research suggests that the system is far from finished, as indicated by the borrowing of footage from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games during the unveiling ceremony at the Electronics Entertainment Expo.

It has been suggested, however, that multiple players might be able to get a similar dual-screen approach using a Nintendo 3DS system connected to the same wireless network as the Wii U. While this would remove the need to have multiple Wii U tablet controllers, it does raise the question of why Nintendo didn't just think about bundling a 3DS with every Wii U.

It's something Nintendo has tried before: in the days of the GameCube, users could buy a cable to connect the console to a GameBoy Advance in order to use the hand-held's screen as a secondary display. Some games would unlock additional content in this manner, such as the special island on the GameCube release of Animal Crossing.

While Miyamoto's announcement of a lack of multiplayer support on the Wii U may disappoint gamers, the announcement itself appears to have disappointed investors. With many expecting great things from the last of the 'old guard' to still be releasing new consoles, the Wii U's unveiling triggered a mass sale of Nintendo stock. At the time of writing, the company's shares have slid 4.6 per cent yesterday and 5.7 per cent the day before. Today's trading is showing the start of a similar slide.

It's far from the company's biggest loss - back in 2009 Nintendo shares hit a 12 per cent decline following the adjustment of its sales projection figures for the Wii - but it's a blow to the company's ego and reflects uncertainty about just how the Wii U will work as a gaming platform.

While investors are unconvinced, the gaming industry appears cautiously optimistic about the potential for innovation on the Wii U. Speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine, Irrational Games director Ken Levine - one of the team behind hit underwater epic Bioshock - claimed he was 'excited' by the platform. "When any new tech comes along you have a period of experimentation," he explained. "I'm certainly excited about it as a gamer."

With the Wii U, Nintendo is taking a big gamble: while the hardware enjoys a major performance boost over the current-generation Wii, it only just matches that available from current-generation consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. When Microsoft and Sony announce their next-gen platforms, Nintendo could risk being left in the dust once again.

The company is clearly betting heavily on the clever controller, but only time will tell if developers are able to integrate the tablet into their creations without it feeling like a gimmick.

That was one of the biggest problems for the touch-screen on the Nintendo DS at launch, and the company will have to avoid falling in to the same trap with the Wii U.