The Wii U’s touch screen controller will not be sold separately from the console, which means that every Wii U owner will have only one.
“Our basic premise is that you can use one with a system,” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto told news.com.au. “If we got to an idea of having multiple [controllers] it might be just more convenient for people to use their Nintendo 3DS and have a way to connect that.”
This certainly brings up various questions regarding multiplayer gaming on the Wii U. Without the touch screen controller, not every gamer can have the same experience. Other players will most likely be relegated to Wii remotes (as seen in the Chase Mii demo on the show floor) or to classic controllers. As well, each controller has a different number of buttons, analog sticks, etc.
Speculation runs rampant as to why the controller won’t be sold separately. It’s possible that it would be too expensive for consumers to invest in a second (or third, or fourth), or that too many of these controllers would be too much for the Wii U to handle streaming information to.
This doesn’t mean we’ll never see more than one Wii U controller together, but no one is certain about it yet.
“We are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friends house and they want to play together on Wii U to whether or not something like that would be possible,” Miyamoto said.