An ad from Nintendo for Mario Kart 8, currently running in the UK, has people wondering if Nintendo is about to release a revised version of the Wii U gamepad.
A screenshot of the most interesting second appears above. Whatever we’re looking at, it can’t be the original pad. The screen looks larger, the outer shell looks smaller and it overall looks lighter.
If this was accidental, it’s very unlike Nintendo to miss a leak this big. The shot is blurry and appears for just one second, but Nintendo has historically been the most secretive of all game companies by a large margin. It would be very difficult for an ad company to get their hands on a prototype of this supposed new model, let alone create the circumstances where they might show it by accident.
This is why some people believe this image has to be an error created by editing software and is not intended to suggest an actual new pad, especially when every other shot in the ad shows people wielding a normal gamepad. Theoretically, someone working on the ad might have superimposed an image of the game onto the pad and made it bigger than it would normally be, figuring nobody would notice if it was blurred.
Ever since the Wii U was first announced, representatives within the company have discussed the possibility of games using more than one gamepad. Finding ways to reduce the price of the controller would be a good way to start, and redesigning it would entice more people into owning more than one. It’s likely Nintendo already knows these things. Error or not, you can expect some portion of the Wii U to be redesigned at some point in the console’s lifecycle.
Nintendo has yet to respond to the new-controller rumor.