The Wii U will not support multiple WiiPads, so says famed game designer Sigeru Miyamoto.
That's the type of statement that needs to sink in for a second, because you can travel through the hallowed halls of video game history in search of consoles that didn't support local multiplayer. You would come across one: The Virtual Boy. Nintendo's much maligned 3D goggle-rific system never made it to a multiplayer stage due to its quick death.
That's not to say every system did it well. Panasonic's 3DO required users to link controllers together in an ungainly act of cord trickery. At the very least, one could sit down and play Madden NFL Football with a friend in the same room, however complex it may have been.
It is important to note that system details are sparse, and surely there's a chance, since the Wii U is backwards compatible, the traditional WiiMote will suffice (Miyamoto did not confirm). Let's be honest though - if you're in a room with four other gamers who want to take part in NBA Jam, which controller do you want? What do you do? Flip a coin to decide who gets to hold the glory of a six-inch touch screen? Who wants to use the sharp-edged WiiMote instead of this freshly minted beast of a controller?
No doubt there are reasons for this, including the added processing power required to connect the main hardware to this lavish new control device. It's fancy, it's new, and it's not going to be perfect. But, imagine for a second playing a game of Madden and selecting plays not on the TV, but on the touch screen where peeking eyes are shut out of the equation. It's been done before, but never with the complexity or potential of the Wii U. Without two devices synced to the mysterious hardware, it's doing nothing other than putting one player at a disadvantage. If you have kids, your living room will undoubtedly turn into an impromptu mini Ultimate Fighting Championship, but instead of a belt, the prize is a controller.
Oh, and when they break it in the midst of their battle, there's a chance the WiiPad won't be sold separately, or say some rumors being tossed around at various sources yesterday. That says something about the cost involved in the controller alone.