Between the television and the gamepad on the Wii U, the dual screen experience is now akin to that of the DS and 3DS, Nintendo’s acclaimed handhelds. So can we expect a peripheral that would allow people to play their DS/3DS carts on the Wii U?
And looking at the hardware DNA of the Wii U, it is very conceivable that a third device is possible. The Wii U’s GamePad has a touchscreen, camera, microphone, and all the basic controls that would allow for the DS/3DS experience to be played on the console.
The only feature that probably wouldn’t make the leap to the Wii U is the 3D ability of the 3DS. There are glasses-free enabled 3DTVs on the market, but compatibility could be an issue. Seeing as 3D was always an optional feature for the handheld, I don’t think this would be a deal-breaker for consumers.
The allure of having a device that would allow an install base consisting of nearly 174 million handhelds (152 for DS, 22 for 3DS) to play their games on a console would be too great for Nintendo and consumers to ignore. On the fence about the Wii U? A device like this would certainly seal the deal.
It looks like an external device would be warranted as opposed to an adapter or hardware expansion like the aforementioned Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player devices. More than likely a small device that plugs in via USB, unless the DS/3DS handhelds themselves got a firmware update that allowed them to plug-in directly to the Wii U, which is another possibility.
I put together this basic design and named it the “DS U”. Its silhouette is that of the ‘U’ from the Wii U logo, so it could sit beside the console in a complimentary fashion. The ‘U’ opening also prominently displays the game cart label, giving it an old-school cartridge vibe.
Really hope Nintendo does something along these lines, as it would certainly expand the Wii U’s potential.