A prototype was first revealed alongside the Wii U at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2011. The almost-final version, along with the name "Wii U GamePad", was announced June 3, 2012, with a redesigned button layout, ergonomic grips, analog sticks, and an overall wider build.
DesignThe Wii U GamePad is shaped similarly to the orginal Nintendo Entertainment System controller but larger to accomodate the LCD screen placed in the center. The screen is a single touch resistive touchscreen, similar to those on the Nintendo DS and 3DS models. Alongside the screen are Nintendo's normal input buttons, except the analog sticks and the buttons positions are reversed. It also has a microphone and a front-facing camera for in-game voice chat and video chat. The prototype originally featured Circle Pads similar to those of the Nintendo 3DS but were replaced with anolog sticks to supply buttons underneath them when pressed down.
- Despite possessing a built-in microphone, Nintendo requires a headset to enable it.