Wii U system update lets you output Wii games to GamePad

The latest Wii U system update introduces the ability to output video and sound to the Wii U GamePad when using the console’s Wii Mode to play games originally released for the older system. However, Nintendo says the new feature only allows Wii software to be displayed on the GamePad, so a Wii Remote Plus or Wii Remote is still required to actually play the games.

Among other features, Wii U system update 4.0 also adds support for USB keyboards, the ability to automatically receive recommended software and demos from Nintendo, and a friend list icon to the Wii U Menu for easier access. Additionally, there are changes to System Settings, Wii U Chat and Internet Browser functionality. Check out the full update notes here.

A new Nintendo Direct broadcast will be streamed online today from 3pm BST / 7am PT / 10am ET. Hosted by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata, it will focus on previously announced Wii U and 3DS games scheduled for release later this year.


  • JarkayColt - October 1, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    Wait, so how exactly would that work? Sounds completely pointless. To operate the game you still have to point at the sensor bar, right? Generally speaking that will be under or above your TV, which means you'll still have to be facing it when using off-screen play. There are very few Wii games that don't freak out when the Wii Remote isn't being pointed at the screen; pointing at the sensor bar rather than the GamePad screen would be really awkward. Did anybody actually ask for this?
  • C.King - October 1, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    i don't see what the problem is. the little cursor is never where i pointing at on the screen but it moves relative to my motion. i'd think the game pad would have a sensor itself, no? it really only a handy feature you share a tv in demand or if you need to go somewhere and aren't embarrassed to carry the game pad with you(wait what is its range?). but think about this! it doesn't have to be a motion game you could play smash bros, epic yarn, new super mario bros, and mario galaxy(they never really require you to point on screen if u already unlocked the planets)
  • JarkayColt - October 1, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    Does the GamePad actually have a stand, though? Because you're gonna have to prop it up somehow if you're having to use an external controller (read: Wii Remote). Also, I don't think the GamePad has it's own sensor, so I expect you'll still have to sit in range of the Wii U, i.e. near your TV. As you say, I know that there are a handful of games that don't require the remote to be pointed at the screen, but that severely diminishes the point of using this. If you were in the middle of playing Skyward Sword, you wouldn't be able to use the feature, for example.
  • Stillnotlola - October 1, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    Unless you bought the 8 gig version, the WiiU comes bundled with two stands for the gamepad (i'm counting the charger cradle; it gets the job done). Also, only since you mentioned it, you only really need the sensor bar in Skyward Sword to callibrate the controller. Unplug the sensor bar mid-play session and you can't even tell the difference. It's all motion plus. (I only learned this because i had that terrible giant wireless sensor bar that requires 4 AA's, so i'd always shut it off to conserve battery life. So glad the WiiU came with a default sensor bar in the box) But yeah. Skyward Sword works fine with the update. just don't recomend it since the screen's pretty small and you'll want to distance yourself from the gamepad so as to not whack it across the room. hah.
  • C.King - October 1, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    thank you for sharing your experience, gave a clear picture on this
  • JarkayColt - October 1, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Oh, right, thank you very much for clearing that up! I don't have a Wii U myself so I couldn't really understand how or why playing a Wii game through the GamePad would even work. I didn't know that the GamePad had a sensor too, I just assumed it didn't because of needing a main TV one also. I often find myself replaying Wii games occasionally so its a feature I would probably use if it was implemented right, which it seems to be based on what you've said, haha.
  • Stillnotlola - October 1, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    The gamepad has a built-in sensor bar, silly. I wouldn't really reccomend games with extensive amounts of pointing such as Metroid, but playing Brawl and Rayman Origins on my lap while my buddy used my tv for ps3 was kind of cool. I'm happy with the update.
  • kyuubi85 - October 1, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    There is a sensor bar on the game pad, where the camera is
  • JarkayColt - October 1, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Yeah, I probably should've looked into that before making an assumption XD thanks for correcting me! It makes a lot more sense now.

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