When Nintendo debuted the Wii U last year, it played coy on whether users would be able to use two of the new GamePad controllers simultaneously. This year at E3 the company confirmed it would be possible, though it doesn't look like any games actually offering the functionality will be available when the console launches. In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime stated that "games need to be built that can take advantage of the two GamePad controllers," and that "it's going to be well after launch for those game experiences to come to life." Fils-Aime stated that developers would instead need to focus on developing for two screens, and would worry about incorporating an additional controller after they'd mastered that approach.
Of course, with the GamePad such an integral part of the Wii U experience that Nintendo is pitching — and multiplayer gaming a logical extension of it — one would think the company would have already encouraged developers to take advantage of the functionality. Given the fuzzy answers last year and the sudden confirmation this year, however, it seems all too likely that the decision to allow multiple GamePads was one Nintendo only came to recently, leaving it in the unenviable position of having to wait for developers to catch up after the Wii U launches... whenever that may be.