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Why the Wii U's GamePad controller won't have a multitouch screen, and other tidbits from Reggie Fils-Aime

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Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime answered some burning questions about the Wii U and its gamepad.

Wii U Gamepad hands1
Wii U Gamepad hands1

We've learned quite a bit about the Wii U over the past week — just check out our E3 StoryStream — but Kotaku did get a few more choice tidbits in an interview with Nintendo of America's outspoken president Reggie Fils-Aime. First and foremoest, while the touchscreen on the Wii U GamePad does support both finger and stylus input, it's not a multitouch screen like the one on your tablet phone, and Fils-Aime explained that while it does bring down the cost, it's mainly just a matter of the way you're expected to hold it. Here's an excerpt:

"When we went through the building of this and, given some of the functionality, we thought that single-touch was a more appropriate option, especially when you've got other button configurations."

As he held the controller he reached into the touch screen with one of his thumbs and then tapped the screen with a forefinger. Each time, he kept his other hand on the controller.

Then he put the controller down so he could touch the screen with a finger from each hand. "Is this really the way you want to play a game? I don't think so."

The Nintendo president also told Kotaku that the Wii U GamePad's quoted 3-5 hours of battery life is a "conservative" estimate, that system-level achievements are a go, that not all games will support the ability to play on the Wii U controller alone, that Nintendo doesn't currently intend to block used games with DRM, and that — despite appearances — the Wii U will still require some form of Friend Codes. Fils-Aime called it much simpler than the existing system that requires you to trade 16 digits with a friend before being able to link up. Find fuller answers at the Kotaku link below.