When the original Wii came out, some complained of the lack of true 1:1 control, but most gamers went on and enjoyed the Wii for what it was. About the time I personally afforded my fourth Wii Remote, the WiiMotionPlus accessory was introduced. That inch square dongle hung off the back of the unit, making sideways handling of your controller almost impossible, and causing those of us who tried to play by the rules of keeping the silicone sleeve on the Wiimote unending nightmares. Overall, very few titles used the WiiMotionPlus accessory, but those that did made it worthwhile. Eventually, Nintendo dropped the dongle and simply built the technology into the dimensions of the traditional Wii remote. Gamers eventually had one "WiiMotionPlus" remote as their primary, and delegated old units to Player 2 and beyond.
The Wii U GamePad has had a few shortcomings that people have wondered about, but now see the Wii U as a total package. Meanwhile, I look at the "one GamePad per system" issue and wonder: is this to prevent us from loading up on the (notably more expensive) GamePads to have more to complain about when the GamePadPlus is inevitably released? Think about it: I was grumpy when I had to replace four Wiimotes. Below, you'll find a list of things I see as potential "upgrades" to the Wii U GamePad that, if bundled together in one unit, could provide a viable enough gameplay experience to warrant early adopters to invest in a new second screen.
Extended Battery Life and Range: The GamePad makes a wonderful portable unit, allowing you to play your classic console games in the palm of your hand. The need to be right by your machine limits your range, though. I was bummed when I got "out of range" so quickly. Also, the three-hour battery life may be enough for a gaming session, but it delegates you to ensuring the unit is charging between sessions, or you'll find yourself out of luck next time you want to play. With these seemingly easy upgrades, you'd be able to more comfortably take your second screen into the bedroom for some late-night gaming sessions, and be okay with it sitting on your bedside table without a charge up absolutely required before you fire it up again.
Multi-Touch Screen: One thing pointed out to me by friends is in the realm of pinching and zooming on your iPad to zoom in and out (as well as perform fun maneuvers on certain games), the Wii U GamePad only supports single touch play. This is fine for most gaming, but the addition would allow many gamers to sit around the Wii U GamePad and interact in a single screen, or allow that pinching/pulling game play to be added into the titles of the future.
HD-ified Picture: I recently wrote an article about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and how I could now play, given that the off-screen update let me see the items that were blurry on my SDTV. A commenter on a news aggregate site rather bluntly pointed out my erroneous labeling of the GamePad as an HD screen: apparently I can see it better due to the size not allowing blurriness, plus the general "slightly better" look to the pad. Perhaps Nintendo could put even better picture quality in the GamePad, offer the usual bigger screen (though much bigger would be too much), or best yet, offer an attachment (I would NOT want it as part of the unit) putting the primary screen on a hinge with the GamePad for true portablility and off-screen play of any title.
Back Pad Camera: The 3DS's Augmented Reality cards are a neat distraction: you throw a card on your table, next thing you know Nintendo characters are trotting all over, climbing on your Lazy Susan. Occasionally, games have utilized it as well. There are a myriad of phone apps that use AR as well, from fun distractions that put silly faces on your friends to full-on driving and restaurant information. A back pad camera would allow you to line up fun pictures of your friends as they play, augment graphics to pop out of the television, let you play a virtual Nintendo themed hide-and-seek around your house, and more.
Transforming Control Schemes: A bit of a stretch, as the GamePad is the center of the unit and the whole sale of the system, but imagine if the sides were able to break off and hook to a smaller, less intrusive center for a GamePad Pro you didn't have to buy separately. Other games could come with attachments for specific gameplay styles by replacing other sides of the GamePad. Nintendo has shown through the years that the more they allow developers to be creative, the more unique the games can be.
3DS Card Slot: Hey....I can dream.
While some of these items are rather far fetched, some look like unique progressions that, when added, with the ability to link multiple pads to one console, could bring the Wii U owner dashing back to the store to pick up a bigger, better pad. Do you think any of these are a possibility? Any other places the pad has room for improvement? Sound off below!