When the Wii U was announced, people started talking about the system’s gamepad as a counter by Nintendo to Apple’s popular tablet, iPad.
However, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has rubbished these claims and has mentioned that the idea was floating around the company’s offices in 2008. The iPad was released in 2010.
“We began talking about having another screen being a good idea around 2008,” he told Nikkei (article in Japanese).
“We thought thoroughly about our other options, but in the end, this was the idea which was the most logical for us. So in 2009, just as we began to press forward with this idea, sure that we were on the right track, this thing called an iPad came into the world.”
“So 2.5 years after the debut of the iPad, when we were announcing the Wii U, it was the start of the tablet boom, the reaction was, ‘Nintendo’s just added a tablet to a game console, and there’ll be no revolution this time.’ Even though we’d been working on dual screens prior to the release of tablets, it looked like we were just following a trend.”
Reminds me of Sony’s Move Prototype they showed back in 2001. First come, first served I guess.