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Nintendo Wii was extremely successful with casual gamers, but failed to become popular among core gamers due to lack of many multiplatform titles as a result of low performance compared to rivals. Nintendo vows that the situation with Wii U will be different in the coming years, but makes no predictions over longer-term future.

"We have not successfully kept the momentum of the Wii for about the last two years because third-party publishers have released a smaller number of game titles and Nintendo has also decreased new games for the platform in preparation for the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U," said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, at an annual meeting with shareholders.

Even though Nintendo Wii game console has managed to outsell both of its rivals - Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 - in the last couple of years it failed to bring in expected profits due to the fact that it lacked a lot of multiplatform game titles that were available only on PS3 and X360 as those consoles are considerably more powerful than the Wii. Now Nintendo promises that its next-generation Wii U video game system will not be significantly behind future consoles from Microsoft and Sony in terms of horsepower, but it acknowledges that it cannot guarantee that Wii U will not share the destiny of Wii when it comes to multiplatform gaming.

"We cannot promise that the Wii U will never be excluded from multiplatform software for eternity, but we can at least assure you that the Wii U will not have such a big difference as the Wii had in comparison to how, on other platforms, developers could expect very different graphic capabilities of generating HD-applicable high-resolution graphics," stated Mr. Iwata.

The head of Nintendo confesses that other companies might launch a next-generation console with more power, especially given that they release their consoles in 2013 or even 2014. But thanks to the fact that all consoles will support high-definition 720p and 1080p resolutions, for many years to come there will be no drastic difference between Wii U and competitors from Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment. Moreover, Mr. Iwata hopes that the innovative Wii U GamePad controller with the screen will help the console to differentiate itself and change the way people consider game consoles.

"Video game consoles have long been 'parasites' of TV sets at home. In other words, game consoles have used TV sets in a family instead of being equipped with their own screen. However, the Wii U will be the first console free from TV sets, in which you can play the Wii U while someone else is watching TV or you yourself can watch TV while using the Wii U. As you can experience deeper entertainment with both the Wii U GamePad and the TV screen, we would like to enrich it but, at the same time, we hope to furnish it with games you can enjoy only with the Wii U GamePad. [...] Furthermore, the Wii U can change the way you use the TV set in your living room, although the Wii U is a video game system in its nature and this is just an added component," said Satoru Iwata.

Tags: Nintendo, Wii, Wii U

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 07/04/12 08:03:31 AM
Latest comment: 07/10/12 12:09:45 PM
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1. 
I just had a thought that if Sony could use Gaikai's streaming technology not just for cloud gaming but to bring a PS4's game to any tablet in the household then it could one-up the Wii U's display advantage.
0 2 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 07/04/12 08:03:31 AM]
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Because everyone wants their gaming platform to have high latency?
0 0 [Posted by: user99  | Date: 07/10/12 12:09:45 PM]
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2. 
"But thanks to the fact that all consoles will support high-definition 720p and 1080p resolutions, for many years to come there will be no drastic difference between Wii U and competitors from Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment."

What an uninformed comment. Resolution alone does not determine the quality of the graphics displayed. You can have a game at 1280x720 that looks miles better than one at 2560x1600. Realistic/dynamic lightning model, physics and particle effects, AI, individually rendered hair/feathers have nothing to do with resolution. Resolution helps to resolve texture details but there are plenty of other things that can make a game look far more realistic. Just because the next generation consoles are all going to be 1080P capable, doesn't mean the games on them will look similar to the Wii U.

Just take Metro 2033/Witcher 2 at 1080P and compare it to Quake 4 or Doom 3 at 2560x1600. Resolution is NEVER the most important factor for how great games look. He is just making excuses because he is well aware the Wii U won't be able to have games that look as great as the next Xbox or Playstation.
4 3 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 07/04/12 10:49:39 PM]
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You're deliberately missing the point. He was talking about the graphical power of the systems and their capabilities. The things you bring up are true largely depending on the game developer, not the console. Furthermore most industry analysts expect the WiiU to be running UE3 and no one expects the '14 consoles to be running UE4 which will put all of them in a very similar boat graphically. Again he's talking processing power comparisons and you're talking physics engines and developer nuance. You're trying to make a false link just to backup your prejudices against the WiiU when no one knows either the WiiU full capabilities and certainly not the other two consoles that are still two years away.
2 3 [Posted by: corwinsr  | Date: 07/05/12 12:44:14 AM]
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No, I am not making any false links. The hardware in Xbox next and PS4 should be a lot more powerful than the Wii U. Why do you think those next generation consoles will not run UE4? That's a joke right? By 2014 they will have a lot more powerful hardware. Also, there is 0 chance that next generation PS4 and Xbox will reuse the same UE3 game engine. That would defeat the entire purpose of launching the new console.

You are also forgetting a ton of other engines in development - EGO 2 by Codemasters, Frostbite 2.0, Cryengine 3.0. None of the current consoles can use the features in those game engines.

Considering the Wii U is rumored to have HD4000 series GPU, it won't support any DX11 features, not next gen dynamic lightning, not tessellation. It'll be hopelessly outdated despite supporting 1080P resolution. You can believe all you want that next Xbox and PS that won't be any more powerful hardware wise despite launching almost 2 years after the Wii U. The same thing happened with the Wii vs. PS3/360, right?

Notice how Nintendo won't talk at all about hardware for their new Wii U? Look at the size of that console - it's tiny. That right there tells you it uses low-end components that don't consume a lot of power and don't require large heatsinks to dissipate all that heat.

The Wii U will have the worst looking games out of all next generation consoles, mark my word.
0 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 07/05/12 04:53:24 PM]
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"the Wii U will be the first console free from TV sets"


Sure... apart from the PS One, which did this 12 years ago.

I fear this is only blah blah, they simply don't know which niche to occupy in a future full of tablets, smart phones and tv sets with more gaming power than all of their devices.
1 1 [Posted by: Marburg U  | Date: 07/05/12 03:21:59 AM]
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PS One didn't have a screen integrated in its controller. You have to had the console near you if you wanted to play without a TV. All with cables.
1 1 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 07/05/12 05:57:33 AM]
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4. 
THe original wii was just an enhanced GameCube, it was 50% more powerful at most

However, wii U is several times more power than wii. THe gap between Next gen consoles and Wii U won't best as big as wii and xbox 360. Otherwise, the hardware would be extremely expensive to manufacture.
1 0 [Posted by: maroon1  | Date: 07/06/12 04:57:37 AM]
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Ok but even if that's true, let's say the original Wii was 3-4x less powerful than PS3/360 and if the new one is 2-2.5x less powerful, his statement would be true. However, why would I go out and spend $300-400 on Wii U, have way worse multimedia capabilities (no Blu-Ray, Amazon Video on demand, Hulu etc.) and so on?

People keep forgetting but Nintendo always had powerful hardware up to N64. I am not saying hardware is the most important factor (Sega Dreamcast), but both the SNES and N64 had better graphics hardware their their primary competitors, Sega Genesis and PS1.

The Wii U may sell well, but if it's 3rd party mature gaming support is MIA like it was for Gamecube and Wii days, it will be just another failed console in the eyes of mature gamers. Thankfully the rumoured launch titles for Wii are looking good.

Still, I think MS has carved out an insanely loyal following in the US and Sony PS4 is almost guaranteed to have unique mature exclusives like PS3 did. Nintendo's competitive advantage are their own games but besides Zelda, I am personally bored of all their franchisees. The presentation for Wii U at E3 was not impressive, not even a little. There is no hype about this console.
1 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 07/06/12 09:42:36 AM]
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