Nintendo: Wii U Is Not a "Brute Force" Console

Nintendo Admits: Wii U Will Not Compete Against PlayStation 4, Xbox Next

by Anton Shilov
01/31/2012 | 08:50 PM

Nintendo has admitted that while its forthcoming Wii U game console will support high-definition graphics and will be rather powerful, it will not be able to compete with the next-generation systems from Microsoft Corp. or Sony Corp. in terms of performance as they will be ultra-powerful. Instead, Nintendo calls its approach balanced as it features both improvements and exclusive technologies.


"There are a variety of different ways to show the unique appeal of software. What’s important here is not to narrow down what we can do. Rather, we have to create the dynamic range of appeals that the consumers can appreciate. We decided to make a proposal of an additional screen into the Wii U controller because developers could think of a variety of different possibilities here and there of using both a big TV screen and a screen in a player’s hand," said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, during a conference call with investors.

Nintendo's approach with the original Wii was similar: to make a unique game system that would be not directly competing with more powerful devices by companies with a lot more financial and other resources. Nintendo did succeed in that, but had to sacrifice product cycle comparable to PlayStation and Xbox as well as the market of hardcore games. With Wii U, Nintendo hopes to regain core gamers thanks to improved performance and slightly different approach of work with game designers that is projected to yield into higher amount of titles for the new console. What Nintendo clearly did not want to do was to create a competitor for the next breed of systems: PlayStation 4 and Xbox Loop.

"We are aiming to make a system which shall not be forced into competing with the others where the contenders can fight only with massive developer resources and long development times as their weapons. Having said that, however, as I mentioned, it is true that, in some software areas, we need to be engaged in the power games. Take The Legend of Zelda franchise, for example, the fans must be looking for the graphic representations that they do not see as cheap at all when the title is released for the Wii U," added Mr. Iwata.

A third-party game developer has confirmed that Nintendo's approach for working with third-parties has changed dramatically. Apparently, Nintendo is constantly adjusting firmware and hardware of Wii U in accordance with demands from game designers.

"They asked us what we would want from the hardware, and when we give them feedback we can see that they have definitely listened and making changes. The hardware is still changing constantly,"  said Yosuke Hayashi from Team Ninja, in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.