Nintendo Promises Thin Performance Gap Between Wii U, Next-Gen Consoles

Nintendo Admits: Wii U Cannot Be Guaranteed from Extinction from Multiplatform Game Market

by Anton Shilov
07/03/2012 | 10:56 PM

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.