Shigeru Miyamoto has blamed the perception of Nintendo as a casual game maker on the decision not to support HD gaming with the original Wii.
At the same time his boss, Satoru Iwata, acknowledged that the 86 million-selling console was not "able to cater to every gamer's needs" – with Wii U the company's attempt to "resolve" this.
The comments came in the latest massive Iwata Asks chinwag between the pair.
Miyamoto said: "One of the key reasons that such things as the core and the casual exist today is that we decided not to adopt HD on the Wii console."
"I'm sure everyone would agree that we tried really hard to go wider," Iwata added. "But even though we worked aggressively to go deeper in certain areas, the general public's impression that Nintendo was casual grew as time went by."
Wii U, both claim, can break down the barrier between casual and core, which Miyamoto reckons is "psychological".
"I think this is an opportunity for those games that were considered to be core up to now, to evolve into something [with an] even more interesting structure," he said.
"That core vs. casual debate seems like something that can never see a resolution, but with Wii U, I have a feeling that it all may change.
"If we are able to break those psychological barriers with Wii U, I feel like we will be able to take our goal of expanding the gaming population even further to the next step."