Nintendo believes its upcoming Wii U console will be better suited to hardcore gamers. The company admitted its current Wii was widely categorised as "a casual machine aimed towards families".
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, speaking in a new Iwata Asks interview, said he hoped the expanded features of the Wii U, notably HD graphics, would keep the new console from being labelled as "casual" too.
"Shortly after the Wii console was released, people in the gaming media and game enthusiasts started recognising the Wii console as a casual machine aimed toward families, and placed game consoles by Microsoft and Sony in a very similar light with each other, saying these are machines aimed towards those who passionately play games," Iwata explained.
"It was a categorisation between games that were aimed towards core, and casual."
Iwata said he believed the Wii failed to satisfy enough "core" gamers.
"I certainly do not think that Wii was able to cater to every gamer's needs, so that's also something I wanted to resolve," he said. "The general public's impression that Nintendo was casual grew as time went by."
Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto said he blamed this largely on the decision for the Wii not to support HD, something that allowed the Xbox 360 and PS3 to immediately be seen as superior.
"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," Miyamoto explained. "Of course, besides that there are things like issues with the controller and the challenges that it brings, network functionalities and many other things, but I think HD was the biggest factor that everyone was able to clearly understand the difference."
Iwata said he believed the Wii U will change public opinion towards Nintendo being for casual gamers - a distinction he perceives to be merely psychological.
"The barrier that separated the two genres [core and casual] was only something psychological, just an impression that people had about them. For example, The Legend of Zelda games were something geared towards the toughest audience, and it has been so from the beginning," he said.
"So it's not like at Nintendo we don't have it in us."