Nintendo hits back at Wii U power concern

"Look at the very first GameCube games, and compare them to Resident Evil 4."

Nintendo has hit back at concern over the power of the Wii U.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, US president Reggie Fils-Aime reiterated Nintendo's line about its first high definition console not being about power, but took issue with the suggestion that the Wii U will appear dated when the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox launch - reportedly next year.

At E3 Sony Worldwide Studios boss told Eurogamer he considered the Wii U to be its own generation - and not a competitor to the inevitable PlayStation 4.

"Three comments," the combative Fils-Aime began. "First, it's not about power. If it was about power, then the GameCube would have been the number one system in its generation and the Wii wouldn't have been the number one system in this last generation. It is not about power. It is about fun, it is about the experience.

"Second. Our competitors can say what they want about some super long cycle, but let's see what their behaviours are.

"Thirdly, the way development works is that the longer developers work with a system, the better they can tune performance. Case in point: Look at the very first GameCube games, and compare them to a game like Resident Evil 4. It was graphically beautiful, and demonstrably more advanced than the first GameCube games.

"The same was true for Wii. A great example is Super Mario Galaxy 2. The graphics are just beautiful. And look at the motion control we were able to achieve in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword."

Imagine what we'll see two years from now when developers have been working with Wii U longer and learn how to push everything out of the system.

He added: "The longer developers work on a system the more they tune it, the more they push the system, the more they learn tricks to really optimise performance. I share this because what you see here at E3 are games that represent a relatively short amount of development time. Imagine what we'll see two years from now when developers have been working with Wii U longer and learn how to push everything out of the system.

"Our competitors will do what they want. From our perspective, this is the right time to launch a new piece of hardware. And, the fun, the capabilities, and the experiences that we're offering today with a second screen are demonstrably better than what can be done today on other platforms."

Fils-Aime's comments tally with those of developers Eurogamer has spoken to anonymously ahead of the Wii U's launch. We've been told Wii U versions of multiplatform games will at best look as good as their PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 counterparts, but games built from the ground up for Wii U will show it to be graphically capable.

Meanwhile, Fils-Aime took issue with the suggestion that Nintendo lost its hardcore gaming audience with the casual-focused Wii U.

"You know, I really chafe at that comment," he said. "Define the hardcore. I know people who are playing Smash Bros. Brawl competitively today. They're playing hours on that game. People are playing hours on New Super Mario Bros.

"What I'll tell you is that with the Wii we did not have the benefit of multiplatform games from key publishers. I didn't have The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I didn't have the best of the Call of Duty games. That's what I missed."

With the Wii U, he said, Nintendo will get multiplatform games from key publishers.

"With the Wii U's graphics capability, processing power, and HD-output, we'll get those games. That's a huge competitive advantage versus where we were with the Wii."

But how will Nintendo do this?

"Well, the proposition for a third-party publisher or independent developer is pretty simple," Fils-Aime explained. "We need to show them that the install base is there for them to sell a quantity of games that represents a profitable proposition.

"What we're sharing with these publishers and developers is how first-party games will drive an install base, and how, from a marketing standpoint, we'll reach the type of consumers that they want to create content for.

"Then we have to deliver on it. What will help us are games like Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition, Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3 and Zombi U."

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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