Miyamoto blames Wii U launch software delays on Nintendo's leap to next-gen
"Any time you have a big jump in the hardware technology it certainly takes the teams time."
Nintendo's top designer Shigeru Miyamoto has explained that its developers struggled with the hardware leap from Wii to Wii U, and that's why some of the console's initial software line-up has been a long time coming.
The Wii U launched with New Super Mario Bros. U and mini-game collection Nintendo Land, but other 'launch window' titles such as Pikmin 3, Game & Wario and The Wonderful 101 have yet to arrive. It's especially surprising as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was Nintendo's only blockbuster Wii release in the last two years of that console's life.
"Any time you have a big jump in the hardware technology it certainly takes the teams time to learn that and adjust their development environment in order to adapt to those big changes," Miaymoto told GamesIndustry International.
One answer to this would be simply hiring more staff, but Miyamoto explained that this was not as straightforward a solution as it sounded.
"If you speak in terms of simple maths you could say that Nintendo should just multiply its development team staff by four times and then everything would be fine, but unfortunately things aren't quite that easy.
"Our focus is always on delivering the highest quality content, and simply increasing the development team size isn't going to allow you to achieve the level of quality that we strive for. You really have to kind of bring those people up gradually and help teach them how to develop games in order to achieve that consistent quality level."
The 3DS also suffered from a lack of hit first-party games soon after launch. It lead to the console's early price-drop and promise of a 3D Mario and Mario Kart the following Christmas.
For Wii U, its price has already been discounted at some UK retailers by as much as £100, and a 3D Mario is due for December. Mario Kart 8, however, won't arrive until next spring.
The parallels are there, Miyamoto admitted, but were merely "coincidental".
"It's a little bit coincidental in that the hardware jump from DS to 3DS was quite big in terms of the difference between those two [platforms] and it just so happens that that same scale of jump happened from Wii to Wii U, consecutively with those two pieces of hardware," he concluded.