Iwata: Wii U to have “flexible” online for developers, HD will attract “shooters”

By Stephany Nunneley, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:13 GMT

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors at an E3 briefing that the firm wants to make online “flexible enough” with Wii U so that developers can “do the types of things that they might want to do.” He also believes that with the new console being an HD system, hardware limitations with the shooter gene will “melt away.”

Going online with Wii U

“What I have come to feel lately is that the idea of saying, ‘we are going to create this style of online structure and that we would like you, the developers, to fit into the online structure that we are creating’ is perhaps already out-of-date,” Iwata told attendees at the briefing. “I think that Nintendo’s past console business has often included this idea of a set and fixed online structure. So, I think that, going forward, the question is really to what degree Nintendo can create a more flexible system for its consoles.

“And, what we found at this point is that, as we discuss the online structure with different publishers, the things that the different publishers want to do are in fact seemingly rather different. Our current direction is how we can take the desires of the third parties and create a system that’s flexible enough to enable them to do the types of things that they might want to do.”

Iwata admitted during the session that Nintendo is no longer in a period where it “cannot have any connection at all with social networking services,” and how these service can work in conjunction with gaming platforms. A lot of games on platforms other than Nintendo’s allow users to sync their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts in order to share their accomplishments with others.

This is, of course, all part of the online capabilities of current generation consoles from both Sony and Microsoft.

Bringing shooters into the mix

Iwata also admitted during his time with investors at E3 that shooter developers skipped out on Wii, due to the console’s hardware limitations; however, Nintendo believes Wii U will attract more shooters due to it being an HD machine.

“Within the current environment, there are a number of the companies that are spending a significant amount to create these first-person shooters but, with the graphics capabilities of the Wii hardware, we have not been able to get them to create Wii versions of key franchises, and they have developed few games of that genre with Wii as the primary gaming console,” he said.

“So, some of the hardware limitations that have been a hurdle for those developers to create their games on our console, are going to melt away when we move to Wii U because it is an HD system.”

Iwata also pledged to support third-parties more with WIi U, and suggested the firm could do this by dividing up some of the development and marketing responsibilities.

Big thanks to Gamasutra for the transcription.

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