Satoru Iwata has admitted that planning on Wii U started as far back as four years ago.
Speaking to Gamasutra at E3, in a rare interview with specialist games press, the Nintendo president said that it was around 2007 it decided to add a second screen with the new platform, one which was initially not due to be part of the controller.
“Considering how expensive screens were then, it did not make sense to have this big-sized LCD,” said Iwata, referring to how the screen was originally smaller due to the cost of LCDs at the time.
“We would not have been able to come up with a reasonable price point. … We had not decided when we were going to launch the new console [at that point], but we knew we needed to be flexible.”
But despite the unveil of Wii U at E3, Iwata insists that it’s not going to fully leave Wii behind just yet.
“When we consider the people who are first to purchase Wii U and the people who are going to purchase the Wii, I don’t think there will be a great overlap between the two,” he said.
“I believe that those who are waiting to purchase the Wii now are the so-called ‘late adopters’ and the people waiting to purchase the Wii U are early adopters. So for the time after the Wii U [arrives in stores], I believe both systems will be on the market for some time.”
Wii U will launch in 2012.