Nintendo: Wii U won’t be forced into tech race with other competitors

By Debabrata Nath
30 January 2012 23:13 GMT

Nintendo feels the Wii U has enough of an interesting offering that it doesn’t need to focus on one-upping the competition’s tech prowess.

This was conveyed by the company’s CEO Satoru Iwata during an investor Q&A last week.

Iwata said that although Nintendo’s new console will no doubt make use of the extra power of the Wii U and offer some titles with high-end visuals and tech, it won’t be the company’s primary objective as it plans to focus more on other areas instead, such as offering engaging gameplay and new experiences.

“As we will showcase the Wii U at E3 in June this year, the detailed announcements must wait until then, but we are aiming to make a system which shall not be forced into competing with the others where the contenders can fight only with massive developer resources and long development times as their weapons,” he said.

Iwata said he felt that it isn’t necessary to produce resource-hungry games only, and that there is certainly scope to make other interesting projects as well.

“Looking at the software for home console systems, there are certainly the software titles for which very rich graphics must be reproduced on HD displays and which demand a large number of developers to spend a very long time to develop.

“It is one of the truths that a certain number of such software titles must be prepared, or the consumers will not be satisfied. But we do not think that any and all the software must be created in that fashion.

“When you look at Nintendo’s software, extraordinary rich graphics, massive gameplay volume and astonishing rendition effects are not necessarily the appealing point. It is, in fact, important for us that our games are appealing in other ways as well.”

He went on to say that Nintendo’s always adopted a “size isn’t everything” approach while creating games, and that trend will continue while developing new experiences for the Wii U.

Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven was offered as an example to that approach by Iwata, as he insisted that, “if we had adopted rich photo-realistic graphics, it would have lost much of its appeal.”

Iwata confirmed that Nintendo will be roping in a lot more third-party studios for developing games for the Wii-U than it’s done ever before.

“When we need massive power and have a lack of internal resources, we collaborate with outside resources and pour necessary resources to where they are needed. We are increasing the frequency of working with outside developers where Mr. Miyamoto and our internal developers alone used to develop.

“What’s important here is not to narrow down what we can do,” he added. “Rather, we have to create the dynamic range of appeals that the consumers can appreciate.”

However, Iwata said one popular Nintendo franchise will certainly make full use of the Wii U’s additional capabilities – The Legend of Zelda.

“As I mentioned, it is true that, in some software areas, we need to be engaged in the power games,” he said.

“Take The Legend of Zelda franchise, for example, the fans must be looking for the graphic representations that they do not see as cheap at all when the title is released for the Wii U. When it is necessary, we do not hesitate to role out our resources.”

Wii U is preparing for a re-reveal at E3 2012, with a planned launch before Christmas this year.

Both Sony and Microsoft are unlikely to announce, let alone release, their next console this year.

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