Wii U not meant to outpower PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Shigeru MiyamotoWhile our image of the Wii U’s exact tech specs is still rather vague, Miyamoto dropped the bomb in an interview with GameSpot that Nintendo is not aiming to crush the competition with vastly superior graphics, citing price as the reason they’re once again going to sell the Wii U on its unique controller instead.

We’re very sensitive, of course, to trying to do all of this at an appropriate price. So I don’t know that we would be able to sit here and say that it’s going to necessarily dramatically outperform the systems that are out now. It’s part of the balance that we strike in terms of trying to find entertainment that is new and unique.

The console is still going to be more powerful than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but Miyamoto’s really just warning us that it won’t be by a wide margin.

Still, I’m not gonna complain – even if it turns out to be “only” as powerful as a PlayStation 3, the current-gen HD console’s graphics can’t exactly be called bad. And if an attractive price point means Nintendo will sell more Wii U’s, and therefore have more money to make awesome games, I’m all down for it.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

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  1. zxride64

    I don’t know if game developers can really afford to develop for extremely strong consoles since they creating games have become very expensive for companies.

    • Dan

      True, but HD game engines and new tools are making it much easier. If made from scratch every time, that would be a huge undertaking. For example, the unreal engine 3 (I believe), the new Crytek engine, and Frostbite 2 are all running on WiiU (off the top of my head, forgive errors).

  2. Oldergamer

    Nintendo’s detractors are gonna have a field day with this one. Well, they would regardless.

    You know, given that Nintendo does just games, and has no other major source of income, like PC operating systems, or TVs, stereo equipment and the like, my respect for them has always been quite high.

    For Sony, the PS3 wasn’t about games, it was about promoting their Blu-Ray technology. For MS, it was about a set top box that could pick up where the Dreamcast left off for online connectivity and delivery of various goods and services over the good ol’ TV.

    Yet, Nintendo has continually paved the way in game development. Each console iteration has had a new controller with the intent that it furthers the game play experience; the D-pad, shoulder buttons, rumble, motion, and now, a screen.

    ALL of these things have been adopted (and adapted) by both MS and Sony all while MS, and Sony specifically, heap derision on all the Nintendo does and trash talks Nintendo’s fans. It’s breathtakingly hypocritcal

    The 3rd parties, for the most part, aren’t interested in developing for “kiddies” either apparantly. I can understand the need and desire to generate substantial amounts of income but to blame the fanbase for the quality of their shovelware is hardly decent accountability for sheer laziness on their part.

    If Nintendo can take motion control and their hardware and produce substantial games of quality, so too could the 3rd parties but, it’s far easier to perpetuate the endless stream of FPS and the like. Oh look, an alien invasion, and oh look, more guns, and oh look, more online mulitplayer with the bigger, badder, type and volumes of guns.

    I’m a grandfather, I stood in line at our local Woolworth’s so I could play this new fangled electronic game called Pong. I recall the heyday of the arcades and stuck my quarters on the cabinets reserving my place in line for the orignal Asteroids, and Pac Man, and Donkey Kong.

    I played Super Mario Brothers with my ex and kids on the NES and learned to love RPGs playing the NES Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

    Call me a Nintendo fanboy if you will (I scoff at the term as I’m too old for such nomenclature and nonsense) but they DO have my respect because Nintendo does what it does the best of all. Games. It’s ALL they do, and it shows.

    For the most part, the rest in the industry are just mercenarys, in it for the quick buck.

    • BigBoss

      I couldn’t have said it better. That was beautiful. I remember playing them games but I was able to some later on as I’m a late 70′s baby.

    • hawthorneluke

      Sorry that my comment is just this, but good post!

    • Mariomaster1

      Sniff….that was beautiful, just beautiful! No words can describe how well that statement was put together……it’s very far beyond perfection! It is good to hear there are people out there of all ages that know Nintendo was and still is the first and best video game company that was out there. The other companies just came along and said, “Oh, look what they’re doing! That’s pretty neat; maybe we could do that too and make a couple bucks! But wait……what should our first console thingy look like? Hmmm, oh well, let’s just copy some of their stuff and call it ours!” Yeah, people like you show and make a very good point as to the fact that the other companies and their fan base have absolutely no right to “bash” the company that more or less led to their creation.

  3. George Tirebiter

    Miyamoto really should have picked his words more carefully. I have no doubt that this console will be next-gen powerwise, not by much as he said, but the way he phrases it sounds like the system would only be as good as a PS3.

    The sad truth is when the other companies join the next generation the PS3 won’t be a next generation device anymore. I appreciate that Miyamoto is being honest, but he needs to communicate that it will be relevant when the other two come to play.

    • George Tirebiter

      Note: In what I said, I wasn’t considering the other features of the system which could put it on top commercially. I’m speaking from a purely system-power standpoint.

  4. bamby

    mmmmmm….i was so happy with the wii u cuse for the first time in almost 15 years i will have only one sistem at my house will i can play all the good 3rd parties games and also the nintendo games cuse am tire to be pplaying 2 console sinve 1996 but with this words comig from miyamoto idont now cuse when the new ps and xbox are realese the wii u it will become a wii and xbo and ps only need to copy the controller and 3rd parties devolper will go back to realese games on the most powerfull sistem sorry but if a new controller will sacrifice power then i dont want the controller my fair well ti my company from child hood nintendo is time to move on and welcome to the new xbox then ,

    • BigBoss

      I understand your concern but Sony has said their new console is not going to be anywhere near PS2 to PS3 level. Microsoft you never know with them. I think I read where Sony was going to get rid of the Cell in their next console since developers were complaining how difficult it was to use.

  5. Jadnice

    More powerful is what WiiU must be when the final specs have been finalized. I hope it will be 1080p native and can do at least 60fps with 1st (like a high fidelity Metroid prime game with serious focus on particle effects ect) and 3rd party AAA games. WiiU being a little more powerful does not matter once 1st party games show us game mechanics the PS3 cannot do. 3rd party developers will keep multiplatform games graphically similar on all three consoles but Nintendo 1st party games should showcase what the WiiU can really do.

    Once again the WiiU does not have to be 3 times more powerful but it should have more memory (1GB) and a faster CPU which I do believe it already has.

  6. Good news and bad news

    We already know that Sony are saying the PS4 will not be a giant leap forward in power. I’m sure that the cost, both for hardware and developers, of each increase in power, is growing much faster than the returns. There has to be a point where hardware companies say, it is not worth our while paying for another “great leap forward” and now seems to be that point.

    If you look at who is actually calling for more processing power, it tends to be the software engine developers, not companies who are just games creators and publishers themselves.

    The Wii U might well be the most powerful console, albeit modestly so, for some time to come. Though MS could well bring out another 320 with some modest improvements…probably a second screen?

  7. Joseph

    Maybe i should just save my money.

  8. Jikayaki

    This interview is more a show of Nintendo’s current attitude regarding competition and hardware than anything else. Your not going to get anyone from Nintendo to be directly competitive against Sony or Microsoft nor are they going to talk about specs outside a round about way. Current rumors paint the picture of a console about four times as capable as Xbox 360, which should at least be able to match the graphical fidelity of current PC games on high. Whether or not that is significantly more powerful than PS3 and Xbox 360 is up to debate. Honestly I imagine most individuals won’t notice anything other than the higher resolution and detail level that simply comes with native HD resolutions followed with the potential for larger games an some tessellation. Then of course you have to realize that this generation has been slightly odd. At 320 gflops a potential Wii U CPU would be four times as capable as Xenon, but only 50% more processing power than PS3′s cell processor has theoretically.

  9. Good news and bad news

    The PS3′s cell processor is a mighty beast and I’m sure it still has some unused capacity yet.

    Unfortunately the slight differences in power and graphics, in whatever direction, will be seized on by the “faithful” followers of one system or another and endlessly paraded as “proof” of this that or something other.

    The fact is that anything but a massive leap is largely going to go unnoticed by the majority of users. Let’s face it, the PS3 has been more powerful than the Xbox for years now and the Xbox seems to be doing okay.