It’s no secret that it costs Nintendo quite a lot to make and ship a Wii U GamePad tablet controller compared to other controllers. In fact, The Wii U price was such a big concern for Nintendo that they almost canceled the entire Wii U project, according to Satoru Iwata.
“We almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen,” Iwata told UK’s Telegraph, “This was due to our concern over the expected high cost, it may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers”. Despite this concern, Nintendo kept working on the Wii U console and eventually managed to find a solution. Yesterday, we reported that the Wii U hardware is not too powerful for exactly that reason: price. All of this means there’s a big chance that the Wii U price will be very attractive to gamers, and it seems that price is something Nintendo takes very seriously this time around.
Iwata also revealed that he believes the competitors at Sony and Microsoft were quicker this time to copy Nintendo. Microsoft announced SmartGlass for the Xbox 360, and Sony the Vita cross-play for the PS3. Both of which Iwata believes were copied from Nintendo. “After our showing of [Wii ]motion control, it took three years for other companies to follow suit”, Iwata said, “But this time it’s just one year after our proposal, even before we’ve released the actual product. I think that proves the great potential of what we showed last year.”
As everyone knows, it easy to make a powerful console and just cram it with state of the art hardware. It’s much harder to actually innovate and create something new, the way Nintendo did with the Wii, and soon, with the Wii U. Make sure to check out the full interview at Telegraph, where Iwata touches up on a lot of things, including the power of the upcoming PS4 and Xbox 720 consoles, and what it will mean to developers and gamers.