The term “next generation gaming console” is usually associated with more power and better graphics. But not for Nintendo. The company believes that next generation gaming should improve the gameplay experience, instead of just offering more horsepower. Nintendo did exactly that with the Wii, even though many dismissed it as not being a “true” next gen console compared to the more powerful Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Some in the industry have criticized the Wii U for the same reasons, saying it’s only slightly more powerful than the current consoles.
“For next generation we look at the user experience, the gaming experience, how we can improve that and offer new kinds of gameplay” said Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata in an interview with Independent. He added that the company took the same approach with the Wii in 2006, and was initially criticized for having a console that’s far less powerful than the competitors. Iwata recently told investors that despite the rumors, Wii U power won’t be too far behind the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
Iwata added that from now on, it will be “increasingly difficult” to compete over graphics, and that it will become hard to tell the difference between great graphics on different systems. He believes that unless the gameplay experience is rich, “wonderful graphics won’t help”. Finally, Iwata confirmed that there are several unannounced third party Wii U games in development which will be revealed this Fall.