Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Phil Spencer, recently divulged his thoughts on Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console. According to Spencer, it’s Nintendo’s recently announced Pro Controller that’ll benefit the Japanese manufacturer this time around. “I think their Pro Controller makes a lot of sense with the platform they’ve built,” he told website GamesIndustry International. “They are building a platform that is effectively a 360 when you think of graphical capability.” According to Spencer, this has created “an on-ramp for the back catalogue of games that are on 360.”
Reading between the lines of Spencer’s comments, it’s quite clear that Microsoft (and likely Sony as well) are pretty confident that their next-gen consoles will leave Nintendo’s behind in the graphical capabilities department. Nintendo’s shareholders are thinking along the same lines, and the company’s president, Satoru Iwata, has since assured them that this won’t be the case.
Apparently this shareholder concern is based off previous experience, as the Wii began to lose favour with third-party developers as the console grew older and those developers focussed on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 instead.
Iwata was honest in his response saying that Nintendo could not promise the “Wii U [would] never be excluded from multi-platform software for eternity,” but he was quick to point out that this time there wouldn’t be such a marked difference between the Wii U and next-gen consoles.
“Other companies might launch a next-generation console with more power, but…the difference between the Wii U and such console will be as drastic as what you felt it was between the Wii and the other consoles because there will be fewer and fewer differentiators in graphics.”