Wii U 'important for the world' says Nintendo

President Satoru Iwata says being first next-gen console with Wii U "not important at all," stresses pricing will be major factor at launch, not looking to compete on graphics with Xbox 720, PS4.

Nintendo will be the first out of the next generation console gate this holiday season with the Wii U, but the company doesn't care about being first; it cares about impacting the world.

Will the Wii U change the world?

"Being first in the next generation race is not important at all," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Gamasutra in an interview published today. "One of the reasons we believe this is the time for Nintendo to launch the Wii U is it's going to be important for the world."

Iwata defended his claim, saying second screens like an iPad or smartphone in the living room have become commonplace today, and the Wii U--specifically its GamePad--will be an attractive opportunity for consumers.

Elsewhere in the interview, Iwata spoke to a question many gamers have about the Wii U: How much will it cost? Iwata did not provide an answer, but said Nintendo has learned from the launch of the 3DS, which got off to a slow start before Nintendo cut the system's price by a healthy margin.

"The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched," Iwata said. "The environment is different. Wii U is going to be launching in a different environment than when the Wii was launched. Also, the involvement surrounding [mobile and social] businesses is different than several years ago."

Lastly, Iwata addressed next-generation console competition from Microsoft and Sony. He said Nintendo does not care about attempting to match those consoles' power and is instead focusing on differentiating the Wii U from these still unannounced systems.

"We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of 'more beef' console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013," he said. "Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than [others]."

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Discussion

1023 comments
ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

How exactly will it be good for the world?  Odd.

EbenOlemaun
EbenOlemaun

Didn't realize that Nintendo was making a console that will cure disease and feed the hungry. Don't oversell yourself, Nintendo.

cannondude
cannondude

will i be able to play wii version of metroid mario n zelda without that stupid wii mote ?. too lazy to wave that thing around 

Elem3nt
Elem3nt

So outdated hardware with a few gimmicks but it'll be cheap to buy. I'm not sold at all.

Dezuria
Dezuria

I guess it's important for the world to get a system with 5+ year old hardware and a bulky tablet for a controller.  Okay...

Maersyndel
Maersyndel

Important for the world. How does he back his claim up? All he says is that there a lot of second screen devices in living rooms today. How is Nintendo making one in any way important for the world.

 

This just sounds like a thinly veiled attempt to justify launching early as something other than a business decision to have the edge over their "non-competitors".

 

 

carrsabre
carrsabre

Nintendo will fail with the Wii U system if:

1. 3rd party developers don't support it. - likely if it is far inferior to Xbox Infinity and PS4.  Hardcore gamers will follower their favorite developers, Xbox and PS4 will have so much more to offer.

2.  casual Wii gamers have not been turned into hardcore gamers. - Very likely they are happy blowing the dust off and waggling their Wiis.  

3.  There is not some cool feature we haven't heard about yet. not likely. Most of the features are out minus the hardware specs.  The cool thing about the Wii is it was a totally new way of playing games.  The Wii U not so much.

4.  Finally I will not support Wii U, If Link does not have a grown-up full voiced and totally fleshed out story with great gameplay.

sgtZipper
sgtZipper

Nintendo it a trusted brand. For over decades people have owned Nintendo Systems. Where others lost to Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo survived by doing their own thing. I'm confident Wii U will do good. At first I was sceptical, but what Nintendo is doing is briliant. When the Wii released, not everybody had a HDTV. Now everybody has a HDTV. The Nintendo Wii generation is growing older, becoming teenagers or young adults. They now play different games. That's what Wii U is about.

pokemondude2012
pokemondude2012

As much as i have loved my consoles i have finaly dropped the old habit i already am building my new pc for the next generation.

bigdumdoodoohed
bigdumdoodoohed

Oh console peasants, you're all too funny.  "I want an overpowered, locked down and overpriced POS that uses the same gimped dual analog input device that was designed over a decade ago for 3D platformers so I can play my super realistik modern military first persan shooturz in HaychDee!"

 

If you're choosing shiny graphics over gameplay as the most important aspect in your gaming experience then you've truly missed the point of video GAMES.  In 5 to 10 years a console's graphics are going to be lacking no matter how much tech you cram into the box, the same is not true of the gameplay and as far as I can tell, the dual analog controller's days are numbered.  There are only so many gameplay opportunities with two sticks, eight buttons, a d-pad and two triggers and I'd say everything that can be done with a dual analog controller has been done years ago.

Gliave
Gliave

I'm personally getting sick of people using the "If people are focusing on graphics, then they are hopeless" line.....Just drop it cause you sound like an old excuse carelessly wrapped with what you hope to appear as genuine intent....

 

Yes, we want better graphics, smoother frame rates, and the best tech features first, and then second comes game play and the rest.....So we want it all.

 

How about I use your concept against you? here goes:

 

- Why don't you just settle for manually powered windows in cars?

- What's your need for climate control systems in our modern homes today? Why not simply use a fan?

- Why do you use ATM machines? Simply go withdraw your amount from the teller...

 

WHY u ask? Simple: This is what advancing and the future is about.

 

Same applies to graphics, and the gaming scene as a whole.

 

Give anyone the best game in the old days and let em play it in 8 - 6 - 32 bit mode....They simply will not, and not cause they are "snobs", but because we are used to new and modern standards.

 

Hence remakes these days of classic titles in HD form (which is not enough if you ask me, they should make them again from scratch using new tech and revised designs).

 

So please, don't use that argument anymore. It doesn't a lick of sense.

Gliave
Gliave

...When it comes to gaming, when selling at 300$ for a lower / outdated / trivial form of entertainment, it doesn't replace that of the state of the art / most advanced form of entertainment.

 

Heck, people might save a good 300$ - 400$ on the console, but in the long run, the price difference does not make up for the console's shortcomings in comparison to its competitors..

 

Briefly put, Nintendo's digging its own grave in the long run.

 

Differentiation is all good and applaud-able, but that's no long term strategy to tackle competition, and the core way to do so is via superior or matching tech.

 

How hard is it for either Sony or Microsoft to come up with something to match the Wii U in essence? if the Wii U gets any reception at all that is....Probably not hard at all.

 

As a company, and a vision for its self, Nintendo's spelling its doom.

 

Once you settle for a "Just make enough to survive" attitude in any business, expect a short if not deteriorating life span.

 

They'll probably end up like SEGA, selling its intellectual rights, and focusing its efforts on software development.

 

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

But he is right. When Nintendo is able to sell this at $300 while PS4 and Xbox 720 come at $600-$700, Nintendo will win anyway.

 

My problem is not the hardware but the software. The line-up has gotten worse and worse since... well since the NES! I think the last great Nintendo console was Gamecube. End of story. It wasn't so big because Nintendo failed to jump on the Online multiplayer boat and they sold it in a childish purple color. If they got down the online-MP and sold the black Gamecube at launch instead, things would have been a lot different IMO.

edgewalker16
edgewalker16

I must not be part of this world.  Interesting.

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

I don't think Wii U is necessarily important for the world, but it is significantly important to Nintendo. It represents their first jump into HD gaming, after sitting it out last gen. At the same time, they have to prove that Wii U isn't going to get left behind with next gen 3rd party games and can have the same, if not better, experiences found on its competitor's systems. Nintendo created a challenge for itself with this past generation, and Wii U has to overcome the negative perception of the brand.

decoy1978
decoy1978

Being the first out the gates is extremely important, but so is sustaining the lead. When the Wii came out it was totally different from any consoles we've seen. That ingenuity was enough to make a clean break from the PS3 and 360. However as the years passed, the games just weren't just up to par. I saw a lot more bargain basement games from the Wii library than the 360 and PS3. Eventually people did start to get bored... I would like to see Nintend embrace more 3rd party developers with AAA releases than relying on their inhouse development team to carry them.

DaRadRussian
DaRadRussian

Nintendo has had their day. Now they completely suck and they just need to step down. Every product gets increasingly worse and more childish.

therealsig
therealsig

I clicked on this article because I wanted to know HOW the Wii U is "important for the world" according to Nintendo. Umm..So, I read the article. HOW is the Wii U "important for the world"? Both Sony and Microsoft also want to differentiate their consoles. That's not how you're gonna "impact the world," Nintendo. Just one or two points to support the argument would've sufficed.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

"We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of 'more beef' console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013," he said. "Our focus is on how we can make our new console more GIMMICKY than [others]."

 

Fixed*

IamTakkun
IamTakkun

If people are still concerned about graphics you are hopeless. Haven't we enjoyed 8-bit games or highly pixelated engines? Graphics aren't going to make a game great, ingenuity and functionality will. With that being said, I think Nintendo  is going to be able to do something Sony/Microsoft can't do with their systems... Doesn't mean Nintendo won't bow out of hardware after this generation though.

vault-boy
vault-boy

While being a horrible system, I don't think the Wii was ever a lack of trying as much as a bad idea in general. Graphics aside the Wii just doesn't have enough power it seems for the ideas it tried to tackle. Motion delay was a huge fault in the Wii, and the Wii Motion Plus didn't change that (it just made your flails more accurate, not real time). With the Wii U I think the biggest mistake is a bad concept. I just don't like the touch screen controller. It has nothing to do with tablets or smartphones or anything like that, I just don't like it. I hope that it turns out to be great but I don't think its going to as enjoyable as the next Xbox or Playstation. My hopes are high, my expectations are low.

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

Wii U will have better graphics than current gen

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

Please, the Wii U is only up to current generation specs - so technically, Nintendo will finally be releasing a current generation console. Shame it will be all gimmick and little substance just like the Wii.

The last decent console Nintendo released was the Gamecube.

Razer361
Razer361

I'm willing to bet that launch window Wii U games are going to take the most advantage of it's controller, and as time passes by it is going to be used for mediocre and uncreative (if that's a word) uses.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

The Wii U isn't next-gen. Nintendo have only just managed to break into CURRENT-gen with the Wii U.

 

The real reason they don't "care" about the competition is because they CAN'T compete, in terms of both hardware AND software. Nintendo rely on gimmicks to sell their product. Fortunately for them, consumers buy into these gimmicks.

JMcN76
JMcN76

If it's anything like the Wii, then I'll pass. I will not sit here and say that the Wii didn't have its moments, but the overall quality of games was sorely lacking compared to X Box and PS3.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

I think it's pretty much agreed upon that Nintendo really needs to capture more 3rd party support in order to survive this time around (something they are working hard on).  The problem that they face with that is that it costs money to develop games... lots of it and while they may (or may not) have to ability to offer something different than the other current-gen consoles, developers aren't going to be so keen on creating a game that they will release on the 360 and PS3 but then have to sink more time and money into in order to create additional material/content for the Wii U.  Devs only have so many resources and time to make a game and the industry just isn't doing that well, so as a consequence I predict that too many 3rd party games will have throw-away additions on Nintendo's console just to stay within deadlines and budgets, instead of the killer material and possibilities that I'm sure the Wii U will be able to provide.  The only way to avoid this is to go old school and have 3rd party devs create games exclusively for the Wii U and plenty of the big boys already said they'll never go back to being console specific again.  It just doesn't make sense financially for a lot of them, which is really what it all boils down to in the end.

Makbar_Ramirez
Makbar_Ramirez

There are different ways for companies to stay relevant against its competition.  Differentiation is one of them.  Nintendo may be smart in taking this approach because it clearly cannot compete graphics-wise with the XBOX or Playstation.  To some degree, it worked in their favor with the Wii.  Without the Wii, I doubt there would be a Kinect or, probably more directly, a Playstation Move.  I think it's wise of Nintendo to acknowledge that they cannot compete in that way with Microsoft and Sony.

 

Now, let's just hope it's worth buying!

csward
csward

Besides Mr. Iwata, everyone knows the Wii U is just the Gamecube to GBA link cable thing all over again.

 

That feature sucked because it had no real practical use. Oh look, I can have a map on my GBA! Or...I can just push pause and avoid having to look back and forth at different screens.

 

It was a bad idea in the Gamecube days and I'm not convinced it will be any better now. Kind of like 3D in the 80s and today, just a fad.

EbenOlemaun
EbenOlemaun

 @djmaster1994 Rehashing and improving are two very different things, bub. You make games cooler and better, if 2 plus 2 is 4 you just need to draw the 4 in crazy ways. Nintendo throws variables (stupid motion controls) and calls them "innovations".

carrsabre
carrsabre

And I forgot the say the OUYA will take some of all new gaming platforms market shares

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

 @bigdumdoodoohed Yeah, that's nice to say, and perhaps true, but we haven't got a lot in the way of alternative. Motion controls don't give nearly as much control as is needed for a true gaming experience. The stick/button abstraction is still extremely accurate. As for touchscreen, it has big possibilities. You lose in speed but you gain a great deal more in information transmitted by what you touch. I myself think a keyboard and mouse is better then any other control scheme, but it's not as user friendly. Ultimately we need good innovative games that pull you in. This is not going to be achieved with graphics or even primarily with control schemes. We need games.

RageSet
RageSet

 @Gliave Amazing graphics are nice to have and for certain games, they even improve the immersion, but gameplay is and always will be king.

 

I have said it before and I'll say it again, soon (within ten years), we are going to reach the Uncanny Valley in graphics. Once this happens, when we can no longer improve the graphic fidelity of video games, what will we have left? Gameplay (also story, sound).

 

Gameplay will always have limitless possibilities unlike graphic fidelity. There is no doubt in my mind that currently gameplay is second to graphics, but that is still due to age of the gaming industry. One day we will reach the point when gameplay is the most important factor and that is when gaming truly surpasses all forms of media.

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

 @Gliave Well, I do stand behind progress, and I think better graphics is in no way bad. But even if you get a 70 inch HD tv, if all you have to watch is jersey shore, I think the experience will be dissatisfying. (if you happen to like jersey shore, substitute something on pbs, which you obviously won't like).

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @Gliave I'd rather not see Nintendo end up like SEGA after what happened to the latter company's reception as of late. I'd rather see Nintendo leave gaming and find another business.

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @IamTakkun graphics dont make the game, but an already great game with good graphics can be that much more immersive.  It all boils down to what kind of experience you prefer from games.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @Razer361 I hope your wrong but I suspect your right. Thats pretty much what the Wii did, and even then that innovative stange only lasted a short while. But with luck we will be wrong and this tablet controller isn't just some gimmicky, boring addon and will be a great addition to the console and industry as a whole. I just really doubt it.

rarson
rarson

 @Makbar_Ramirez 

 

Nintendo can compete graphically, they just don't wish to compete with them when they (Sony and Microsoft) are losing tons of money trying to put cutting-edge tech into the console to try to extend the life by a couple years. And I doubt Sony and Microsoft will want to compete in that fashion again. They were aiming to get 10 years of life out of those consoles, and while they might sell them for 10 years, that won't be 10 years without new hardware. They lost a ton of money selling hardware at a cost and it got them a couple extra years, when they could have been making money the entire time with cheaper hardware.

 

I mean, the Xbox was the most powerful console of its generation, and the PS2 was clearly the worst, yet which one sold drastically more than the rest? Having the most power doesn't guarantee sales, especially when graphics are as good as they are today (it's a lot harder to notice the little differences).

Mariner32
Mariner32

 @csward Then it's lucky for people like you that Nintendo are coming out with the Wii U Pro Controller as well. Besides, the idea was bad in Gen 6 because all they used it for was a map or something trivial like that. Check out the E3 demo of ZombiU to see how they've advanced the idea.

rarson
rarson

 @csward 

 

Not even close. The GBA didn't have console-quality graphics, gyroscopes, accelerometers, cameras, microphones, dual sticks, or even a touchscreen. Oh, and most importantly, the GBA didn't come with the console.

 

Try again.

Falru
Falru

 @poopinpat You have just touched upon the 80/20 rule of game design. 80% of a game is the core functionality of a game, which involves getting everything running and up into a working, functional game. That last 20% is nothing but polishing, adding nice little visual tweaks and flair. It makes a huge difference.

PHOENIXZERO
PHOENIXZERO

 @rarson  @csward And also the WiiU's controller isn't a stand alone platform. All it does is stream the video from the console to the controller's screen.

carrsabre
carrsabre

 @rarson You could be right.  I have no idea.  They did say It will have OnLive functionality also,  so that means a ton  of games at the start.

rarson
rarson

 @carrsabre

 

Yeah, but that's because there are a lot of Android developers willing to spend $100 or more to get their hands on a new dev platform. That doesn't mean that gamers will buy it or that software developers will support it.

carrsabre
carrsabre

There is no way to be sure.  The OUYA raised 6 million when they only wanted to raise one to start the project. Total guess .05 -.08 (5 to 8%)

rarson
rarson

 @PHOENIXZERO  

 

Yeah, and that's actually a good thing, because that means it has better graphics and is cheaper.