Nintendo’s President Defends ‘Underpowered’ Wii U Console

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So far, only 3.5 million people have purchased a Nintendo Wii U video game console. The problem, according to industry insiders: the device hasn’t been marketed properly, and it may be underpowered. After all, the Wii U is roughly as powerful as the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, consoles that are on the verge of being phased out by the Xbox 720 and PS4.

But Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, thinks claims that the Wii U is underpowered are ridiculous. In a recent presentation, Iwata sought to blow apart the “misconception,” as he called it, that the Wii U isn’t powerful enough to woo gamers.

The problem, Iwata suggests, is that people just don’t understand the Wii U.

“It is a fact that some software development companies assume that Wii U is not powerful enough,” Iwata said. “On the contrary, some developers say in interviews that Wii U has a different architecture from other consoles and that, when utilized in the right way, it can perform well. At the moment, there is a great deal of contradictory information.”

Iwata says he recognizes this problem falls entirely on Nintendo.

“Nintendo is required to make more efforts to dispel such a misconception,” he said. “In fact, some software companies are actively supporting Wii U and others are not. It is important to have supportive companies enjoy successful sales of a game and feel that their decision to develop something for Wii U was correct.”

Iwata says his company is determined to show both developers and consumers that the Wii U is a great system. “We would like to work to revitalize the Wii U market and show you favorable results for third-party software from this summer,” he said.

Is that possible? Probably not. Given all the hype currently being generated by the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 (some good, some bad), it’s hard to imagine focusing on a system that just looks and feels so dated. Then there’s the problem with games: there just aren’t enough of them for the Wii U. Once again Nintendo is relying on its first-party software to get by, but so far there hasn’t been enough of that material.

Had the Wii U been released a few years ago, it might have worked. But launching a last-gen system as a new generation dawns is never a good idea. Sorry, Satoru.

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2 Responses to Nintendo’s President Defends ‘Underpowered’ Wii U Console

  1. Element187 says:

    Wow, writing off the performance of console before really have seen anything yet?? Seems a bit premature.

    So far what we have seen was Need For Speed. On the PS360 it runs in below 720p, with low res muddy textures as it struggles to hold 20 fps.

    The Wii U version is running in native full 720p, with high res PC textures, and holds 30fps WHILE rendering TWO screens…. I’m sorry, saying its on par with PS3/360 is simply incorrect. At the bare minimum we are looking at least 2.5 to 3x its speed, which we still don’t know because even tear downs have created more questions than it answered.

    Its way to early to just say its on par with the PS360, even with a couple titles that proves that just isnt the case…. I think PS3/360 fans are just so butthurt that Nintendo had the audacity to release a console several times faster than their beloved machine so they try to keep pushing poor, incorrect information to sustain their narrative/agenda.

  2. J_Joestar says:

    Just because it isn’t pushing the horsepower to blow the upcoming PS4/720 out of the water doesn’t mean it is underpowered, especially compared to the PS3/360.
    It is true that few games are really pushing anything aesthetically exceptional, but that is true for most early games on any new system.

    And Raw Power has not historically proven itself to mean an automatic win for a console generation.