Shigeru Miyamoto States Wii U Unlikely to “Dramatically” Outperform PS3 and Xbox 360

Personally, the problem that I’ve always had with the Nintendo Wii not only was that it lacked a stronger 3rd party developer support, but also that the console didn’t have high definition graphics. After the recent Nintendo Press Conference I’ve spent some time wondering if the Wii’s successor was going to be able to finally outperform its competition. Shigeru Miyamoto has some things to say about the topic, but unfortunately, his answers weren’t very comforting.

As most people probably know, Shigeru Miyamoto is arguably the most famous Japanese video game designer and producer. He was the mastermind behind some of the most popular video game franchises in history, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin and many others. Not only his video games were popular among the fans, but they were also critically praised and have received many awards.

In a recent interview with Gamespot, the legendary video game designer talked about things like the lineup of games for the 3DS, The Legend of Zelda’s 25th anniversary celebration, Skyward Sword, Pikmin’s future installments, some of the Wii U’s technical characteristics and more specifically about the graphical hardware and its performance when compared to other current platforms. In fact, his responses weren’t very surprising, but they may be disappointing to some. These are some of Miyamoto’s most important quotes:

  • I think I’ve got the courage to say that Mario Kart is going to be running at 60 frames a second when they release it. It feels really good.
  • (referring to Star Fox) “But one thing that I really wanted to do was to bring it back to where it originally came from, which was that kind of romantic idea that guys have of flying a kind of fighter jet or a spaceship and doing battles in air, like Top Gun.
  • When asked about bringing Virtual Boy games to the 3DS he replied: “Well, that’s not my exact plan, but something like that could happen.
  • And finally, the most interesting part. This is what Miyamoto said when asked about the Wii U’s hardware power: “Nintendo is an entertainment company. We’re very sensitive to pricing because people have generally only a certain amount of their spending that they’ll devote to entertainment. And if you’re talking about parents buying something for kids, there are certain price points where parents may be willing to or not willing to purchase a certain product.” Then he went on to say: “So I don’t know that we would be able to sit here and say that it’s going to necessarily dramatically outperform the systems that are out now. It’s part of the balance that we strike in terms of trying to find entertainment that is new and unique.

In other words, Miyamoto is saying that his new console is unlikely to dramatically “outperform” current platforms (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) in terms of graphical capabilities. For the past few years Nintendo has been trying to appeal more casual players, and it seems like this trend isn’t going away any time soon. After all, the Nintendo Wii sold more than 86 million units worldwide making it the best-selling home console in of its generation. Its successor definitely has the potential to do it again.

  • Nice write-up Eric, lets hope the Wii U can top the success of the Wii.