Miyamoto: Wii U may not be much more powerful than current gen

Nintendo guru says that pricing and power have to exist in delicate balance

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that cost considerations mean that the Wii U may not be significantly more powerful than either the 360 or the PS3 - instead insisting that a balance must be struck between price and performance.

Speaking in a new interview with website GameSpot, Miyamoto again focused on the importance of the controller to the appeal of Nintendo's new machine - seemingly indicating that the company would again be avoiding a confrontation in terms of raw computational power.

"When you look at what we're trying to do this time, which is I think maybe to a certain degree somewhat reckless, because we're trying to include this somewhat kind of tablet-like device - this controller with the screen," said the producer.

"We're trying to do that by finding the right balance between the CPU and the GPU, the graphics processor, and bringing all of that together with the ability to take advantage of the HD capabilities of the system, and wanting to do the most that we can on that front as well.

"We're very sensitive, of course, to trying to do all of this at an appropriate price. 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."

Miyamoto also insisted that the iPad was not a direct influence on the Wii U controller, describing its similarity to tablets in general as a "coincidence".

"Even at this point last year at E3, we had done a lot of work on this, and it was pretty far along, and we had been working on the concept for several years," he said. "And so we felt it was kind of a funny coincidence that, while we had been working on this, all of a sudden right as we're getting ready to bring it to the public, there's this tablet boom."

"From a kind of a visual point and an initial kind of conceptual starting point, the two seem similar, [but] because of the unique structure of the console and the new controller and the TV, that when people start playing with it and interacting with it, especially in the living room, they're going to find that it opens up a great deal more possibilities," he added.

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Latest comments (6)

Tom Tapper11 years ago
Developers have already said to industry analysts that the Wii-U is 50% more powerful than the current gen of systems. When considering that I would say Miyamoto is probably correct because 50% isn't "dramatically" more powerful but it is still a decent jump in power. I just hope it has at least 512 mb of VRAM if not 1GB. I am looking forward to seeing what textures, shading, and frame rates look like with the Wii-U maximized but that probably won't happen with the initial set of titles. This system will be a nice stop gap until the next PS4/Xbox come out in 2014 or 2015 and the controller will keep it relevant beyond that. I don't think the graphical quality will increase so dramatically with the next gen Sony and Xbox consoles at least not in the way they bury the Wii right now.
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Chris Gilroy11 years ago
It's guaranteed to have the edge over the current competition simply by virtue of more modern technology. That being said, the biggest problem with the Wii (in my humble opinion) was not its specs, but its lack of HD output - there are some rather visually impressive Wii games out there that are let down by the picture quality on an HDTV. Power isn't everything.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Chris Gilroy on 21st June 2011 1:02pm

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Jack Molloy Studying BTEC Level 3 Art and Media In Games Developemt, Derby College11 years ago
Been rumoured that the next Xbox will be released next year @ the 2012 E3 Xbox Keynote.
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Jack Molloy Studying BTEC Level 3 Art and Media In Games Developemt, Derby College11 years ago
Been rumoured that the next Xbox will be released next year @ the 2012 E3 Xbox Keynote.
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Given that the 360 has a total of 512MB RAM, and the PS3 only 256MB of video - I think there is zero chance that the Wii U would have 1GB of "video" RAM. Its unlikely to have a unified memory structure, no Nintendo console has done that in the past.

If Nintendo has matched the PS3 RAM, I'll be more than happy.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 11 years ago
For Nintendo it is all about cost too. If the inclusion of more RAMs does not jeopardise the price, then they will go for it. They always emphasise on making profit day one with their products. Also the experience with 3DS might have burnt them a bit about pricing of new products in the near future. Especially PS Vita is so friendly priced despite its horsepower.
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