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Reggie Fils-Aime doesn't see a problem with it, insisting that Wii U games will look similar when it launches

Yesterday proved to be an exciting time for Nintendo as it announced the Wii's successor, Wii U, at its press conference at E3. While the improved system specs and tablet-like controller seemed to have won many Nintendo fans over, the game footage looked like nothing the video game company has ever made before, and that's because it wasn't Nintendo footage at all

Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, admitted that some game footage at Nintendo's E3 press conference was taken from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. 

Why did Nintendo think this would be appropriate, you ask? Fils-Aime insists that Wii U games will be "comparable" to the graphics and game play of Xbox 360 and PS3 games once it releases. 

"We're talking a year away from when the system's going to launch," said Fils-Aime. "The system's going to be 1080p. You're going to see games that take full advantage of a system that has the latest technology and can push out some incredible graphics."

The game footage shown at Nintendo's press conference was from Xbox 360 and PS3 games like "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online," "Madden Football" and "Assassin's Creed 2."

Nintendo Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 are all part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 while the Wii and PS3 were later released in 2006. Competition amongst the three consoles is pretty stiff as new game, hardware, and online networks are introduced in order to offer a better gaming experience. 

Sony and Microsoft's recent E3 briefings have brought news on a new portable PlayStation Vita, and Kinect-compatible games as well as voice recognition features. But out of the three competitors, Nintendo is the only one releasing a brand-new home console. 

Wii U will feature 1080p high-definition graphics over HDMI, an IBM Power-based multi-core processor, four USB 2.0 ports, and a built-in Secure Digital slot. The controller will feature an integrated 6.2" color LCD screen, two analog pads, a cross control pad, L/R buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It will initially be featured in white, and will be released in 2012.

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By Fraggeren on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Nintendo
By smackababy on 6/8/2011 3:19:35 PM , Rating: 3
Except for that fact that the rumored specs show it to be pretty good as far as updated. The GPU is comparable to a 4870 which far above the minimum specs for all PC games. And the CPU is an IBM PowerPC based off Watson's.

Also, the marketing thing doesn't bother me. Companies do this all the time. Who cares that McDonald's shows hamburgers in their ads that are nothing similar to those they serve?

RE: Nintendo
By nafhan on 6/8/2011 3:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
IBM PowerPC based off Watson's
Uhm... The innovative parts of Watson's architecture wasn't the CPU's (POWER7) it was parallelism of the system and the software tying it together. Wii U's CPU probably does contain technology that was the result of some of the research that went into the POWER7, but probably not a full implementation of it (pretty sure POWER7 is big and expensive, even at 45nm).

RE: Nintendo
By smackababy on 6/8/2011 3:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it isn't Watson's actual CPU, but it isn't something that was developed years ago as the OP implied. It is a newer CPU, more modern than both the Xbox360 and the PS3.

RE: Nintendo
By someguy123 on 6/8/2011 4:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
Except it IS watson's actual CPU.

The person above you was making the point that the CPU doesn't make watson, the software does. People talking about how watson's cpu is in the Wii U have probably read it off those stupid sensationalist websites like engadget.

RE: Nintendo
By nafhan on 6/8/2011 4:58:53 PM , Rating: 3
more modern than both the Xbox360 and the PS3
I don't think that's a given. The CPU's in both the 360 and PS3 are being built on the 45nm node that the Wii U CPU is (probably) on. In fact, it really sounds like the Wii U will be similar hardwarewise to the 360 across the board. They basically even said something to that effect with the admission about using 360 games for the Wii U demo. We'll see, but my guess is the same performance ballpark as the 360/PS3.

RE: Nintendo
By boobo on 6/8/2011 7:00:55 PM , Rating: 1
Except that, when a new console is launched, it is usually faster than the fastest (single-GPU) PCs. The launch titles are supposed to look better than any game we have seen before. Then, after a year the PC catches up and then starts to surpass them.

The minimum specs of current games is not good enough because we have been taught to expect better.

If the console is launched and it is already 2 generations behind the current PCs, I just hope they planned for it to have a short life cycle. Otherwise, those will remain the minimum specs of most games for a long time.

RE: Nintendo
By Spivonious on 6/9/2011 10:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's never happened. What world are you living in?

RE: Nintendo
By Omega215D on 6/10/2011 2:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's the other way around. PC titles are not far beyond consoles, graphically, is due to making them playable to the almost lowest common denominator. Add to the fact that many games are also console ports that are not fully optimized for even the mid range of PCs. If there was a game that stressed the PCs to the extreme there would be outrage among the idiots who refuse to do even the modest of upgrades to play it. Crysis is actually a pretty good example, though the minimum requirements are usually best at VGA resolution for a game like that.

In other words, get your head out of you rear.

RE: Nintendo
By B3an on 6/9/2011 10:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Except for that fact that the rumored specs show it to be pretty good as far as updated. The GPU is comparable to a 4870 which far above the minimum specs for all PC games. And the CPU is an IBM PowerPC based off Watson's.

Why have idiots rated this comment up? Have we all forgot that this console hardware will probably have to last atleast 5 - 6 years and is already dated before it's even out? A GPU that is equal to PC hardware from 2008 is acceptable now? Do PC gamers, or even console gamers want to be held back again by limited hardware until atleast 2017??

I'm sick of how Nintendo dont get enough flak and they constantly bring out gimmicky cr*pware and so few people are bothered by it. It's worser than with iSheep.

RE: Nintendo
By robinthakur on 6/10/2011 6:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, calm down dear! You don't play a GPU or a CPU, you play a game, and the Wii has had sufficient power to last a generation whilst leading in sales, so what about this strategy failed exactly? Let MS and Sony make the losses on every system sold to have cutting edge tech which overheats and dies prematurely, or perhaps you think that it is acceptable that I have to buy several iterations of a console to last a generation now?

I recently saw described how the 360 will have 3D enabled through a firmware upgrade in the near future upon which the questioner asked how this would work with people with 360's released without an HDMI port. The answer was something to the effect of "It will work on all 360's assuming you aren't running one of the old crappy ones" Good way to screw the early adopters MS, really great.

RE: Nintendo
By theslug on 6/8/2011 3:23:57 PM , Rating: 4
Yes you'll have to excuse Nintendo for putting an emphasis on gameplay rather than on graphics and hardware.

And as far as using footage from other systems - who cares? The point was to show it was on par with what they were displaying.

RE: Nintendo
By MindParadox on 6/8/2011 3:29:08 PM , Rating: 3
Yes you'll have to excuse Nintendo for putting an emphasis on gameplay rather than on graphics and hardware.

I completely agree with this, when did gaming become more about what the game looks like than how it plays?

RE: Nintendo
By Lonyo on 6/8/2011 3:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
Well CPU power is somewhat of a concern. There's only so much you can do if you are limiting your CPU power.
GPU wise though, he's correct, you don't need amazing graphics to make a good game (sometimes it can help by adding atmosphere but it's not always required).

RE: Nintendo
By Fraggeren on 6/8/2011 3:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well, imagine if you were still having to play on the Amiga, so excuse me if I would like more real physics, smoke and just more details and stuff in the world.

Anyway the core gameplay is more or less the same as it was 10 years ago, at least in the shooters I like to play. But of course I favor gameplay before graphics, it's just that the graphics is boring me now, look at unchartered 3, it just doesn't look good anymore.

RE: Nintendo
By Homerboy on 6/9/2011 1:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
There is so much wrong here I don't know where to begin.

RE: Nintendo
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 6:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with this, when did gaming become more about what the game looks like than how it plays?

It's not about how games look. But there is at least a MINIMUM standard for graphics, and the Wii just does not meet that. Sorry but it's not 1980 anymore, and we're not wowed by Pong. Are you also against Blu-Ray DVD's and HDTV's? I guess a VHS is "good enough", right?

Having said that, I'm not sure we should accept your premise that Nintendo has "great" game play. Some titles are fun, but the vast majority is kiddie crap and recycled Mario ports.

RE: Nintendo
By B3an on 6/9/2011 10:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, a post by you that i agree with. Nice.

RE: Nintendo
By robinthakur on 6/10/2011 6:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, Nintendo got it about right with the Wii. Whilst I have a 3D 50" screen in my living room and HD Surround sound, I would never presume that everybody does. The wii looks just fine on it if you take into account that it isn't an HD console. It hardly looks like pong or VHS video is just wrong and elitist. The games are still enjoyable to play, and that is THE most important thing really. Anyway, the Wii U *is* an HD console so what are you getting your panties in a bunch over exactly?

If Sony, MS or Nintendo listened to bitter old trolls like you on the Internet they would probably go bankrupt overnight. Nintendo was king of the console business when you were probably in diapers.

RE: Nintendo
By boobo on 6/8/2011 7:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
And when did they become mutually exclusive?

The fact is that Atari 2600 games were fun but, as kids, we looked at the box art and wondered why the game graphics could not look like that.

We care about graphics because they are still not good enough... by far.

We want the holo-deck. If companies worry only about gameplay and not about advancing graphics, we are not going to get there in our lifetime... and who cares if we get there after that?

RE: Nintendo
By Strunf on 6/9/2011 8:01:31 AM , Rating: 2
Since ever?! Pick for instance trees, bushes, rocks, houses and what not, I sure wouldn't enjoy playing BF: Bad Company 2 if there was neither of them regardless of the gameplay, actually the visuals are one of the biggest part of the gameplay feeling cause after all your eyes are what allows you to see the game.
If you think I'm in the wrong go pick a PS, NES or win 95 game and play it again, I loved RE 2 on the PS and when I was going to play it on my PS3 I didn't even went past the menu screen, it just looked horrible beyond belief.

RE: Nintendo
By epobirs on 6/9/2011 8:02:10 AM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with this, when did gaming become more about what the game looks like than how it plays?

I think it was around 1975 or thereabouts. The first time someone produced a Pong knock-off with more attractive graphics than Pong, it got more interest.

Graphics capability has ALWAYS mattered. It isn't the sole make or break of games but it is a huge part of it. It sets the bar higher and makes everyone work harder to do more with the older hardware. I saw this when I was at a game developer in the late 80s. The primary platform was the Amiga but the big money maker was the Commodore 64. This was due to much larger installed base of the C64 but the Amiga was what was driving new creativity in the market and pushing C64 developers to perfect new and better optimizations. Consequently, the C64 delivered a lot more than it likely would have without that challenge to meet.

Whole genres depend on advances in graphics functionality. Take snow boarding games, for example. There had been attempts at capturing downhill skiing since the beginning but until the mid-90s generation of consoles there wasn't the right level of graphic capability to really create the appearance of hurtling down a steep slope and draw the player into the game. Since then, increasing power has meant not just better visuals but more complex interaction with those elements.

The Wii U is not likely to greatly raise the bar on graphics but it will at least draw even with the current competing consoles and not suffer too severe of a gap when Sony and Microsoft introduce their next generations. Unlike the Amiga/C64 days, publishers are far less inclined to produce a game for a weaker console unless they can come up with something unique to that version. Such ideas have been hard to find on the Wii and so sales have declined. Worse, some of the biggest sellers on the system don't rely on the Wii controllers and are easily duplicated on other platforms, much like how the bargain priced Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series closely followed the gameplay of the Jak & Daxter series.

Another benefit of more horsepower is making things accessible to developers on lesser budgets. A company like Square can spend tens of millions squeezing the most out of a machine but companies making less mainstream projects cannot come close to such expenditures for the revenues they can expect. Consider the progression of the Final Fantasy series on the PS1, then look at how the PS2 let anyone get similar results with far lesser investment. Things got that much better for everybody, developer and consumer alike.

It may be that Microsoft won't make as big a leap in their next generation either. It seems likely they'll want to make Kinect a standard part of the next Xbox and that will eat up a good chunk of the price tag, meaning either a higher launch price or a lesser chunk of the budget for the CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a more diverse set of console choices but it's a mixed bag for developers. The cost of each version increases but the difference can also improve the chances of selling more than one SKU to the same customer. Not every game lends itself to such variation. If such choices were easy, everybody would be a game publisher.

RE: Nintendo
By augiem on 6/9/2011 12:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly, a long time ago. About PS1 era I'd say. To me, the game industry left me and others like me behind that day.

RE: Nintendo
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2011 6:17:17 PM , Rating: 1
Yes you'll have to excuse Nintendo for putting an emphasis on gameplay rather than on graphics and hardware.

Why must they be mutually exclusive? Since when did that happen? Sony and Microsoft can manage to offer great graphics AND game play.

It's 2011 for fuks sake. If you can't manage at least average graphics AND great game play, then I don't know what the problem is. Almost everyone has an HDTV today, you know?

RE: Nintendo
By BansheeX on 6/9/2011 3:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
That is such a lame copout. By that logic, the bigger emphasis on gameplay would be sticking with the hardware you already own instead of wasting resources developing a new one. Tell you what, I'll release a system with the power of a calculator and claim an emphasis on gameplay 1000 times greater than that of anyone.

Zelda and Metroid and Mario would look and play far better on more capable hardware, but Nintendo is too busy selling shallow lagwand titles in Apple white boxes by the truckloads to soccer moms and kiddies.

RE: Nintendo
By NobleKain on 6/9/2011 5:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
The "fanboy" aspect of this argument is that simply because PS3/XBox 360 has better graphics, they also have comparable gameplay to the Wii. That simply is false. (FYI: There's a reason most XBox360/PS3 owners ALSO own a Wii, but not necessarily the other "Graphics" competitor)

When Wii came out, they did innovate as much as PS3/XBox360 did... they just did it in gameplay. And they were so freaking successful with their innovative "motion gameplay", that now Microsoft and Sony are copying them. In otherwords, all 3 companies made a choice: Wii chose to innovate on the gameplay side, and the otehrs on the hradware side. If you ask me, Ninetendo chose the harder of the decisions, and managed to execute.

So with that in mind, look at where we are today: Wii is being hardware upgraded (Next-Gen hardware), and XBox360/PS3 are being gameplay mechanics upgraded (Also Next-gen hardware - i.e. Kinetic, etc.).

In essence, Wii is only "behind" because the others have already released their "next gen hardware".

So the point stands: To use "graphics hardware" as justification for a patently false argument that Nintendo has been "behind the times" is just pure stupidity. The only true "innovators" of the last battle were Nintendo employees... and as a sign of their genius, Sony and Microsoft have finally "caught up" to them (some might argue that Kinetic surpasses the Wii - myself included - but the point is: Wii's success was obviously the inspiration). Hey - plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery right? ;-)

RE: Nintendo
By tastyratz on 6/10/2011 11:33:50 AM , Rating: 2
that's the "problem" in that they are selling them by the truckload. If it wasn't any good they wouldn't, would they?

I agree personally that a good game is fun to play, but good graphics are what make the experience immersive. You might watch a crappy movie but be impressed, but you might also watch an incredible movie with poor underfunded cg and it takes away from the experience. There needs to be a balance and these elements go hand in hand. Not every game is going to be a great game with amazing gameplay, it is going to be hinged around a concept which if poorly executed leaves you a crappy game... with crappy graphics. At least on a more powerful system more powerful graphics can make up for some less stellar titles.

RE: Nintendo
By someguy123 on 6/8/2011 4:14:24 PM , Rating: 3
Technically nintendo isn't "holding back" the industry. This is a for profit business. Sony and Microsoft saw it in their best interests to subsidize their hardware, losing billions in the process. Nintendo's hardware advancements are more in line with what you would expect without subsidizing hardware in favor of increasing installbase/software licensing.

RE: Nintendo
By epobirs on 6/9/2011 8:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't accurate. Nintendo not only chose to not subsidize hardware, they also chose to have a considerably lower cost of entry for the platform at launch. These two factors combined for a very major difference in functionality. Foregoing HDTV support was just one of several compromises necessitated by these cost limitations.

Twenty years earlier this wouldn't have been a big problem. The same games were developed across a widely varying set of systems. But as budgets increased and the risk associated with a failed SKU increased as well, publishers became more cautious about porting to everything as they once did.

Nintendo intended to replicate the success of the DS. Not the leader in power but with elements that draw support from developers creating distinct versions rather than mere ports. But the disparity in power meant more on a console than a handheld and developers found it harder to make effective use of the controls

So we've ended up with a Wii library that doesn't cut it for a big portion of the market. The Wii gets relegated to secondary status and is in danger of losing even as developers now the Move and Kinect options. If you aren't a big fan of the Nintendo exclusive franchises, there may be no reason to ever own the Wii. Big problem for Nintendo, although not a new one. Previous Nintendo platforms have been accused of lacking must-play third party support but it has never been this bad.

Interestingly, the often forgotten beneficiary of the Wii is the continuing PS2 software market. Creating a PS2 version of title is easier to justify when NTSC-oriented art assets can be shared with the Wii. If the game isn't heavily focused on motion control, it can usually be ported with only minor reductions in quality. Far less than when porting a PS3/Xbox title to the Wii. There are a few third party titles that might have improved my interest in the Wii if they weren't available for the PS2 I already own.

RE: Nintendo
By someguy123 on 6/9/2011 2:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
This only applies if you consider the ps3/360 prices to be standard.

The 360/ps3 prices were far above the norm for consoles. The only thing in line with conventional console pricing was the 360 core model, and even then it was 299$ after subsidizing costs. Consoles that held such a high premium in the past didn't succeed (such as the 3do). This was also detrimental to the industry, as it caused production costs to suddenly skyrocket to meet HD demands.

Nintendo's console was priced and spec'd as it would've been with a normal nintendo refresh. The difference was microsoft and sony subsidizing, not nintendo artificially holding back technology.

RE: Nintendo
By allensays on 6/9/2011 3:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
SNES was the most powerful 16-bit console at the time. They went downhill after that.

RE: Nintendo
By CZroe on 6/10/2011 10:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
When have they ever done this before the Wii? The SNES was more powerful than the Genesis. The N64 was more powerful than the Saturn or Playstation (lower storage capacity, yes). The Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2, which is why the hardware had legs and is still used in a current console 10 years later. Until the Wii they have always been more powerful than their closest competitor at launch and yet they are damned if they do, damned if they don't with Nintendo-haters. They chose not to compete on hardware specs for the first time ever and it proved to be the right choice (most successful console they've made by far). At the same time, it advanced the industry far more than a graphical upgrade would have. If you think it held back the industry, then answer this: How? Dod Sony or MS release less-capable hardware in 2005 and 2006 just because Nintendo did? See how silly your statement is?

RE: Nintendo
By superstition on 6/10/2011 8:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Superior hardware does not mean success. The Atari Jaguar was vastly superior to the Genesis and superior to the NES. It failed because of a lack of high-quality games. Even if it had had the full strength of Nintendo's marketing, without better games, it still wouldn't have succeeded.

If Final Fantasy VII, Tekken, Zelda, Mario, Metroid, and other tier-1 titles had come out on the Jaguar, it probably would have succeeded.

By bernardl on 6/8/2011 5:31:49 PM , Rating: 4
Borrowing footage from your competition is a stupid thing to do.

This being said, I find Wii games to be an order of magnitude more fun than anything I have seen on the other consoles. I sold my 360 years ago because I was hardly ever using it compared to the Wii sitting right next to it.

But what do I know, I also tend to prefer by far movies shot with 100.000 US$s budget compared to those shot with 30 M$...


By Jeff7181 on 6/8/2011 5:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason I have a hard time caring. Unless this means another Super Mario Brothers game. Not that Mario Galaxy crap, either.

RE: Yawn
By cmdrdredd on 6/8/2011 9:04:43 PM , Rating: 1
Problem I have. They claim this is about one year from launch...

Where the fuck is my Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword!!!????

Don't tell me I have to buy this fucking thing with a damn tablet for a controller to play it (I can play games on my ipad too)? Fuck you Nintendo!!

By icanhascpu on 6/8/11, Rating: 0
By btc909 on 6/8/11, Rating: -1
By Scabies on 6/8/2011 4:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
you watch G4 and think Reggie Fils-Aime is a douche?

not sure if srs

By epobirs on 6/9/2011 8:38:50 AM , Rating: 1
Why do you find the claim questionable? We're talking about matching the functionality of machines that use hardware designed eight years earlier by the time the new Nintendo box launches. Not a difficult goal. Think about the price tag of a high-end gaming PC in 2005 and how little it would cost to match that today. (It would be kind of hard not exceed it on nearly every front, unless you were buying used.)

Plainly, Nintendo's philosophy puts high emphasis on cost of entry and the infrastructure surrounding the chip set rather than the bleeding edge qualities of a high-cost chip set. This worked out pretty well for them on the Wii. It just happened to run out of steam before the competition. OTOH, it was in strong profits long before those competitors, so it works out fairly well for Nintendo, long term.

We'll probably see a lot of ports of older PS3/Xbox titles, those that had no Wii version or a markedly inferior one, with bits of added controller support tacked on. This makes learning the platform relatively cheap and gives access to a lot of new (to them) games for the Nintendo fans who owned no other consoles in recent years.

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