Finding the sweet spot between power and price is harder than it looks, says the Mario creator.
Shigeru Miyamoto says that while the Wii U’s hardware will be more powerful than the Xbox 360 or PS3, it’s unlikely to be that much more powerful. He says that Nintendo is trying very hard to strike a balance between the system’s raw power and its price tag, perhaps more so than any other platform holder.
Miyamoto said that, as an entertainment company, Nintendo was very sensitive to pricing concerns, as consumers only had so much money to spend on entertainment products. He explained that cost was especially important with regard to parents buying things for their children, as there was a price threshold that they were reluctant to cross.
Nintendo’s efforts to cut costs has already seen DVD and Blu-Ray playback nixed, and a limit of one touch screen controller per system imposed. “We’re trying to do that by finding the right balance,” he said. “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.”
“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,” he continued.
Keeping costs down is a sensible goal, but if it means that the Wii U only brings Nintendo level with its rivals, it may leave the company in a difficult position in the future. The company has already admitted that the Wii’s lack of power made it hard to get third party titles onto the console, and Nintendo may find itself in that situation again if Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles are a significant step up from current technology.