It’s kind of funny, is it not? After kinda/sorta pulling back the curtain on their next[ish]-gen console at E3 2011, Nintendo has been largely silent when it comes to Wii U. Instead, they have happily kicked back and allowed third parties to talk about the system that will release sometime during the second half of 2012.
While there has been some praise, much of the talk has come from detractors, with one even calling the system a “stop-gap”. And yet, Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore disagrees with that assessment.
“People will start talking about it being a transitional platform. And I don’t think that’s going to be the case, and here’s why,” Moore remarked to IndustryGamers. “I think the [tablet] controller [is huge]. This is not about specs anymore… This is about, as it was with the Wii, is the controller a unique way of enjoying a game experience, regardless of what the graphic fidelity is?”
The former Microsoft executive echoed a point of view that many in the industry have been saying since even before the current crop of platforms launched. He believes that graphical fidelity is not nearly as important as it once was because there it is becoming increasingly difficult for developers to floor gamers with advancements in raw horsepower.
Look, you saw Battlefield – how much better could this stuff look at some point? There’s a point of diminishing returns… I don’t even know if there’s anything better than 1080p. In the early days of our industry, this stuff was absolutely about how much better the games looked – shinier helmets, greener grass – but I’ve been around long enough to know that seeing your breath in a football game is a huge deal. But that’s no longer the case any more. Now it’s about interfaces. Now it’s about building a community in a rich, powerful, way. And now it’s about, ‘What is the way we can control the game?’ You’ve seen that with Move, you’ve seen it with Wii MotionPlus more recently, and you’ve certainly seen it with Kinect.
While there is certainly some truth to his remarks about elements such as online services being absolutely crucial these days, MTB does not feel as though the industry has reached a graphical crescendo. Games still regularly release at resolutions lower than 1080P, with poor AI, with unimpressive textures, with poor collision detection, with framerates lower than 60 and on and on. Additionally, does anyone truly believe that Nintendo is going to catch up to the big boys in realm of online services?
Continuing on, Moore said that “Nintendo’s job, quite frankly, is to build a better mousetrap with regards to the way that we use the controller. So I don’t know what Xbox and PlayStation’s plans for their next platforms are, but it’s not going to be hanging on graphic fidelity. I guarantee you that.”
He is no doubt correct that it is going to take more than just bleeding edge visuals to move consoles next gen, but it seems likely that the big three will need to deliver both services and major graphical leaps. Boasting just one or the other likely wont’ get the job done.
It’s critically important to us and we are relieved, if anything else, that they have made a huge commitment that they have presented to us… Online certainly was not a factor with the Wii, as you know; although they had capabilities, it just wasn’t there at the level that both Xbox Live and PlayStation had. But I think Nintendo totally gets that multi-player, building community, co-op play, having the ability to bring games that are deeper – all of these things are now very important.
[Source: Industry Gamers]
[Image via Brutal Gamer.]