As most of you know, Nintendo held a
shareholders’ meeting late last week, and one of the many points that
were covered by Iwata and friends was that of hardware power. Or more
specifically, their reasoning for why it is nowhere near as important
than their critics and competitors claim it to be.
Nintendo’s Senior Managing Director,
Genyo Takeda stated at the meeting, “Whether a machine is
powerful or not only has meaning in the context of whether that can
express itself in terms of gameplay to consumers.” So he’s
basically saying that it’s not what your machine can do that matters,
but what you can do with your machine. These are wise words, and I
could not agree more.
The important thing for game developers
to focus on is taking advantage of whatever hardware they have
available to them, and in my opinion a good developer should be able
to build something special regardless of the arbitrary limits that
are placed on them by so-called inferior hardware. In fact, history
has shown that artists excel the most when working within set limits.
And Nintendo has always focused more on the artistry and fun of video
games than the “wow factor” that comes with top-of-the-line
hardware. Technical specs are pretty much irrelevant if you look at
it that way.
See the full quote from Takeda below,
and let us know what you think in the comment section.
Mr. Iwata just explained that Nintendo leads an integrated hardware-software business. To put it differently, combining technology with entertainment creates machines. Under such circumstances, Nintendo tries not to emphasize the raw technical specifications of our hardware. We have focused on how we can use technology to amplify the value of our entertainment offerings, and in this sense, technology for us is something that stays in the background. Therefore, I do not wish to make excuses for having so far failed to offer the “amplifier” that our consumers can regard as having true entertainment value. Whether a machine is powerful or not only has meaning in the context of whether that can express itself in terms of gameplay to consumers, and I therefore do not intend to go into fine detail about the specific numbers. I apologize for not directly answering your question, but it is my personal belief that explanations of such a nature have little relevance to consumers.
Rather than thinking differently between hardware and software, I would like to continue to use technology in order to amplify the overall entertainment value in ways that are easy to understand for our consumers, and the technologies we should investigate will be more and more different from in the past. It is not just the computational power of a computer that is important, but it is the way in which technology can connect with entertainment in ways that are easy for consumers to understand. It is my hope to communicate the value of the Wii U hardware with concrete examples with which consumers can feel, “Oh, so, this is it!” -Genyo Takeda