Previously, we reported on a rough summary of Nintendo’s annual shareholders meeting, but a more complete version has revealed more of the Q & A session between high-ranking Nintendo executives like Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda. In the summary, the eighth question related to Takeda’s confidence in Wii U’s hardware, and Takeda’s answer was largely in regards to the efficiency of Wii U’s memory. The full translation provides a greater context in which Takeda talks about challenges that Nintendo faces with Wii U’s hardware. Read on to see what Nintendo needs to overcome.
Question: My question is about hardware. I am working in the software field, and in my view, Nintendo has been putting a lot of effort into designing hardware for which software developers can easily create games since the days of Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo DS. In seeing the beautiful and smooth 60 frame-per-second graphics for “Mario Kart 8” released recently and “The Legend of Zelda” announced at the E3 show, I feel that you have designed Wii U to be very good hardware. Mr. Miyamoto commented on the cost of software development with new technology. Now I would like to ask Mr. Takeda how confident he is about Wii U in light of developing video games and how much it will act as a weapon for Nintendo to deploy its platforms.
Takeda: If you ask me about the most challenging aspect of designing Wii U, it was that the high-resolution graphics were anticipated by everyone and could not be an advantage. In addition, we are still having a hard time to make the best use of its new controller, the “Wii U GamePad.” On the other hand, it was a natural and inherent decision to aim for hardware efficiency, including a not huge capacity but low-latency memory, in designing Wii U, as we have done since the days of Nintendo GameCube. These sorts of things have been ubiquitous across the entire company; it is in our DNA. We want to pass on to our younger developers the DNA of offering unexpected and fun entertainment to consumers by doing things in different ways from others so the company can continuously produce unprecedented entertainment. This DNA should materialize in various forms. Sometimes it could be in the form of hardware, and at other times, it could bear fruit in other technology. Anyway, I want to ensure that this DNA is passed on throughout the company.
When Wii U launched it was a competitively powerful machine as compared to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it was trumped in power substantially a year later when PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So while Nintendo fans are happy to see their favorite franchises reborn in HD, it’s not the kind of system-selling hook that’s going to bring in non-Nintendo fans. That hook is the GamePad, which Nintendo is still apparently ‘having a hard time’ utilizing to its full potential.