You can say what you want to say about Nintendo’s consoles and handheld falling behind their competitors when it comes to graphics capabilities, but it can’t be denied that the gaming giant is still a force to be reckoned with on the market, HD graphics or no. In fact, they’ve already proven that they can still beat their competitors in sales even with underpowered hardware, as evidenced by the DS and the Wii leading their market segments during their heydays.
In a recent interview with the Independent, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata talked about 3D gaming and its future–or lack thereof:
“I think when we launched the 3DS there was a kind of 3D boom, which is perhaps slightly on the wane again, but there are plenty of people out there that create 3D video and I think that some of those who create and distribute 3D video would be very interested in the 3DS XL.
“…But as human beings are, this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just having this 3D stereoscopic effect isn’t going to keep people excited.
“But I think it’s an important element, it makes graphics more impactful, it proves a sense of immersion that 2D doesn’t have, so I would say generally that 3D is better than 2D. It’s nice to have good graphics but not necessarily on their own, so I don’t think we’ll present [3D graphics] as one of the key features of our consoles but will probably stick with 3D as one of the minor elements of our consoles in the future.”
Iwata went on to talk about how the Wii U’s similar-to-current-gen specs aren’t that important to him, and he’s more concerned with making solid gaming experiences:
“I’m not against beautiful graphics, but my thinking is that unless the play experience is really rich the wonderful graphics won’t really help. I’m really looking forward to beautiful games coming out on Wii U though, with graphics that we couldn’t have done on the Wii.
“There’s definitely the chance for not only graphics, but also other features that our competitor’s consoles don’t have. But I think it will become increasingly difficult from now on to compete over graphics. This is because that no matter how much we increase the number of polygons we can display and improve the shading it will become increasingly difficult to tell the difference.
“… I think when we look at the design of a new games console we need a structure and concept that offers more than just good graphics.”