While there's been much talk about Wii U in terms of its substantial launch lineup, as well as opinions on the system's operation system and functions such as Miiverse, there's also been plenty of discussion about CPU chips and graphical capabilities. Like Wii before it, some are questioning the longevity and potential third-party support for Wii U in the coming years; it's a debate with plenty of angles, many of which we've considered in terms of a third-party challenge for Nintendo.
In an interview last week with CNN, now uploaded to good-old YouTube, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime tackled this and other issues. When questioned about the technical capabilities of Wii U, from a graphical standpoint, Reggie expressed a view that — unsurprisingly — countered that of Eurogamer's Digital Foundry assessment of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and offered a defence of the system's graphical clout.
The specs are quite different than the competitive systems, much more graphically intensive.
If you do a side-by-side comparison you would see that third-party games like Call of Duty look dramatically better on our system.
It's hardly surprising that the NoA boss would talk up the system, and that's a debate that's likely to be around the system for a time to come. Moving on from that, Fils-Aime also reiterated his faith in the GamePad concept while pointing to early sales success. When quizzed about the "pick up and play" aspect of Wii U compared to its predecessor, meanwhile, the executive was quick to re-emphasise the important role of third-parties for the system.
In terms of what competition’s going to do in the future: we’ll see. We know based on our own development this two screen experience really is the next innovation that consumers are gravitating to.
It’s selling extremely well here in the Americas. Already stocks are quite low in the marketplace; we’re rapidly replenishing. So for us, certainly the consumer’s deciding that the innovation is well worth their investment.
...For us the big opportunity is having content from the [likes] of Activision, or EA, or Ubisoft, these companies that are making content that is quite different than what Nintendo makes, and that's going to make for a much more well-rounded console.
The big test of third-party support will undoubtedly come from April onwards, once the rather packed launch window schedule has passed. Nintendo has a habit of keeping us waiting for updates and reveals, so we'll have to wait and see whether first and third-party hits are on the way in the latter half of 2013. There are plenty of games to play until then, in any case.