Peter Moore says Wii U ‘Not Transitional Console’

There has been a great deal of discussion about what the console race is going to look like around late 2013, as it seems like Microsoft might have sped up production on the Xbox 360 successor to get into the game before the Wii U has too much of a head start.   We aren’t entirely sure how powerful the Wii U actually is, but reports seem to put it as more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3, but not by a massive amount.  Certainly not by the amount that we expect the new round of consoles from Sony and Microsoft to leapfrog the current generation by.

Again, we’ve heard rumors that they’re about as powerful as the current generation of PC GPUs, which certainly outclasses the Wii U hardware, probably by a couple of generations.  So, does this spell trouble for the Wii U in 2014?  EA COO Peter Moore doesn’t think so. Speaking to Industry Gamers, he gives us his thoughts:

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, 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?

Of course the Wii sold in absolutely massive numbers, but how often did that unique control scheme really get used to make immersive and innovative games beyond what could have been accomplished before?  That being said, did Nintendo hit on a long-term trend by bucking the race for higher fidelity?  Again, Moore seems to think so.

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.

Given that EA is looking more and more into social and gaming and new demographics, it isn’t surprising that he’s thinking like this, but surely the next generation will actually make a significant jump in graphical fidelity?

And 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.

Which is quite a bombshell to drop, in my opinion.  So if they aren’t going to be hanging on graphical fidelity, what will be the motivation to upgrade for us consumers?  Will it truly be control interfaces, or will it be more related to social gaming and online community building?

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.

What more can the wizards at Microsoft and Sony do to truly make these consoles must buys for not just us dedicated gamers, but everyone else?  You or I may buy a new console because we want the new shiny graphics, but we are the crowd that write and read gaming blogs and hang on the latest news, the larger market is not, and I think that’s what Moore is really getting at here.  There will be the new shiny for those of us who care, but it won’t be the majour push from these companies, there has to be more there to engage the wider audience.

The next 5-10 years will be fascinating in the video game industry, we may see companies rise and fall, paradigms invented and shattered and any number of crazy things, but you can be pretty darn sure it won’t just be business as usual.

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Faith
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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