I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but media outlets are, again and again, reporting how various studios will be unable to bring their next-generation efforts to the Wii U. Somehow, people have some kind of expectation that graphics engines that are being optimized for hardware ten times as powerful (I’m just spitballing, but considerably faster) as the Wii U will fit on the Nintendo console. This isn’t news, but the fact that it’s being reported (and re-reported) is blistering my mind.
In case you forgot, Nintendo is serving up generation-old hardware because they can make money on it. When the GameCube debuted, it straddled the performance of the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. With the Wii, they put their hardware dollars in motion control meant they short-changed its number-crunching performance to retain some really good profit margins – which everyone at Nintendo and their investors enjoyed – but it wound up only marginally more powerful than its predecessor while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, released in the same timeframe, were far more powerful. The Wii U followed the trend by featuring hardware comparable to the competition right as the competition is about to launch hardware that’s far more powerful, yet again.
This isn’t a new approach by any means. Their laid back approach to (subjective) fun over (objective) performance dates back to the Game Boy days when more powerful hardware like the Nomad, Game Gear or even the PlayStation Portable ran through battery power incredibly fast, which made for beautiful gameplay you couldn’t enjoy for very long. This is Nintendo slumming it up, as it were, and making the bucks doing it.
So no, stop wondering if Battlefield 4 or Killzone: Shadow Fall visuals are coming to the Wii U, because it will never happen.