Miyamoto: Nintendo worked on Wii U concept for “several years”, wasn’t inspired by recent tablet success
Shigeru Miyamoto has dismissed claims that the concept and design of the Wii U controller was influenced by the recent growth in popularity of tablets, especially in relation to Apple’s iPad.
Having been asked as to whether the iPad inspired Nintendo’s direction with the Wii U, Miyamoto explained that they had been “working on the concept for several years.”
“Actually it was coincidental, because even at this point last year at E3, we had done a lot of work on this, and it was pretty far along, and we had been working on the concept for several years,” he explained. “We felt it was kind of a funny coincidence that, while we had been working on this, all of a sudden right as we’re getting ready to bring it to the public, there’s this tablet boom.”
Miyamoto continued, “On the one hand we felt that if we were to show it off at E3 last year, then people would look at it and say, ‘Oh, it’s like a tablet.’ But on the other hand, it may have actually helped us because it made it easier for people to understand the concept.”
“Where I think the two are different is that the tablet is designed to function as its own independent device, whereas the new controller is connected to the console and also simultaneously connected to the TV. And so then what you have is this unique interaction between those three pieces, and there’s, I think, a lot of different and unique ways that you can use the new controller in conjunction with the TV. It’s a great way to search for things, whether it’s photos or videos, and then share them with people by putting them up on the TV screen, as well as just the various different kind of gameplay concepts that we’re showing.”
“From a kind of a visual point and an initial kind of conceptual starting point, the two seem similar, [but] because of the unique structure of the console and the new controller and the TV, that when people start playing with it and interacting with it, especially in the living room, they’re going to find that it opens up a great deal more possibilities.”