Nintendo boss bows out of the console performance war

June 17, 2016 // 12:13 p.m.

Tags: #console #nintendo #nintendo-nx #nx #playstation-4 #playstation-neo #project-scorpio #reggie-fils-aime #wii #wii-u #xbox-one

Nintendo has hinted that it may be continuing its trend of allowing its competitors to take the performance lead in the console market, with Nintendo America head Reggie Fils-Aime stating that the battle is 'not about the horsepower.'

Nintendo's heavily-rumoured NX console is due to appear as a successor for its commercially unsuccessful Wii U, a device which boasts a great first-party games library and an innovative controller but which lost out to rival devices from Sony and Microsoft due to the perception that it was little more than a mildly upgraded previous-generation Wii. With both rival companies now preparing even more powerful devices, the Microsoft Project Scorpio and PlayStation Neo respectively, Nintendo has suggested it won't be looking to go toe-to-toe on the hardware front.

'For us, it's not about specs, it's not about teraflops, it's not about the horsepower of a particular system,' Nintendo America's Reggie Fils-Aime told Bloomberg in a recent interview. 'It's about the content. We’re focused on bringing our best entertainment to both the Wii U as well as the NX in the future. Whatever Microsoft and Sony are doing in terms of talking about new systems, that’s for them to fight out in that red ocean.'

In its early days, Nintendo was at the forefront of hardware performance: its consoles typically went head-to-head with devices from Sega and Atari, boasting of impressive features such as the Mode 7 scrolling system and add-on Super FX processor. In recent years, it has concentrated instead on offering affordable platforms for its much-loved IP, culminating in an eighth-generation console - the Wii U - which has more in common with its seventh-generation predecessor than rival eighth-generation devices. Although home to a wide range of top-quality first-party titles, the Wii U has found itself being downplayed or even dropped entirely from third-party publishers' cross-platform support plans.

The Nintendo NX is due to launch in March 2017, and will be sold alongside the Wii U rather than replacing it outright.
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