Nintendo’s next-generation console, the Wii U, launches by the end of this year. What we don’t know is the console’s graphical power, which Microsoft’s Phil Spencer says is on par with the Xbox 360.
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Expect the Wii U to be on par with the Xbox 360, according to Microsoft
With the Wii Nintendo set itself up to play catch-up with current generation consoles in terms of graphical capability, because the Wii was already a generation behind with the Wii. With the Wii U, Nintendo enters high definition but Microsoft’s Phil Spencer reckons the Wii U performs on similar levels to the Xbox 360.
Spencer talked about the Wii U Pro controller, which looks almost identical to the Xbox 360’s controller save the right analog stick and X-Y-A-B buttons being switched in placement. He said that Nintendo is building a platform that appeals to the back catalogue of the Xbox 360, with the controller aimed at gamers who don’t want to use the GamePad. We’ll have to see if the controller can be used on any game, or Nintendo pushes the GamePad as a compulsory experience.
Spencer also said the controller feels familiar to Xbox 360 owners; the controller has been praised for its ergonomics.
Xbox’s Most Popular Shooter
Games Industry conducted the interview, and also asked Spencer if Call of Duty has replaced Halo as the number one shooter on the Xbox platform. Spencer didn’t specifically say yes or no, but said Halo is focused on the story and characters while Call of Duty is about building set pieces in a scripted experience. He added the latter doesn’t have memorable characters, like Master Chief or Cortana in Halo.
The impression I got from E3 2012 was the balance is beginning to switch: you can go onto YouTube and watch the two gameplay demos and there’s a clear difference of graphical capability, and in terms of variety. Black Ops 2 is set in 2025 and brings future warfare, but it feels like a change born out of need. Halo 4’s move away from Earth and the Covenant feels natural, and generated excitement. The Black Ops 2 demo didn’t generate excitement among a surprisingly large audience.
Spencer also talked about the desire for the Durango Xbox, but reiterated the Xbox’s media all-in-one capabilities.