Wii U’s gameplay experience ‘more important’ than tech specs

Nintendo has responded to recent rumors claiming the Wii U is not as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in terms of graphics power.

Without directly confirming or denying the allegations, which came from two separate industry sources "familiar" with the Wii U's hardware, a Nintendo spokesperson encouraged gamers to look beyond graphics and, instead, focus on gameplay.

“We do not focus on technology specs," Nintendo told Yahoo's Digital Trends.

"We understand that people like to dissect graphics and processing power, but the experience of playing will always be more important than raw numbers.”

If we've learned anything from the Wii sales, it's that people do tend to flock towards innovative technology.  The Wii's graphics were nothing special, but the idea of a new form of gaming intrigued many to go out and purchase the console.  In my opinion, gameplay will always trump graphics – but it can't hurt to have both.

In the case of the Wii U, many were hoping this leap into the next generation would contain both, but on Monday a GamesIndustry International report caused some controversy when they claimed two developers said the Wii U's power couldn't keep up with that of the Xbox 360 and PS3.

"No, it's not up to the same level as the PS3 or the 360," said one of the developers who's been working with the Wii U. "The graphics are just not as powerful."

Another source added: "Yeah, that's true. It doesn't produce graphics as well as the PS3 or the 360.  There aren't as many shaders, it's not as capable. Sure, some things are better, mostly as a result of it being a more modern design. But overall the Wii U just can't quite keep up."

It's amazing that Nintendo hasn't even announced the technical specifications of the Wii U and we are already having these debates as to which console is more powerful.  While you'd think a "next-gen" console would be the clear winner in terms of power and graphics, Nintendo has stated from the beginning that the Wii U is all about the innovative gaming experience, particularly with the unique tablet controller.

Still, not all developers are in agreement with the Wii U being below the current generation of consoles.  Last month, Vigil, developer of Wii U launch title Darksiders 2, said the Wii U was "on par" with the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Whatever the case, we should hear more about the Wii U specs in the coming months, most likely at E3 where Epic VP Mark Rein suggested Nintendo will "shock us" with their new console.  They better if they intend on getting the consumers excited in time for its end of 2012 launch.