Nintendo Boss Slams Microsoft – Smartglass for Xbox Too Dependant on Wi-Fi, Third-Party Developers Lured by Big Payoffs

Nintendo promised that the news wouldn’t stop at the recent E3 Expo, and boy – they sure weren’t joking! Already today we’ve seen quotes from an interview with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime that the Wii U will support a second touchscreen GamePad at some point in the future, when developers have familiarised themselves with the new tech tablet – and we also heard of Zelda designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s satisfaction with the current 3DS portable that may indicate a completely new handheld gaming gadget will come next, forsaking the traditional “Lite”, “XL” and other revision Nintendo’s pocket line-up is usually subject too. Now we hear word from the very top as news emerges from Nintendo’s Japan-based big boss, Satoru Iwata who was on-hand at an investors relations meeting to address some matters of interest.


One of these topics was SmartGlass – a new technology to be employed by rival Microsoft to share it new wave of entertainment apps between connected smartphones, tablets and Smart TV’s from the Xbox 360 console. Iwata criticised the gimmick suggesting that it has an over-dependancy on Wi-Fi and its users would have to deal with lag on their multimedia content. The Nintendo boss makes some big boasts of the new Wii U’s own “seamless” game play with dual screen capabilities using the tablet-like GamePad besting Microsoft’s Xbox with the new addition of SmartGlass:

[Translation] “The question is, is what they are offering truly capable of doing everything that we’re offering? From what we have seen so far, it looks to us as if what they are able to offer really is only a small facet of what the Wii U is capable of. We know that the core users who love playing video games like controllers that you hold with two hands. But what you don’t have on smartphones and tablets are the buttons and the control sticks that they prefer to use.” He continued to say “Now, if players could hold a controller with two hands and hold a tablet or a smartphone with another hand, there would be no issue. Unfortunately, since it is not possible for humans to do that, you can’t play a game in a way you can play with the Wii U.”

Essentially calling out Microsoft for ripping of Nintendo’s concept, Iwata states the interesting fact that the Smartglass idea was launched a year after Nintendo showed off its own variation exactly one year before at the 2011 E3 Expo. He also states that Wii was the first console to introduce motion control to its gaming experience – and see what happened there. Three years later we have the Kinect, Iwata reiterates.

Returning to the issue of lag, the Nintendo president says “The other thing that’s important to know is that with the Wii U GamePad we have paid particular attention to the latency issues to allow the Wii U to truly create seamless gaming experiences on the Wii U GamePad. What that means is that when the user presses the button on the Wii U GamePad, the signal of the button processes a transmitter to the Wii U hardware, and the Wii U hardware draws graphics in reaction to the signal received from the Wii U GamePad and transmits those graphics back to the screen in the Wii U GamePad. If you have latency within that process, or lag within that process, it’s no longer a quality game.”

Iwata continued to take shots at Microsoft suggesting the company uses it financial dominance to sway third-party developers into exclusive deals and says “I don’t think it would be an appropriate course of action to get into a battle with a company like Microsoft over the cost or the expense of trying to go head to head in a situation to try to obtain exclusive rights”.

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