Team Ninja boss defends Wii U CPU, insists console is “definitely next generation”
Yosuke Hayashi, head of Team Ninja and director of Ninja Gaiden 3 and upcoming Wii U revision Razor’s Edge, has poured scorn on the claim last year by Metro: Last Light developer 4A that Nintendo’s new console was hamstrung by a “horrible, slow” CPU.
In an interview to be published later this week, Hayashi suggests that 4A CTO Oleg Shishkovstov was using Wii U‘s perceived lack of horsepower as a smokescreen – and that too much attention has been paid to the components inside Wii U’s casing, when the real appeal lies in what those components actually do.
“The Wii U is an infant that’s just been born,” Hayashi tells us. “It’s a little unfair to compare it to mature platforms that people have been working on for over five years. I’m sure people will find ways to bring out even more power as the platform matures.
“To be completely blunt and honest, there’s no way that the Wii U processor is ‘horrible and slow’ compared to other platforms. I think that comment was just 4A trying to find a scapegoat for a simple business decision on their part.”
However, Hayashi does not dispute that Wii U’s spec sheet isn’t much of a leap over current-generation consoles, if it is at all – but argues that the console’s functionality does more than enough for it to be classed as the start of a new generation.
“If you’re basing this simply on processor speed, then it’s not next generation,” he says. “If you’re basing this on Wii U being a new idea that challenges existing platforms, then it definitely is next generation. It is a console videogame platform that is now independent of the TV. Nobody has done that before.
“It’s no mistake to say that we have entered a period where it’s difficult to provide an obvious difference to many players based on processor speed alone. Players want new innovation that includes the environment in which you play and services you use, rather than just raw processor spec.
“Nintendo is at the forefront of that innovation. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other platforms come up with in the future.”
Hayashi has clearly found much to like while working on Wii U – elsewhere in our interview he is full of praise for the GamePad controller – but development of Razor’s Edge has also allowed him to lay some personal demons to rest. Stung by the lukewarm reception afforded Ninja Gaiden 3 last year, Hayashi and Team Ninja have sought to fix much of what so disappointed the series’ core audience – telling us parts of the game design have been changed “drastically”. Look out for the full interview later this week.