Do raw Wii U specs really matter?

Over the years, Nintendo has made some rather silly statements about its gaming consoles, at least in my humble opinion.

Specifically, I don’t think I’ll ever forget when one Nintendo exec tried to convince gamers they really didn’t want or need HD gaming when the Wii first hit the market. Now Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada seems to be the latest industry exec to make a rather odd comment about Nintendo’s upcoming (and controversial) console.

Yes, Harada claims people are focusing too much on the Wii U’s raw spec sheet. But Harada goes even further, stating that comparing specs are “not really even relevant.” Say what!?

Seriously, I don’t see how anyone can justify such a statement. I mean, it’s practically inevitable that gamers, analyst and journalists will all compare the Wii U’s specs with other consoles – whether current or next-gen – on the market.

“While developing Tag 2, since it’s very graphic intensive because of the multiple characters on screen, there was still some power left over for graphic capabilities so the graphics chips seems to be pretty decent,” Harada explained.

“But to be honest, that’s not really even relevant because people seem to be focusing too much comparing the raw specs to other hardware. You really have to be looking at the capabilities and what features it has.”

For example, says Harada, the Wii U is capable of shifting game play from the TV to the smaller screen on the controller.

“[So] if you’re playing Tag 2 on the Wii U at home and your parents get mad at you for taking up the TV too much, you can just take it to your bed and start playing there. Being able to take a high end game and play it in your bed is something that’s really unique so that’s the thing people are kind of missing.”

Personally, I think quite a lot gamers will wait for the console to hit the market before deciding if that particular feature is a gimmick or not. Then again, I’m not at all convinced gamers will make frequent use of the controller to play games.

Nevertheless, Nintendo believes that once mainstream gamers see the console in action they will have a better understanding of the system’s unique features and resulting benefits – even if  the Wii U supposedly isn’t as powerful as the PS3 or Xbox 360.