Miyamoto talks HD Wii

"Graphics wouldn't matter if the games weren't fun to play" says Miyamoto

The Nintendo Wii might just have been a high-definition capable games console like its competitors had Nintendo not decided to focus on a more cost-effective, gameplay-orientated experience, Miyamoto has revealed.

"We had to compromise on graphics and give up on a powerful chip. Many of our employees initially wanted high-definition graphics" proclaimed Miyamoto in an interview with Business Week.

Describing the company's original philosophies behind the Wii, Miyamoto said: "Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software."

We find it hard to imagine a console that cheap being a great deal better than those crappy 50-in-one TV Game contraptions you can find at Argos, but according to Miyamoto: "If we hadn't used NAND flash memory and other pricey parts, we might have succeeded."

"Rather than just picking new technology, we thought seriously about what a game console should be. [Satoru] Iwata wanted a console that would play every Nintendo game ever made."

Miyamoto also described how Nintendo greatly considered the interests of mothers in the designing of the Wii: "Our goal was to come up with a machine that moms would want - easy to use, quick to start up, not a huge energy drain and quiet while it was running."

Interestingly, he also spoke about the influence the success of the DS had on designing the Wii: "The DS prepared the way for the Wii. The DS's unique interface had traction with non-gamers. That made us think we had a shot at reaching a broader audience. But if the DS had flopped, we might have taken the Wii back to the drawing board."

Nintendo will be unleashing the Wii in the world-first US release this Sunday. Check out CVG on the day for the first of our Wii reviews, and a full run-down of the hardware and launch games.