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Iwata says developers are currently utilising 'only half Wii U's full potential'

CEO hints that future games will compare favourably with Xbox 360 and PS3 versions

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes developers are currently utilising only half of the Wii U's potential.

Addressing investors during an E3 briefing, the executive appeared to suggest that future Wii U games will compare favourably with Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the same title.

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"While existing platforms have engines that development teams have tuned and optimized for six to seven years after their respective launches, the Wii U is a new platform that has slightly different architecture and, since development teams have only just begun development on software for it, they are only at the halfway point to utilising its full potential," he said.

"Despite this fact, however, if you look at the game Assassin's Creed 3, which was recently announced or shown, you can't see much difference when you compare it with games for other companies' systems."

Iwata went on to address the different ways the platform holders are spending their hardware development budgets, explaining that Nintendo has made a heavy investment in the Wii U GamePad at the expense of processing power.

"Of course, because we have designed a new hardware system, we are using new technology and we are using new GPUs. But as we have to devote significant costs to the Wii U GamePad, if we were to apply the same level of enhancement that other console manufacturers shoot for to the processing power component, the Wii U would become extremely high in price, and it would not be affordable.

"In other words, we think that the way that the various console manufacturers are allocating their budgets to the hardware is different from the way that we allocate our budget to the hardware. Ultimately, we're looking to maintain a price point for the Wii U that is reasonable in comparison to the value to be offered."

While it's been hinted at in the past, Iwata has also confirmed that Wii U will support free-to-play games and microtransactions.

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