Next generation consoles in production at Sony and Microsoft may not provide a significant generational leap that consumers are accustomed to, the president of Nintendo has said.
In what signals a return to the games industry's habitual public criticisms of new consoles from rival executives, Satoru Iwata has detailed his doubts over the PlayStation 4 and so-called Xbox 720.
"If they decide to increase the spec numbers, will the consumers be able to realise the difference enough so that they can understand it's much superior to today's machine," Iwata said in an interview with The Telegraph.
Iwata's claims have been published on the same day as similarly critical remarks made by Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, who said the Wii U was "in a generation of its own".
And while the Nintendo president has doubts over the graphical advancements of the next generation machines, he appeared to hedge his bets by saying that developers would struggle if PS4 and Xbox 720 were significantly more powerful than their predecessors.
"If they beef up the processing power, that simply means much more work for software developers to take advantage of those spec numbers. So I have to ask the question if that type of differentiation really makes sense.
He added: "I think further arguments must wait until probably next year, when they have finalised and disclosed whatever they are thinking about for the next generation of consoles."