While E3 was occupying everyone's attention last week, Nintendo held an analyst event for their investors. During the Q&A, one meeting participant honed in on something many of us have been wondering since Microsoft unveiled their SmartGlass, and posed the question: "Are you worried about SmartGlass? How does Nintendo intend to differentiate its hardware system?"
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata responded with no more concern over Microsoft's new tech than he had earlier over Apple's.
Other companies all scrambling to mimic what Nintendo announced last year is a good sign, Iwata explained, signalling that they are on the right track. And as to a specific threat from Microsoft? Nintendo's banking on the fact that iPhones still don't have controllers, and that gamers need real control:
The question is, is what they're offering truly capable of doing everything that we're offering? From what we have seen so far, it looks to us as if what they are able to offer really is only a small facet of what the Wii U is capable of.
We know that the core users who love playing video games like controllers that you hold with two hands. But what you don't have on smartphones and tablets are the buttons and the control sticks that they prefer to use. Now, if they could hold a controller with two hands and hold a tablet or a smartphone with another hand, there would be no issue. Unfortunately, since it is not possible for humans to do that, you can't play a game in a way you can play with the Wii U.
Iwata raises a fair point about the impossibility of holding a smartphone and a game controller at the same time, something I may have, er, awkwardly discovered more than once in my life. We'll find out how good the controller really is when the Wii U launches at the end of the year.
2012 E3 Analyst Q & A Session [Nintendo]