Monster Hunter Tri, due for a North American release this month, won critical acclaim and commercial success in Japan last year with a strong assist from its visuals. Nintendo's chief even thinks Capcom's outdoing his company, on its own hardware.

In a roundtable conducted last year with two Monster Hunter developers (translated and posted now), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata asked the two, in effect, so how about those Wii graphics? "I imagine the first thing you thought with regard to visuals was that you might not be able to do much," Iwata said.

"To be honest," said Capcom's Kaname Fujioka, "graphics aren't really the Wii console's best point, so ..."

Iwata then mentions that "Nintendo's staff has really been galvanized," by Capcom's work. "I can tell they feel like you did what they hadn't yet." He also calls Monster Hunter Tri "one of the representative examples of what can ultimately be done with Wii."

One of the devs thanked him, but Iwata wasn't done there. "I think it has placed the Zelda team under a considerable amount of pressure." The transcript notes he laughs there and the translation's a bit dry. But the message on the whole is clear: Iwata thinks Capcom beat Nintendo's designers on their home turf.

Iwata Asks: Monster Hunter Tri [Nintendo]