Nintendo announced its next console, the Wii U, earlier today at its E3 press conference. During the show, the company aired a three-minute montage of upcoming third-party PS3/360/PC titles — core games/franchises such as Darksiders II, Ninja Gaiden 3, and DiRT — in a move that was clearly meant to prove that it’s serious about third-party support for the Wii U (which was sorely lacking from the Wii).
But the video probably should’ve included a prominent asterisk somewhere, with a major caveat: the footage being shown wasn’t actually taken from Wii U games. Instead, as Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime later confirmed in a post-conference interview (the relevant clip begins at 4:33) with Spike’s Geoff Keighley, the video featured gameplay from the PS3/360/PC versions of the games in question, because we’re “a year away from when the console will launch.”
The Wii U won’t be out until sometime between April and December 2012 — it’s pretty far off. And accordingly, none of the Wii U software that Nintendo is showing at E3 is intended to be taken as indicative of retail Wii U games; they’re mostly tech demos and proof-of-concept software at this point. So it’s not surprising that third-party developers haven’t had enough time with the Wii U to actually have games that are in a demo-able state.
Even so, Nintendo’s failure to clearly mark PS3/360/PC gameplay as such has the connotation of an attempt at a nefarious bait-and-switch that Keighley forced Fils-Aime to own up to, especially since showing the footage implies that that’s the level of visuals that the console will produce. The Wii U is capable of 1080p output, so presumably, developers won’t even have a tough time matching the PS3/360/PC footage that Nintendo showed. But at least admit that they’re not there yet, and don’t try to pass off other consoles’ gameplay as your own system’s video.