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Nintendo president says 'being first [next-gen console] not important at all'

by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Jul 20, 2012 9:30AM PDT

Depending on how you measure, the Wii U will either be the first console of the next generation, or the last console of this current generation. Its power is roughly on-par with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which means Nintendo is doubling down on its lower-fi strategy and will probably be the last manufacturer to hit the next-gen benchmarks. But Nintendo president Satoru Iwata doesn't feel that having a head-start is the advantage many make it out to be.

"Being first in the next generation race is not important at all," Iwata told Gamasutra. "One of the reasons we believe this is the time for Nintendo to launch the Wii U is it's going to be important for the world."

Iwata also vaguely spoke about the price, one unrevealed element of the Wii U still undergoing heavy speculation. "The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched," he says. "The environment is different. Wii U is going to be launching in a different environment than when the Wii was launched. Also, the involvement surrounding [mobile and social] businesses is different than several years ago."

He says the company intends to return to profitability this year, after it lost money last year due to the 3DS hardware sales. That sounds like the Wii U won't be selling at a loss, but pricing has yet to be determined so it's hard to say for sure.