Everyone was showing off multi-screen connectivity at E3--not just Nintendo. Microsoft spent a good deal of its E3 presentation on SmartGlass; Sony showed off how Vita can be used as a controller for the PS3 version of LittleBigPlanet 2. Given Wii U is defined by the asymmetric gameplay made possible by its unique tablet, did Sony and Microsoft steal Nintendo's thunder?
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata doesn't think so. "That suggests to me that they clearly see value in what we're trying to do," he said. "So the fact that we have so quickly seen somebody following in the footsteps of what we first introduced with the Wii U, suggests that there are people who see great appeal in what we're offering."
Although Iwata is flattered by the competition, he sees Wii U as having a technical advantage over both Microsoft and Sony's offerings. While SmartGlass can work on a variety of touchscreen devices, Iwata says that the lack of buttons will make it difficult to properly integrate into games. "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," he told investors. "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."
Wii U was designed from the ground up to have two devices interoperate. "We have paid particular attention to the latency," Iwata noted. "If you have latency within that process, or lag within that process, it's no longer a quality game. So clearly and naturally the latency for a situation like that is going to be very different from a device that has specifically been designed to achieve that type of seamless interaction versus a device that simply has conventional technology layered for each device to be purchased for individual reasons."