In a recent interview with broadcaster CNN promoting the North American launch of the Wii U, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has been seemingly caught out by overstating, and misrepresenting the current performance of games on the new console (thanks GoNintendo).
When fronted with the surprisingly well-informed question "Aren't you worried about the timing, and that the Wii U will be a generation behind your rivals?", Reggie's defence is to claim that the Wii U's specs are "much more graphically intensive", and goes further to explain that "if you do a side-by-side comparison, you would actually see that third party games like Call of Duty look dramatically better on our system".
Unfortunately, Fils-Aime could not have used a worse example, as the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Black Ops II has since been analysed by games tech veteran Richard Leadbetter over on Digital Foundry. DF's detailed report compares the Wii U verison with the Xbox 360 offering (which has previously been compared with both PC, and PlayStation 3), and the Nintendo native comes out on the bottom of the pile. While the graphic fidelity is largely the same across both consoles, the Xbox 360 quite consistently maintains a 60FPS framerate, while the Wii U frequently drops into the 40s --with both running at the same sub-720p resolution.
The Wii U version matches the look of the Xbox 360 game and thus gives it an edge visually over the PlayStation 3 release, but unfortunately it comes up well short in terms of performance - an aspect that is all-important to the playability of a COD title. The frame-rate variance is such that the PS3 game feels generally smoother, while the 360 release feels like an entirely different game in the more demanding levels. Bearing in mind the commonalities in hardware design between Wii U and Xbox 360, we can't help but feel somewhat disappointed that Black Ops 2 under-performs so noticeably.
In addition to the obvious advantages of years of optimisation on the Xbox 360, it's also worth noting that the Wii U version has some unique advantages, such as off-screen play on the wireless GamePad, which can also function as a second discrete screen for two players on one console.
However, it seems like poor Reggie really put his foot in it when naming Call of Duty as an example of the console's superior technology. Watch the CNN interview below, and click over to Digital Foundry for their full comparison.