Veteran Nintendo designer and EAD general manager Shigeru Miyamoto says the recently announced Wii U may not "necessarily dramatically outperform the systems that are out now," partially out of deference to price concerns.
In an interview with GameSpot, Miyamoto said including the new touchscreen controller with the system "maybe to a certain degree somewhat reckless" from a cost standpoint, and that the company is trying hard to find the right balance between advanced technology and family-friendly pricing.
"We're very sensitive to pricing because people have generally only a certain amount of their spending that they'll devote to entertainment," Miyamoto said. "And if you're talking about parents buying something for kids, there are certain price points where parents may be willing to or not willing to purchase a certain product."
"But at the same time, you have these technological advances, and you have the needs of being able to take advantage of that technology, and those result in increasing costs and things like that," he continued.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Nikkei this month that the Wii U would likely cost more than the Wii's price of ¥20,000 ($250).
Iwata has also said he hopes that the system's HD graphics will help attract third-party first-person shooters to the system.
Miyamoto used the GameSpot interview to reject the idea that the Wii U's touchscreen controller was somehow inspired by the success of Apple's iPad, saying the company had worked on the concept for "several years" before Apple's tablet computer launched.
"We felt it was kind of a funny coincidence that, while we had been working on this, all of a sudden right as we're getting ready to bring it to the public, there's this tablet boom," he said.
"On the one hand we felt that if we were to show it off at E3 last year, then people would look at it and say, 'Oh, it's like a tablet.' But on the other hand, it may have actually helped us because it made it easier for people to understand the concept."
Elsewhere in the interview, Miyamoto refused to rule out the future availability of Virtual Boy titles on the 3DS' digital eShop, but said the idea was "not my exact plan."