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Nintendo boss talks down Xbox SmartGlass, Vita cross-play

Satoru Iwata has spoken out about Microsoft and Sony's second screen efforts following the announcement of the Wii U.

Nintendo head honcho Satoru Iwata has spoken out about Microsoft and Sony's Wii U-challenging second-screen efforts, decrying rivals as lacking the gear to provide "the rich gaming experiences we are talking about".

Following the Wii U's unveiling last year, both Microsoft and Sony have recently debuted new services that see extra peripherals providing a touch-enabled second screen through which to enjoy games.

Microsoft's SmartGlass app turns your iOS, Android or Windows Phone smart phone or tablet into a complimentary control tool for the Xbox. Sony, meanwhile, has been talking up the ability to use its Vita handheld with the PlayStation 3.

Iwata isn't impressed, however. In an interview with the Telegraph, the Nintendo boss said there are "several essential differences between what we are doing and what other companies are doing".

"Anyone who has a Wii U will be able to enjoy the two screen experience," Iwata said, "while the other companies are saying its optional, but only if you have this device or that device."

In other words, only the Wii U has the second screen baked in, meaning everyone who owns one gets to enjoy the second-screen jollies.

I'm not sure that line of reasoning would wash with Xbox fans, who would say SmartGlass' appeal is that you already own that second controller, and can choose whether to play using a touchscreen or a traditional peripheral. Iwata makes what could be a more salient point though, saying that using a tablet or smart phone to control a console could introduce lag.

"You might be able to get away with latency for streaming video," the Ninty chief opines, "but not for video games." Iwata also reckons traditional controls straddling the Wii U's touchscreen will prove less hassle than switching between a tablet and controller.

"Most of us just have two arms, so how are we meant to hold this additional device," the Master of Mario said, cuttingly.

Iwata goes on to dismiss worries of the Wii U being quickly eclipsed by beefed-up consoles from Microsoft and Sony, asking, "Will the consumers be able to realise the difference enough so that they can understand it's much superior to today's machine?"

The full interview is an interesting read, so be sure to check it out if video game rivalry smokes your tyres.

One company not mentioned is Apple. Avid readers will know I bang on about this a bit, but with gadgets like the iPod touch and iPad, Apple is the company best placed to steal the casual gaming market out from under Nintendo's nose. The popularity of mobile games, compared with price cuts for the 3DS handheld, suggest it's already happening.

What should Nintendo do to make the Wii U a success? Watch the hands-on video below for inspiration, then chuck your opinions into the comments or onto our Facebook wall.

Now playing: Watch this: Nintendo Wii U hands-on