Microsoft‘s Phil Spencer isn’t going to beat around the bush when it comes to the Wii U, a console that should be a direct competitor to the Xbox 360. He thinks that not only is the Wii U ostensibly an Xbox 360 with a different covering, but also that Nintendo plans to, in certain regards, market it as such.

While Nintendo is going to spend the next couple of months explaining to gamers why the Wii U is the must-have console of the next-gen, many gamers will be wondering what value there is in a console that doesn’t “feel” next-gen.

What can the Wii U do that the Xbox 360 can’t? Well, as it turns out, probably not that much, and that’s why Spencer thinks that the unveiling of the Pro Controller was simply the means for offloading a ton of 360 ports.

“I think their Pro Controller makes a lot of sense with the platform they’ve built. They are building a platform that is effectively a 360 when you think of graphical capability…Now they are really making an on-ramp for the back catalog of games that are on 360. It is easy for those games to move over to the Wii U. They’ve moved the buttons around, and they’ve made a controller that feels familiar for 360 gamers, so I get why they are putting those pieces together.”

Up until this point most gamers have been considering the Wii U’s ports to be of games with notoriety across all platforms, or future titles released as the last gasp of this current console generation. What we haven’t considered is whether or not Nintendo would go back through the back catalogue of the Xbox 360 and port over some of those titles as well.

While we’ve yet to receive any concrete details from Nintendo, it appears to be entirely likely that the tech operating under the hood of the Wii U is comparable in power and capabilities to the Xbox 360’s tech. Couple that in with a controller that bares a striking resemblance to Microsoft’s boomerang design, and you’ve got the perfect transitional console for Wii owners to get in on some current gen titles.

Unfortunately, for the rest of us this just sounds like more of the same problematic disposition Nintendo has been demonstrating since last year’s E3. They missed the mark in 2011 by not showing enough of the Wii U, and did it again by not unveiling any exciting launch content for the console.

If Nintendo’s goal with the pro controller is to give gamers the impression that the Xbox 360 and the Wii U are similar, that’s all well and good, but what happens when Durango releases. Maybe there are some of us out there that haven’t experienced the ending to Mass Effect 3, but there are even fewer who would interested in doing so on the Wii U.

Do you think that the Wii U is dead in the water and Nintendo will do anything to save it? Or is Phil Spencer completely off base and actually worried about the competition?

Source: Games Industry