President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime has released more information about Nintendo's forthcoming Wii U console, including its release date and the company's long-term plans for it.

Better online connectivity

Speaking in an interview with Forbes Fils-Aime not only clarified that the console would be coming out after April 1st [2012] but that the company planned to develop the Wii U's online capabilities to a point that it could act as a serious competitor to the Xbox's Xbox Live and PlayStation's PSN.

Speaking to Forbes, Fils-Aime commented, [W]e've acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we're going to continue to build our online capability.For Wii U, we're going to take that one step further, and what we're doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.

So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we're going to welcome that. We're going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third-party publishers.

When pressed for details about what this would actually mean Fils-Aime responded, We've said that the Wii U will have an extremely robust online experience. There will be other publishers talking about that as well, and from our perspective, we think it's much more compelling for that information to come from the publishers than to come from us.

Better Graphics?

The interview also saw the Nintendo President imply that the Nintendo's Wii U graphics may not be significantly better than the current generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles.

When asked about the Wii U's graphics Fils-Aime suggested that Nintendo has always been more interested in gameplay than graphics.

Well, all I can say is that this is not the first time that Nintendo and our competitors have had dramatically different views on the future of gaming. When we launched the original DS everyone was saying the handheld competitor coming from Sony has more powerful graphics, that's really the way to go.

With the Wii, again, at the time our competitors were all about high resolution graphics, he added. We said we think that a motion controlled experience could be more fun. Eighty six million units later around the world, I think people would say we got that one right as well.

Wii is here to stay

As well as talking about the new Wii, U Fils-Aime also took some time to discuss the future of the console's older brother, the Nintendo Wii.

Fils-Aime revealed Nintendo's intention to keep the older Wii console alive for as long as possible, believing that it and the forthcoming Wii U would appeal to different markets. Even though the Wii software is backward compatible to Wii U, the branding will be a little bit different, the messaging will be a little bit different, he commented. I think we've had enough experiences separating out consoles in a transitional period to make that happen.