Nintendo responded to Microsoft’s allegation that Mario’s next home is nothing more than a Xbox 360. It may or may not be the response you expected.

In case you missed it, Microsoft Game Studio VP, Phil Spencer, pointed out that the Wii U is “effectively a 360″ during an interview with Games Industry International. When asked if SmartGlass is a reaction to the Wii U tablet, Spencer denied but continued on with what he did see from Nintendo at E3.

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 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.

It is easy to agree with Spencer. Like him, everyone focuses on graphical and processing power when Nintendo wants players to just have fun playing their system. When asked about Spencer’s comment, this is what Nintendo had to say:

The Wii U Pro Controller is an enhanced version of the Classic Controller Pro that has been designed specially to work with the Wii U console.  It simply offers another way to play and more options for developers use.  We do not compare ourselves to the other consoles.

If I throw it, will it come back?

What Spencer and gamers fail to remember is the Classic Contoller for the Wii (although rarely used; pictured right) and the original GameCube controller all have the boomerang-style feel to it. The boomerang-style controller is not a 360 trademark like Microsoft would like gamers to believe. As for graphic power, think of it this way: if gamers keep demanding better graphics (which is not entirely a bad thing; always strive to do better than last time), developers will focus on creating more visually appealing games like Cyrsis then games that keep the player submersed in a great story like BioShock or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

So gamers, is graphics and processing power really that important to video games? Or is gameplay and a great story more vital to a game? Commenters over at GameRant seem split, while two gamers believe Spencer’s answer is out-of-line over on Steven Ruygrok’s article on Examiner.com. What say you?