Iwata states that "the technology gap between Wii U and future consoles released by competitors would not be nearly the size of the gap between Wii and it's current competitors." I would take that statement with a bucket of salt. Until Nintendo's competitors show off their new hardware there is no way for us to know what advancements will be seen in the next generation. It's good to hear Iwata acknowledge the issue though.
Iwata's other statement, however, seems kind of weird.
"As the structure of the product called the Wii U is as if we are including both a video game console and a handheld device, if we were not careful about how luxurious both of them were, we could end up having to offer the price of the two hardware systems combined, which would not be an acceptable price for the consumers. We had to design it by balancing the performance and the costs."
I do appreciate that including a controller such as the Gamepad is going to drive up the cost of the package, but my thinking on the Wii U has always been that Nintendo are now using technology which is equivalent to that being used by it's competitors 6 years ago in 2006. As such, the Wii U should be a relatively cheap system to manufacture. Not only that, the touch screen being used for the Gamepad is itself a relatively cheap piece of technology, with Nintendo foregoing the more versatile and expensive capacitive touchscreen. It is, as NWR staff have said several times, basically a larger DS screen.
Personally, I'm worried that Nintendo have cut too many corners to make this system profitable. I find myself in agreement with @rlse9, that there's a conflict between Iwata's two statements. Nothing about the video games industry at the minute is stationary, and Nintendo's competitors will no doubt be seeking to bring their own advancements when their consoles launch. The Wii U might be thought of as being an equivalent to the current Xbox and Playstation, but how can Nintendo hope to abridge the technology gap if they insist on adhering to the 'whithered technology' orthodoxy? I feel that come 2014/2015 we're likely to see a similar picture to that which we've seen with the Wii, wherein Nintendo's platform is considered to be lagging technologically compared to it's competitors. Which in and of itself means nothing, but the repercussions this can have for software development (particularly third-party) could be significant.