Wales knocked Ireland out of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in New Zealand last year.
"That was certainly a big disappointment and hopefully we can put it right next weekend," O'Connell said.
"There is going to be no warming into it, it will be a very tough game.
"We won't be able to afford anything below our potential. We need to produce a massive performance."
O'Connell will take the captaincy for the tournament as Brian O'Driscoll has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.