Moffitt: No specific Wii U specs, first-party games in 1080p, want to reach the core, more

Posted under 3DS, General Nintendo, News, Wii U
1 year ago by (@NE_Brian)

Nintendo of America vice president of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt has delievered new commentary on all things Nintendo. He discussed why the company won’t be releasing specific Wii U hardware specs, “thinks” that first-party games will run in 1080p, and expressed that core gamers are very important.

We’ve posted the full Q&A below.

Moffitt on the strategy behind Nintendo’s big E3 presence…

“There were two things we realized going into E3: one, that we had too much content and info to share in one press event; second, we know that Wii U is a more complicated story and it takes some explaining to do to have consumers fully embrace it. Lastly, we knew some of our third-party partners wanted to unveil some games and show the Wii U in action in their shows on Monday, which necessitated our video on Sunday. We wanted to unveil the controller and the hardware ourselves and the social stuff before they did. Hopefully we didn’t overwhelm!

Moffitt on the Wii U’s hardware specs…

“Unfortunately I have to give you the bad answer. It just comes back to a company philosophy that we believe the experiences and the gameplay are more important than facts and figures. Once the system is available no doubt people will reverse engineer it and take it apart and that info will become known. Our focus is to talk about what it can do for gameplay and how it can revolutionize entertainment, rather than focus on tech specs.”

Moffitt on how Nintendo plans to communicate that the Wii U is an entirely new system…

“Well, it’s confusing relative to the Wii. With motion control gaming, when you saw Mr. Iwata and Reggie stand up and swing a motion controller, it brought it to life immediately. With a second screen controller, you need to see what’s on the second screen, so by nature it’s a more complex system. It’s less visually easy to understand. As for how we’re planning to make it clear that it’s a new system: well, we want to get it in people’s hands. That’s what E3 is all about and from now until launch. We want consumers to experience it for themselves, whether it’s in a store, at a gaming event, or at a press event. Once they do that, I think people will really start to understand how the GamePad changes the way you can connect with games and other players.”

Moffitt on whether or not Nintendo is requiring publishers to make use of the GamePad when bringing older games to the Wii U like Batman and Mass Effect 3…

“We think publishers are experiencing what the system can do with their dev kits and are imagining ways to bring their biggest franchises to life on the Wii U and leverage the powers of the GamePad and Miiverse. I don’t know I’d use the word ‘require’–we showcased the games at E3 that we think show how developers are reimagining their franchises. The experience of playing these titles on the Xbox 360 and PS3 are relatively similar; what we showed is how you can re-imagine game elements like maps and scanning features and bring them to life on the GamePad and make it a completely different experience to what it was on competing systems.”

Moffitt on whether or not the sizzle reel of third-party games was footage from the Wii U versions…

“Yes, it was Wii U.”

Moffitt on how important and difficult it is to secure third-party exclusives for Wii U like ZombiU…

“Not at all hard. The reaction we’ve gotten from third-party devs has been fantastic. I think they’re thrilled and excited about a true innovation in gaming. I think they’re all going to come up with interesting solutions and ways to incorporate the Wii U in gameplay and it’s our job to launch the system and continue to broaden the population of gaming so as many consumers get to experience the system as possible. If we do a good job at that, we’ll have a huge install base of consumers that are ready to buy [third-party] content.”

Moffitt on who the core Wii U titles are for…

“It’s a simple answer: the Wii U is designed to appeal to everybody. In the range of games we showcase at E3, you saw a lot of first-party content that will appeal to younger, newer or more casual gamers. NintendoLand, Wii Fit U, etc. are broad games. A lot of third-party content that was shown will appeal more to core gamers. Oftentimes though, core and casual gamers live in the same household so that’s why so often you see households with more than one console, and the Nintendo platform is usually the most popular second console in some of those core gaming households.”

Moffitt on whether or not Nintendo hopes core gamers will get into Wii U…

“Do we want to reach out to the core audience? Absolutely. They’re very much part of our audience and the group of consumers we hope will find the way you can re-imagine games on the Wii U. The Wii U could become the preferred way to play those games for some of the core gamers. You can imagine how a game like Call of Duty would work on the Wii U–the GamePad will allow you to de-clutter the TV and pull gaming items like maps down and not interrupt your interaction and enjoy the cinematic quality of the game on the TV. That’s one application that could be exciting and could enhance gameplay for a core gamer.”

Moffitt on the criticism that having to interact with two screens will take players out of the experience of playing a game…

“I can tell you about the experiences from gamers I’ve seen. It doesn’t take long at all for the controller to feel intuitive. The analogy may be similar to adjustment it took for consumers to get up off the couch and adjust to using a motion controller; it didn’t take very long for consumers to learn and appreciate and embrace it and I think you’ll see a similar dynamic. The adjustment period will be quick. I’ve seen people commenting about how it enhances gameplay and does not divide their attention.”

Moffitt on how Nintendo will take advantage of their lead over the PS3/360 successors…

“It obviously allows us to make a bold innovation and shape the future of gaming as we would like to shape it. When we bring innovation to market, we believe there’s the ability to enhance gameplay for the better. We don’t tend to follow what our competitors are doing when we don’t time our console launches or hardware evolutions; it’s when we believe there’s true innovation available that can move gameplay forward. Being first or being behind is less of a consideration for us.”

Moffitt on whether first-party titles will be in 720p or 1080p resolution…

“I think it’s 1080p.”

Moffitt on Nintendo’s strategy on used game sales…

“I don’t know if we have a formal position on used game sales. It is a reality in the marketplace. We haven’t incorporated any features that will discourage used game sales at this point. We’re not trying to circumvent that.”

Moffitt on the online strategy for Wii U…

“We announced the Wii U comes pre-installed with a feature called Miiverse, a broad open social community that allows players and their friends to exchange information, discover new content and incorporates social media tools that we think will enhance gameplay and the connectedness gamers feel with one another. Online multiplayer is one part of it and certainly Wii U will enable the same online multiplayer features that have become popular in some of the competing consoles, but that’s really one piece of the online gaming network – our vision is broader.”

Moffitt on the social media tools described…

“Well, the ability to chat, post, challenge friends to beat scores or achievements, asking for tips and suggestions, discover what they’re playing and go find the game they’re playing and download it in the digital shop, etc. It will allow consumers to observe and discover content you might not have otherwise found.”

Moffitt on what is planned for Friend Codes…

“Friend codes won’t be going away completely. I can only say that we haven’t announced exactly how they will be used. Wii U will be an account-based system and it enables up to 12 accounts in a household to exist on the system. Up to 12 members of the family and friends can have individual accounts each with its own preferences and settings that the system will recognize and when you power it up it will recognize your own user ID and it will formulate the content you’ve chosen and shaped. That’s when you can incorporate parental settings, etc, and manage your own gaming behavior.”

Moffitt on the lessons learned from the 3DS’ launch…

“The first and most important learning is that games drive hardware sales. We need to launch a new platform with great first-party and third-party content. So that’s the most important learning. That learning overshadows everything else. Pricing is certainly an important factor. We wanted to make the 3DS accessible for more consumers and lower the price; in so doing, it spurred sales. 3DS sales continue to track ahead of DS sales at this point in its lifetime; 3DS sales continue outpace DS sales at a similar time in its life. What’s more impressive about that is obviously the competitive environment has changed. With gaming on tablets and phones, the 3DS is competing in a different environment to the DS. To continue to be outpacing that at this point in its life is impressive. The 3DS also did not have broader entertainment features functional on the system at launch, and that learning has also been incorporated into our thinking for the Wii U; stuff like e-Shop not being available at launch, etc.”

Moffitt on mobile devices…

“It’s not a zero sum game. There are going to be gamers that are going to enjoy some of the simpler games on their cell phones and iPads on the go; there are other gamers that want a deeper, richer, more immersive gaming experience that can’t be had on a device that wasn’t really designed as a gaming device. Some of the same people will play games on their phones at times but when they really want a core handheld game they’ll pick up their 3DS.

“We think you get a better experience when you play a game on a device that has buttons and controls that are designed in from the outset. What we hear from gamers is that they want traditional gaming controls. They want button controls rather than touch screen controls. That can’t be had on a mobile device.”

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