Reggie on Wii U’s struggles, says Nintendo hasn’t lost the faith of fans, more
Posted on July 30, 2016 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News, Wii U
During E3 2016, Spanish outlet La Tercera spoke with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. Reggie commented on topics such as the company’s presence at the show, the challenge facing the big N today, mobile, new franchises vs. old ones, and Wii U’s struggles. There was also a bit of NX talk which prompted him to say that fans haven’t lost faith in Nintendo.
Do you have any opinion on Sony’s and Microsoft’s conferences?
Before this interview I walked around and saw the rest of the companies.
But did you watch the conferences?
No, I just went to the booths. It’s great for the industry that every company creates content, but what makes me happier is walk through Nintendo’s space and watching the long lines people are making to play Zelda.
What’s Nintendo’s challenge today?
We’re an entertainment company, and we want to reach the most people possible. The idea is to find new ways to have fun, looking for ideas, and exploring new areas like mobile devices.
Why doesn’t Nintendo take part in the big conferences at E3?
We believe in E3 and we try to participate in all related conferences, we see each event as unique and each year we find the best way to be present. For this year we had the new Zelda, a title that literally thousands of people want to play, and we must create immersive experiences to satisfy them. That’s why we thought only a trailer was not enough, and who knows if next year we’ll think the best thing for us will be a conference, a Nintendo Direct or another strategy.
How do you evaluate the experience and current state of Miitomo?
There’s still a lot of people participating in Miitomo. Nonetheless, for us it’s a learning experience. When entering the mobile business, we need to know and understand how to keep it fresh. We’ll keep on experimenting, because mobile is one of the cards in our hand, just like video games, licensing, merchandising, and others.
At some point, it was said that Nintendo would not get in the mobile business because the controls were not good enough for its games. Do you still believe that?
No franchise is off limits for mobile, and any of our games can end up on that platform. Our developers are working hard to adapt games in the best way possible, and I’m convinced that they will find the best way to make them work properly.
Why do you still maintain hopes of success hanging from the same iconic characters? What’s happening with the new franchises?
In 2015 we launched Splatoon and Fire Emblem Fates for 3DS, and for the first time we sold more units in the US than in Japan. We are always thinking about the next Zelda, Donkey Kong or Mario… (pause) Do you not think we’re bringing new franchises?
I was trying to remember Nintendo’s last successful franchise.
Splatoon! Last year! (laughs)
I meant another franchise that is not Splatoon, because there’s this idea that maybe it shouldn’t always be necessary to make a new Zelda, and we should expect new things from Nintendo.
Were you expecting Super Mario Maker? Maybe not. I respect those who have that opinion, but the game has sold millions of units.
In Wii U’s case, was it misunderstood by fans?
When we launched Wii U, we missed the opportunity to be clear on the concept, to show off its capabilities and what the users could do. And that hurt us. Sales were also hurt, during the beginning of its lifespan, by the lack of games. And although we’ve sold 13 million consoles, against 20 and 40 million from the competition (Microsoft and Sony, respectively), what pleases us the most is that Wii U has the games with the best reviews and ratings from fans.
But it’s not always like that. How did you take criticism about graphics and gameplay on Star Fox?
We believe that our development team creates content of great quality, and the developers have the right to make the decisions they deem correct, like how to control characters and game mechanics. There are people who love the decisions we take and people that don’t. We believe that if we take the decisions we do, it’s because we offer the best content, and history proves us right… “people look for fun, not teraflops of power or graphical fidelity”, he assures.
Is it a good idea to bring forward the next generation of gaming consoles? Sony and Microsoft just announced the development of “Neo” and “Scorpio”.
Because many times our developers have ideas that they can’t make happen in the current generation, so they jump up to the next one.
NX is a console or a platform?
Always a platform.
How can NX satisfy or regain the fans?
I don’t think we’ve lost the trust of our fans. Our opportunity is to create platforms with great content, that goes well beyond the fans and brings in new players to competitive systems; games like Zelda, Mario or Smash Bros, will always be played by fans, but there’s a consumer willing to make the jump, and it was there that Wii was successful, just like 3DS, because it went for more than just the typical Nintendo fan.
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