With Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds performing extremely well among the critics, Nintendo of America’s COO Reggie Fils-Aime has spoken to Forbes explaining exactly why the Wii U is the console to own this holiday season. In the interview, Reggie says that the key to the console’s success lies in its software, with additional features secondary to the cause. But when asked about going up against Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One and how consumers are driven to new products, Reggie didn’t shy away from the question, saying:
“That’s very true. But the interesting thing there is, if you look at the last two hardware cycles, it was not the most powerful machine that won, not in the case of the PS2, not in the case of the Wii. So, in the end, it’s our responsibility to show consumers how much fun you can have, because in the end, this is an entertainment business, and we think we’ve got stellar entertainment to make the consumer smile.”
Reggie also tackles questions about the Wii U’s mistaken perception amongst consumers that it’s just an upgraded system. But now he believes that the issue has largely been addressed by showing the unique capabilities of the GamePad with games such as Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and The Wonderful 101. Aside from these points, Reggie says the Wii U is about showing consumers how their individual experiences can be differentiated, highlighting that franchises such as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong are a trump card for the company.
“It’s all about these great franchises. This is the place to get Mario, to get Zelda, to get Donkey Kong. And, we’ve got fantastic entertainment experiences. You can watch Netflix in HD, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus. It’s all there. But what we do on top of that is, we’ve got Nintendo TV, that lets you sort out and decide what it is that you want to watch based on all of the different services you subscribe to. So our pitch is we’ve got unique differentiators, versus the “I do everything” positioning that our competitors might have.
“It’s tough to call a 10 million franchise a weakness. It’s something consumers have come to expect, have come to desire. It is an ace in our hand that we love to play. And it’s a differentiator. The point that I keep coming back to is show me the differentiated experiences. And differentiated experiences in this entertainment business win. We’re differentiated with the GamePad. We’re differentiated with these fantastic franchises. We’re differentiated even in the entertainment space with Nintendo TV. We believe those will drive our performance now and into the future.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has promised on GameTrailers that the Wii U won’t see the same kind of software drought that plagued the Wii U during the first half of 2013. Reggie admitted that Nintendo had made a mistake, but they hope to rectify that in 2014 with a steady flow of software for the format.
“The way we’re going to be different is, we’re gonna certainly have a steadier pace of games – both for Wii U and for 3DS.”
“The marketing activity is going to be constant throughout the entire year. You tease me a little bit that ‘boy the first half [of 2013] was a little quiet,’ and y’know what, you look back and it was. We’re not going to be making that same mistake in 2014.”
“So the pace, the ongoing activity, touching the consumer, and messaging what we’re all about. That’s going to be a big difference next year.”
Nintendo of America has just announced that popular company President Reggie Fils-Aime will be answering fan questions again on Twitter tonight, starting soon at 6:30PM EST. During his last session, Reggie revealed that he has logged over 300 hours on Animal Crossing: New Leaf, showing his 3DS screen to fans. For Reggie’s latest news, info, and fun tidbits, be sure to follow the Nintendo of America Twitter account. What will you be asking Reggie tonight?
Just after industry analyst Christine Arrington of IHS Electronics & Media stated that the Wii U’s name is largely to blame for its poor sales and the general retailer confusion surrounding the console, a new print ad reveals another mix-up between Nintendo’s next-gen and last-gen consoles. The advertisement offers a “Wii U” bundle for $99 dollars that includes Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort – clearly a mix-up in which the retailer meant to refer to the console as a Wii, as the Wii Bundle is the item pictured. At this point, one truly has to wonder whether Reggie still believes the Wii U’s name is not problematic for the console.
Nintendo has explained why the Wii U console’s largest built-in storage solution is only 32GB of internal flash memory. Speaking to IGN, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils- Aime said that the company finds it reasonable to sell a system with adequate memory, and then let consumers purchase additional storage if need be. Read Fils-Aime’s take on the matter below:
“We believe it’s important to provide a value to the consumer. [Memory] gets cheaper, right? Minute by minute, day by day. And so why lock the consumer into some high price point just because it happens to have 120 gigs of memory? Our mentality is, let’s sell a system that has enough memory to get you going, and then if you love digital downloads and you want to keep downloading content, buy a separate external hard drive. The price of it today is a hell of a lot cheaper than it was six months ago. And that’s a value benefit that the consumer should enjoy. It’s a different mentality than our competitors, but I’ll tell you, ours is much more consumer-oriented given the reduction in ongoing price, of the cost of memory.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime claims that he is unfazed by the dazzling graphics of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. He firmly believes that consumers don’t buy hardware because it looks good and it’s new. Instead he believes they buy hardware due to the experience they offer. Reggie has previously said that he isn’t impressed with the launch lineup of the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4.
“I don’t think consumers buy hardware just because it’s sexy and new. I think consumers buy hardware because of the experiences they can have on them. That’s why, for us, having a strong holiday line-up is so critically important.”
“Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren’t selling propositions, and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence. And that’s true whether you look at the home console space or the handheld space. It’s not about the graphics by itself. It’s about the entire experience.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has told IGN that the company loves independent developers. Fils-Aime says that helping independent development grow is a big priority for Nintendo. The Wii U has been a big hit with indie developers with a plethora of independent developers looking to bring their projects to the console. Here’s what Reggie had to say about the situation.
“The independent developer, especially those developers who have experience, who’ve shown real capabilities, we love those independent developers. And what we’re doing is creating even more of an infrastructure for a brand-new independent developer, someone who’s never created content before, to be effective on our platform. So it’s an area that we’re spending a lot more time and a lot more energy to create the infrastructure to help these developers publish their content and be effective. It’s something that we have had to learn how to do. Because our systems aren’t straightforward for a developer who hasn’t had a lot of experience.”
“First, you want the tools to be able to create your content and bring it onto the system. That’s why we’ve announced the relationship with Unity. That’s why we’ve created the Nintendo Web Framework. Again, we’ve taken steps on the development side to make our system independent-friendly. Second thing we’ve done is we’ve created the merchandising capabilities, right? So when you’re on the eShop, how we promote and merchandise content.”
“You’ll see that we’re merchandising indies’ content right alongside our content. There’s no separate area. There’s no challenge of discovery to find this content. That’s what the independent developers really love, because they know that consumers are going to the eShop looking for. If there’s a value program for some Virtual Console content, or if we’ve re-released a new piece of content, and right alongside that is going to be indies’ content. They love that.”
Thanks, Simply G
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has tried to assure online gaming publication Kotaku that the Wii U name isn’t responsible for the console’s problems. There was initially a lot of confusion surrounding the product as many people thought the GamePad was simply an add-on for the system. However, Reggie says the challenges the company is facing with Wii U are not issues of the name. He claims that the average consumer already understands that they have a new system in the marketplace.
“The challenges we’re facing with Wii U are not issues of the name. The issue is the lack of a steady rate of software launches to motivate the consumer to drive buzz and engagement and to highlight the wide variety of uses of the GamePad. That’s the issue.”
“The consumer understands that we have a new system. But the consumer is saying: ‘What am I going to play? And what am I going to play that’s a new and unique and compelling experience vs. what I can do today, whether it’s on the Wii or any other system?’
“And that’s why experiences like Pikmin 3, like Wonderful 101, like Zelda Wind Waker HD, with the off-TV play, experiences like Super Mario 3D World—that’s why it’s critical that we launch those, have consumers experience them in malls across the country, which we’ll be doing. It’s critical that the consumer see for themselves the range and breadth of compelling software for the system.”
Nintendo’s new 2DS offers children a unique experience to play 3DS games without their parents worrying that the 3D is harmful or a strain on their child’s eyes – that’s what Nintendo of America’s COO Reggie Fils-Aime says in support of their latest product. When Nintendo launched the 3DS originally, it wasn’t recommended that children under seven should play in 3D. Although the slider can be turned on and off, it was still a precaution for parents. In an interview with IGN, Reggie says the new 2DS breaks those barriers and will finally allow five and six-year-olds the ability to experience all the 3DS games they wish.
“We’re always thinking about what we can do that’s new, unique, different, and brings more people into this category that we love. And so with the Nintendo 3DS, we were clear to parents that, ‘hey, we recommend that your children be seven and older to utilize this device.’ So clearly that creates an opportunity for five-year-olds, six-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer.”
“We’ve always been thinking about, ‘how do we approach that as one target?’ And that certainly helped spur the idea of the Nintendo 2DS. Let’s have the consumer have access to all of these great games – Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing – but do it in a 2D capability with a device that has a dramatically lower price point. That’s just an example of how we’re always thinking about, ‘how do we get more people playing games? How do we get more people playing Nintendo games?’”
Nintendo of America President and fan favorite Reggie Fils-Aime recently told IGN that unlike its competitors, Nintendo values games, fun and entertainment value as opposed to advanced technology. Perhaps invigorated by Nintendo’s onslaught of announcements Wednesday, Fils-Aime took several brazen jabs at Microsoft and Sony, at one point responding to the thought of their respective launch lineups with the word “Meh.”
Fils-Aime was quick to point out that Nintendo is no slouch in the tech department either, with Nintendo TVii using cloud technology while Wii U and 3DS support cross-platform gaming. But he repeatedly emphasized that Nintendo’s focus is on gaming and fun. His comments were likely directed at Microsoft in particular, whose initial plans for the Xbox One emphasized TV-based technologies and left gamers irate. Some of Reggie’s comments appear below.
“The competitive systems have announced their launch lineups. I’m allowed to say ‘Meh.’ I look at our lineup of titles and I feel good about our lineup. We’ve got Zelda. We’ve got Mario. We’ve got Donkey Kong. In addition to great titles like Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101, I feel very good about our lineup….And so I think as you compare and contrast Nintendo with other players in the space, for us it’s about games, about the fun, about the entertainment value, and not about the tech.”