Nintendo Reinforcing Western Development for Wii's Successor

Despite what some might think, Nintendo can't do everything by itself

Nintendo has a number of things to get right with the successor to the Wii, or else it risks facing more competition from its rivals than it needs to.

Aside from setting a new paradigm in video gaming, Nintendo will have to build on the momentum that the launch of the 3DS has created, and if that's not enough to juggle, the company will have to satisfy gamers by producing top-quality games and software for its various platforms. Accomplishing all this is no easy task, despite Nintendo's experience in the industry.

As Nintendo's president and CEO Satoru Iwata gave his presentation at the recent Financial Earnings Briefing, he noted that times have changed and if the company is to achieve success with its next home console, the system will have to provide games that will appeal to people across all major regional markets:

... there was an era in the past, which was until the time of PlayStation 2, when games made in Japan sold well all over the world. However, I think that, over the past three or four years, the presence of Japanese software developers has become relatively small. Nintendo is doing what overseas software developers do not do, so Nintendo's software is selling relatively well also in foreign countries, but for the software oriented to enthusiastic game players, such as "Call of Duty," the ones created by overseas developers are more mainstream in the overseas markets.

Iwata is also aware that the visual presentation in modern video games is becoming more photo-realistic, and so this probably accounts for western gamers preferring software developed outside of Japan.

Of course, Nintendo will continue to run a business by creating Nintendo-like games, but we will not be able to meet the various tastes of consumers by only doing this, so I feel that it will become necessary to reinforce the development resources in the foreign countries.

Nintendo often portrays itself as an entity that needs little outside influence, but with the differences in technical specs between the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, there's undoubtedly an element of restriction with what developers can produce on the Wii. With the Wii's successor, things might be a little different according to Iwata who seems to be hinting that the new console will make it easier for developers express themselves the way they intend to:

Wii is good in some areas but not in others, so especially for games like "Call of Duty," the Wii version sold pretty well, but the unit sales were very different from the versions of other platforms, and I assume that one of the reasons is the issue with the graphical representations which you mentioned before, and also, the consumers who like that kind of game will have other platforms at home as well, which led to this result. Of course, we would like to cooperate with software developers for Wii's successor, and as I am repeatedly saying, I don't believe Nintendo can carry out everything alone. I am saying that we are responsible for building up the market, but I don't think that Nintendo can maintain the market alone; We are aiming for creating a situation where software publishers will be willing to cooperate.

[via nintendo.co.jp]