Katsuya Eguchi is one of Nintendo's prominent figures, with credits as far back as Super Mario Bros. 3 and senior leadership roles in some of the company's biggest titles, such as Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Sports Resort. Perhaps his most important role to date is his latest, as hardware producer on Wii U.
In an interview with gameplanet.co.nz Eguchi-san spoke about a variety of topics, and the first we want to pick up was his acknowledgement that despite its phenomenal success, Wii's technical limitations damaged its attraction to developers.
When we made Wii, we were really focused on making it very clear to the user what was different about the system. Focusing on these games that relied on some kind of motion without getting too complicated, because it was such a new concept.
...At the time, other platforms were pushing HD. It was a new development in the industry. Developers are passionate about pushing the next big thing. It was hard to get a lot of game creators to aggressively push games for our platform and get really excited about developing when they were chasing other things.
As anyone who's owned a Wii will know, those limitations and the focus of many developers on HD consoles meant that a lot of high-profile and mature franchises of the past five years or more haven't been anywhere near a Nintendo platform. Wii U should help with that, and Eguchi-san also acknowledged that the Wii U Pro Controller was designed to appeal to gamers who've not been pointing a Wii Remote for the last six years.
Adding a Pro controller may make it easier for multi-platform games to come out on the system. Wii remotes don't have things like analog sticks. To make it as easy as possible to enjoy certain multiplayer experiences it was important to have that Pro controller.
We're all gamers as well and we appreciate the interest of those [hardcore] gamers, and we don't want them to feel left out, so we're making big strides and changes in that area.
Finally, Eguchi-san spoke of the desire to make everyday things more simple and enjoyable with Wii U, and reiterated a message that we recently heard from Satoru Iwata: Nintendo won't change it's strategy.
From long ago, Nintendo has always been about creating entertainment and surprising customers. One thing that has changed is the scale of the company and the scope of everything we do.
What we want to achieve as a company has not changed.
Wii U, like any new platform, has plenty of challenges on its hands; what do you think of these comments? Will the Wii U Pro Controller succeed in helping to attract some gamers back to Nintendo, and do you think Wii U is the 'next big thing' to attract developers?