News Article

Reggie Fils-Aime Focused on Customer Feedback, Not Industry Critics

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Every time we launch a new system, there are significant challenges"

With the exception of Japan, which joins the party this weekend, most of the world has now had the opportunity to pick up a Wii U, or to at least be told that it's out of stock while extra supplies are brought in. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and Nintendo's own Miiverse, of course, there have been plenty of places for critics and supporters to weigh in on the system's merits.

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime gave his reaction to what has been, at best, a mixed response to the system among game critics and industry writers. The fact that a number hardware reviews were rushed onto the web before the vital day one update had been properly considered will split opinion on its own, with some saying the system out of the box should be the focus, and others arguing that judgement should be made once the system is updated to where Nintendo wants it to be at launch. In any case, for every praise-worthy article there have been others questioning the Wii U's graphical capabilities, being critical of the GamePad as a "gimmick", and generally weighing in on the never-ending "is this next-gen" debate.

Still, it seems that Reggie's focus is not on what games writers have to say, but the thoughts and opinions of the general public that ultimately determine the fate of the system. The NoA boss feels that the reactions of gamers on Miiverse and social networks show that the company is getting things right with its new system.

Reviews of a system or review of a game really come down to the quality and capability of the reviewer. There has been a range of comments and commentary. But when I go on Miiverse and see how consumers are reacting to games like ZombiU or … Call of Duty, that tells me we're doing something very, very positive. Similarly, when I go on other consumer social networks and see other consumer reaction that is positive, I know we've done well.

In the same interview Reggie also addressed some of the teething issues that have affected the system, particularly on day one in North America — there were some system freezes reported and Miiverse went offline for a period. The executive is confident that the source of the issue has been identified and resolved, hopefully leading to a relatively trouble-free Christmas Day for new owners.

Without getting into a lot of technical details, the Miiverse [problem] was not purely driven by capacity. That gives us confidence that come Christmas morning, those servers will not be challenged in the same way. Come Christmas morning, the Wii U will be available globally. We know there will be a lot of consumers utilizing their Wii U for the very first time. So we're working very hard to make sure the initial customer experience is a good one.

Every time we launch a new system, there are significant challenges. There's everything from supply to making sure the new offering meets our expectations. In the digital, connected services area, much of what we're doing is groundbreaking, so we are having to learn as we go to make sure the consumer has the very best experience possible.

In terms of the perceived critical reaction to Wii U in some areas of the press, what do you think? Do you agree with Reggie that the reaction of gamers with the system is mostly positive, or is the Nintendo man sugar-coating matters? Sound-off in the comments below.

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (46)

Chunky_Droid

#1

Chunky_Droid said:

Yeah, the gaming industry hasn't exactly been kind to the Wii U.

There should be more sites like Nintendo Life, Aussie-Gamer, Vooks and D.Downloaded that aim to give their readers as much truth as possible.

I'm still seeing fresh reports that the day one update is 5 gigabytes.

acelect24

#2

acelect24 said:

Stupid critics are obsessed with graphics and performance, and don't understand fun..

chiptoon

#3

chiptoon said:

Best approach. I've been amazed at the unpleasantness of the gaming blogs. I suppose negativity get more hits.

Burning_Spear

#4

Burning_Spear said:

The complaints about the update are ridiculous. Cell phones, GPS systems, computer software, satellite-TV and satellite-radio decoders, to name a few, are all things that typically require updates right out of the box. It's an accepted part of installing these types of products. Is anyone still annoyed about having to do something else for an hour before being able to play Wii U?

The other part of this, and I'm sure I'll offend some, is that many of these reviews are being written by pretend journalists who are confusing reporting and blogging. They're writing from a "how does this meet my taste" perspective rather than a "how does this meet the consumer's taste" perspective.

It's appropriate to compare this console to Sony and Microsoft's current and expected future offerings, but I haven't seen enough focus on the experience this console offers.

WiiLovePeace

#5

WiiLovePeace said:

Good idea Reggie! Always better to listen to the paying customers than the ones who (most likely) got a Wii U for free :p Oh & Reggie if you read this, I'll buy a Wii U when you bring out a Zelda game, so make it snappy! ;)

Araknie

#6

Araknie said:

I've beeing saying so many haters of Nintendo that now play, record and talk about the Wii U. And they sound excited about, if a youtuber that speedsthrough every game does Time Attack Challenges on NSMBU, that's a sign.

ajcismo

#7

ajcismo said:

I think people need to chill out, the critics especially. So sites like say, IGN, process nothing but negative reviews (unless that game/movie/etc is a major sponsor) just because it drives web hits and gets thousands of comments. Most of which are just plain mean anyways.
These experts all have very short memories and tend to forget the problems that plagued their mighty PS360 launches, and launches of literally all systems from the start including Big Ns:
-360 STILL gets the red ring of death, I have several friends who are on their 3rd or 4th system. How is that not fixed after this long? Oh, and remember when turning on the original Xbox how your living room would shake? That thing made more noise than a "Kirk vs Picard" argument at a Trek Convention.
-Sonys ongoing online security issues, not to mention its initial pricing and memory problems at their launches. $600 for a PS3? Yikes. Patches for every game that comes out? Load times on the PS1 & 2, especially early ones.
-Wii couldn't play dual-layered discs out of the box on early machines, the N64 only had 2 games in North America, and nobody knew what the Gamecube was exactly when it arrived (few people bought it, comparing what looked like a toy to MS's & Sonys new sleek machines, critics didn't give a crap about what was under the hood).
-Remember the critics response to the original DS? A gimmick in a clam shell, the same out-of-touch critics back then didn't "get" the 2 screens and the lack of power. But consumers and devs sure did, to the tune of selling over 160 million units.

There, I feel better. Gotta get ready for work, then a few more hours of Assassins Creed 3 in. Love that friggin' game, and I'm enjoying the heck out of my Wii U.

ShadJV

#9

ShadJV said:

Seriously, people still can't get over the day 1 update? That's ridiculous. Oh no, we have to wait an hour! People today are too obsessed with instant gratification...

Kirk

#10

Kirk said:

"But when I go on Miiverse and see how consumers are reacting to games like ZombiU or … Call of Duty, that tells me we're doing something very, very positive."

Of course they are all positive. By it's very nature the Miiverse is really only going to be populated by Nintendo fans, especially now when it's going to be all early adopters and hardcore fanboys, and if IGN's Nintendo Wii Lobby is anything to go by it's pretty clear all they are going to have to say is nice things about Nintendo, no matter what.

You have to look outside of the loyal fanbase to get a broader and more accurate picture of how the system and it's games is being received.

It's a cool new system and a pretty decent launch, Reggie, but it's by no means a bed of roses.

C-Olimar

#11

C-Olimar said:

@ajcismo I wouldn't call the original Xbox sleek :P
I guess it did kind of look cool though.

@ShadJV They could even download it in the background while playing a game.

Jellitoe

#12

Jellitoe said:

For those who don't have one yet or can't open it till Christmas, your going to love the system. Reggie is right, people on Miiverse are loving this system, and I love mine as well. Can't wait for March 30 (Monster Hunter)

Dogpigfish

#13

Dogpigfish said:

What we call the critics are really just brown nosed journalists who try to spin everything negatively. It's unfortunate that they've lost their credibility, expect the market for these jobs to decline or severely underpay as a result. Like most people these days I've moved to blogs. The wiiverse is an excellent addition that mends this issue, but you can usually tell whether someone has actually played it and can provide some meaningful feedback.

erv

#14

erv said:

He's right - customers matter, critics don't And yes, they did something, more than something, VERY VERY right.

But not the battery. I want a three times more capacity gamepad battery. That is about it, I'm afraid.

Bengals76

#15

Bengals76 said:

When I leave my feelings of dislike about the Wii-U in Mii Verse my post's get deleted by admin!! We want a wireless headset.

MAB

#16

MAB said:

I only have 3 games at the moment (NintendoLand, BLOPS and ZombiU) and I just can't stop playing the bloody thing... Set the gamepad to power saving and the brightness on 2 and you can get up to 7 hours out of it with the display still looking great ;)

Wonder_Ideal

#17

Wonder_Ideal said:

Listening to the consumers is an excellent idea. They are the ones supporting your product or service, not the critics. While they play an important role, it still ultimately falls onto the consumer to support or reject a product.

-KwB-

#18

-KwB- said:

I don't know how the hell Wii U got some mediocre criticism while the system is perfectly fine ! The update is actually not so much of a surprise because we knew there was an update so Nintendo did well to give us the heads up.

Like Reggie says, they have to stay focus on the public and I think the public is truly happy with their brand new HD Nintendo ! Who else got any comments ?

MAB

#19

MAB said:

We are the Masters of the Miiverse... NOW WE'RE PLAYING WITH POWERRRRR!

Mahe

#21

Mahe said:

Reggie should be focusing on non-customers, the people who aren't buying a Wii U. Their criticism is much more important.

Nibelilt

#22

Nibelilt said:

" GamePad as a "gimmick" "
Totally gimmicky that I can play Skylanders while my sister watches TV. Totally. [/sarcasm]

MAB

#23

MAB said:

Playing BLOPS on the bog has now become a part of my everyday life... Instead of reading the garbage newspaper ;)

Burning_Spear

#24

Burning_Spear said:

"Playing BLOPS on the bog has now become a part of my everyday life... Instead of reading the garbage newspaper."

THIS is what you should see in the Wii U commercials! Market to your strengths!!!

ultraraichu

#25

ultraraichu said:

As long as customers have a mind of their own and don't let critics and reviews persuade them too much, the gaming world will do just fine.

Unfortunately I know people who can't think for themselves and would base a game on the review score and nothing else. At the very least, they could of read the last paragraph.

astroshamu

#26

astroshamu said:

That's kinda cool he can just go on miiverse like the rest of us and see people's feedback, I've convinced the three people who I've shown the Wii U to get it just by playing it with them for an hour

MAB

#27

MAB said:

Nintendo. Give the MadAussie 1 million smackaroonies and I will be your 'WiiU on the bog' ambassador and I will also throw-in my iconic 'draw a dong on your mates head' with WiiUchat as an extra :)

brooks83

#28

brooks83 said:

Most of the critics praise the system but have valid complaints (accounts tied to the system, etc.)

Boo_Buster

#29

Boo_Buster said:

@Burning_Spear That is the problem with the internet, well, one of them. Everyone who has a blog thinks they are a journalist, when the two are really nothing alike. A journalist reports facts and findings while a blog is some (more than likely morons) opinions. You sir, are pretty much correct in your statements. Since I work in radio I always think about it as "One should strive to be like Paul Harvey and not Rush Limbaugh". Sorry if these people are not in your demographic haha

Scollurio

#30

Scollurio said:

Hm this whole "Wii U reception" thing is a difficult matter and then... NOT difficult at all. I think its crucial to keep a cool head in either direction. Don't hate on things that are new and different but don't be a silly fanboy praising everything even if it has obvious shortcomings. In the end customers will go where the games are they like and Nintendo themselves can perfectly judge their success with statistics about day1 sales, game-packins and online activity, absolutely no need for professional or semi-professional reviewers to tune in and spoil the party imho!

Scollurio

#31

Scollurio said:

No matter hardware, launch problems or server side issues, it will all come down to the games, the period after launch window will be crucial for nintendo. It's traditionally a "hole" in game releases during the summer and if nintendo can shine there, everything is possible. I personally just don't see too much use in the gamepad really besides a cleaner user interface on the main screen and playing on the couch without telly.

LittleIrves

#32

LittleIrves said:

The fact that reviews of NSMBU and Nintendo Land went up days before either had their Miiverse integration (which play a fairly big role in each) is pretty silly. Some sites actually held back their reviews, which I respect.

The whole notion of reviewing a piece of hardware is ridiculous in my mind, especially on Day One. How can you possibly tell if it's good or not so early in its lifespan? It's a review for the review's sake. A movie is a 2-hour long thing you can watch and, boom, critique it. Okay. A console is this evolving thing that will change and grow. Reviewing a day-one console is like reviewing a green, hard banana. "This tastes bad! I can barely chew it!" Nobody would take that seriously, and nobody should take early hardware reviews seriously.

citizenerased

#33

citizenerased said:

Nintendo always ends up admitting to the mistakes the general press points out, after denying it for a few years. Then they say they've learned and they'll do better, and sometimes they do. This happens with every console launch and every E3.

Nintex

#34

Nintex said:

I absolutely am in love with my WiiU. It and the 3DS are Nintendo's technically best consoles ever. Nintendo are wrestling with the ultimate tag team at this given moment.

AVahne

#36

AVahne said:

Very good of Reggie to do this! Many of the journalists in the gaming industry these days (not counting NintendoLife) really have a SEVERE lack of information or even a care to research information before posting up incredibly ill-informed and/or ridiculous articles.
Better to listen to your consumers who actually KNOW what they're talking about. Please fix Wii U's launch bugs Nintendo and fix this overscan issue already! It's really bothering me how the image keeps getting cut off around the edges.

AhabSpampurse

#38

AhabSpampurse said:

I really don't understand the hate from people on this. At launch my 360 RROD on me after 3 weeks, and again at launch my PS3 took FOREVER to update because of constant PSN network problems, and YLOD on me after 18 months. Even my Wii needed repair after a year because the graphics chip got cooked, but you know what? I still enjoyed them and didn't bloody whine. Console launches in this day and age are monumentally MASSIVE events. There will be problems in the vast majority of situations, deal with it. I still played my WiiU on launch day, I just had to wait a couple hours more, is this really that bigger deal? Is it too much to ask people for a little perspective?

Unca_LzStaff

#39

Unca_Lz said:

I'm happy with mine. Nintendo accomplished their goal for me....unlike the PS3 maker Sony >:3

SuperMinusWorld

#40

SuperMinusWorld said:

Honestly, aside from minor technical bugs and and whatnot that have affected the system since launch, the Wii U is an amazing system. And i can't get over how comfortable it is to hold this gamepad.

AcesHigh

#41

AcesHigh said:

I have to honestly say that I haven't been more disappointed in the "gaming industry" in general than with all the hate leading up to the WiiU. I've always known that there are a lot of ignorant and jaded people in the industry with bigger voices than they deserve. But all the complaining about not "understanding" the Wii U, to me, has been simply ridiculous. From the very first announcement and details about the Wii U, I knew immediately what all the features Nintendo was offering would mean to me. And I'm VERY HAPPY to say that it is exactly what I had hoped for. It's basically everything Nintendo sold us on with no confusion. Yes, while I am a bit disappointed with long load times (which I'm sure will be addressed in firmware updates), everything is as advertised. I am using the gamepad for all of the cool new features the developers have buit in, I have been enjoying the gorgeous graphics, I have been using the touchscreen to play my games while the wife watches reality crap on TV and Miiverse is actualy COOLER than I anticipated.

People who are STILL naysaying after the system being on the market for several weeks (in NA) and a week in Europe, free to play for all, either haven't PLAYED the unit or they are so biased that their opinions shouldn't really carry a lot of weight. The gamepad could dispense real gold coins and they'd still complain that it's dispensing coins instead of bricks.

I love how all of the negativity doesn't phase Nintendo at all and thay are focusing on the feedback from those who really count - the people who have played the games and want to contribute constructively towards their next batch of games. Nintendo proves time and again how they are a class-A company who have earned their spot as the leading manufacturer in the industry in the past, present and the future. I really have to laugh at people who say this will be Nintendo's last console. It's just silly because they are the only ones who have consistently pushed the envelope to give new ideas and products to their consumers successfully since 1985. All the competition can do is copy their concepts and follow. And their clueless fanboy naysayers in the industry just fall in line like obedient sheeple. The more things change, the more they stay the same! All I can say is good job Nintendo!! Keep it up!

Emaan

#42

Emaan said:

I could care less what all the naysayers think of the Wii U, because I love mine. Its a wonderful system, and any player who likes Nintendo in the least owes it to themselves to at least try it out. People who dock it just make it more available to those who actually want it. :D

DrSlump

#43

DrSlump said:

@ajcismo
"Wii couldn't play dual-layered discs out of the box on early machines"
Really? I didn't knwo, was a firmware problem or a drive problem?

DrSlump

#44

DrSlump said:

I hope that wii u os and games updates will be as less as possible, because one of the best wii winning points are the "put in the disc and play" philosophy.

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