When it comes to smartphone and tablet content Nintendo has been painstakingly clear on two points in recent times — it has no plans to release its full games on the platforms, but is looking at ways to utilise the enormous number of smart devices to promote its hardware and games. Speaking to KING 5 News, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has expanded on some of the ideas that the company is considering.
Fils-Aime has already indicated that opportunities for messaging and video content are on the agenda, but suggested in the interview that the company is exploring minor interactive gameplay on smart devices. He did stress, however, that substantial gaming experiences will only be found on Nintendo's own hardware.
It’s a topic that comes up all the time. It’s a debate that’s constantly had. We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.
We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware. It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.
We believe our games are best played and best enjoyed on our devices, and so the full game play will only be on Nintendo devices.
The subject of the Wii U came up, and Fils-Aime naturally adopted a long-game view, pointing to a positive 2014 line-up. There was an acknowledgement, nevertheless, that delays to products such as Wii Fit U had been damaging.
We still have a few more years to go. But the key to driving the installed base of a system is having unique proprietary experiences that can only be played on that system.
This [Wii Fit U] is a game we wanted to launch in the first quarter of this year, not the first quarter of 2014. The delay in some of this key software is really what’s been difficult for us. What I can tell you is that we have a very strong pipeline coming.
Are you optimistic about the upcoming Wii U lineup in 2014? In terms of the big question of smart devices, meanwhile, what kind of experiences would you like to see Nintendo provide, if any, on these platforms?