The most vital shopping season is no longer an upcoming event on which we can speculate, but is very much under way. The Black Friday madness has done its worst, and we now settle into a frantic few weeks as consumers weigh up whether to buy a home console and, if so, which one is worth that hard-earned money.
Speaking to Forbes, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has been outlining the case for the Wii U. When quizzed on the system's chances up against fierce competition, Fils-Aime was unsurprisingly positive.
We rate our chances very good. Software drives hardware in this business. We see it time and time again. We saw it with our Wii and DS businesses. We're seeing it right now with Nintendo 3DS. It was probably a year ago, I was having similar meetings to these, when the challenge was, "Reggie, what are you doing with your handheld business? How are you gonna grow it?" Well, we bring our great franchises to bear, and watch what happens. Software drives hardware. And we're having a stellar year. We believe the same with happen with our Wii U business, with these fantastic franchises that we're bringing to bear this holiday.
Unsurprisingly for a U.S.-centric interview, the focus did switch to TV services, and queries over whether Nintendo would emphasize TVii as a key selling point. Fils-Aime stated that the Wii U marketing wouldn't take the "I do everything" approach of competitors, though he did take the opportunity to highlight the Wii U's backward compatibility, a feature not included on day one with PS4 or Xbox One — Sony plans to introduce a streaming service for PS3 games down the line. The focus is clearly on games and "differentiators" — the latter being the buzz word of the interview — to attract buyers.
I want to be clear that first and foremost we’ve gotta drive people into the proposition with the franchises and software we have. That’s the main differentiator. We believe once they have the system, or once they’re interested in the system, helping them understand the benefits of Nintendo TV is a nice supporting point. And as we’re out in malls and other places having consumers get hands-on experiences, we’re gonna be showcasing those capabilities. But first and foremost it’s about the games. That’s our proposition.
Later in the interview Fils-Aime talks up the "stellar" value equation of the Wii U as it enters its second Holiday season, with bundles, a lower price tag and a larger library strengthening its hand. There's also an assurance that Nintendo's inventory — including the 3DS family of systems — should hold up to demand.
Fils-Aime is naturally going to accentuate positives and give an enthusiastic sales pitch. Let us know whether you agree with his outlook in the comments, while you can share your expectations of Wii U success — or otherwise — this Holiday season over in our poll.