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Reggie Fils-Aime Emphasizes the Wii U's Unique Content in Sales Pitch

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"It's our responsibility to show consumers how much fun you can have"

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.

[via forbes.com]

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User Comments (62)

scrubbyscum999

#1

scrubbyscum999 said:

Honestly, so wonder what stuff Reggie actually decides in NOA. He actually is a good salesman despite the horrible advertising for the a Wii U much of the year.

PvtOttobot

#2

PvtOttobot said:

aaaawwwww, I thought it was a video of Regi... D,:
despite this, I've read it. I think I agree, only (at least in Scotland) the one thing Nintendo's missing isn't power, innovation or games, It's popularity. It's just not 'cool' or even 'normal' to be a Nintendo fan, but Xbone is all the rage, regardless of how crap it is!!

Spuratis

#3

Spuratis said:

@PvtOttobot I think that's pretty much the case everywhere right now. I finally convinced one of my friends to get a Wii U but there is no way I'd be able to get my other friends too.. not unless it comes out with some must have RPG's or an amazing EXCLUSIVE FPS that isn't Metroid. MAYBE... just maybe when SSB comes out.

Dogpigfish

#5

Dogpigfish said:

My brother bought a ps4, but all he plays is the new Zelda on his 3ds. Case and point. PS4 is naturally a good system, but nothing compelling yet exists. It's a nice bluray player until games return. Until then, Wii U.

Emblem

#6

Emblem said:

@PvtOttobot Its the same across the whole UK, although there are sizeable fanbases/consumers of Sony and Nintendo. I think its all part of our never ending quest to be subsumed by america and become the 51st state.

Reverandjames

#9

Reverandjames said:

I think a metroid FPS game with a decent multiplayer mode and a unique hook would go far. People are getting tired of COD, and it's only a matter of time until Halo is annualised. What the genre needs is something refreshing and Nintendo certainly has the experience and knowledge to do that. I think at this point, Nintendo need to start taking a few risks.

milojica

#10

milojica said:

Scram Kitty and his buddy on rails! Enough reason for me to own a wiiU. But Mario! WOW! Fun factor through the roof! And just wait for new Zelda game. :D HOHOHOHO. It will be legendary :D

triforcepower73

#11

triforcepower73 said:

@Emblem Yeah it really sucks being a teenager in America. :I It's hard to find anyone who likes Nintendo and won't laugh at you when you talk about Mario or Zelda. Interestingly, though, my whole age group at my church is having a lock-in in a couple of weeks where we're going to bring all our old gaming systems. Our teachers are going to be taking everyone's phones and we'll be going into a time machine back to the 90s with N64, SNES, Sega Genesis, and such. ;) Last year we did a similar event, but all we had was an Xbox 360 and a SNES. Naturally, everybody except me and this kid I had just met, played COD and L4D. Oh how I hate L4D! And all the while, me and my new friend sat there by ourselves playing Super Mario World, Mario Kart, Aladdin, and Donkey Kong Country. The whole point of all this was that America hates Nintendo and loves Xbox.

Godlike_Virus

#12

Godlike_Virus said:

Unique gaming experiences. That's what Wii U needs. Much like in the way the NES had many unique titles, that's what the current Nintendo system needs. Example: The Wonderful 101. A steep learning curve, but after finding my groove, it hit home. I have faith in this system that it will find its success this gen with its fans and newcomers alike.

Reverandjames

#14

Reverandjames said:

@LDXD I dunno, I thought prime was amazing and stayed true to the metroid formula. Add HD visuals and an addictive multiplayer mode and you have a system shifter. Maybe another studio (wayforward) could make classic sidescrolling downloadable only metroids for the purists alongside?

MouldyK

#15

MouldyK said:

@Jimtendo "It is the first 3D game in the Metroid series and the fifth main installment, and is classified by Nintendo as a first-person adventure[3] rather than a first-person shooter, due to the large exploration component of the game and its precedence over combat."

A multiplayer segment like Metroid Prime: Hunters, but better, would be good. Like a nice side-dish to the First-Person Adventure Main Meal which is the Single Player.

ecco6t9

#16

ecco6t9 said:

Well if Nintendo needs help it should go on an all out Indie focus and help promote the hell out of the games.

Reverandjames

#17

Reverandjames said:

@MouldyK I never played hunters, always wanted to though.I think that Halo 1 had a great sense of exploration which Nintendo could incorporate in to a Metroid FPS and reward you for exploration like they do so well in other genres. Whilst prime was amazing to me, it doesn't tend to stand shoulder to shoulder with COD and Halo and I think the franchise is strong enough to do that with the right people behind it.

Zael

#20

Zael said:

ps4 and x1 have general contents
wii u unique contents
If you want to beat ps4 and x1 then you must have both unique and general contents because if you haven't general then general becomes unique as unique (because you haven't it)
So Reggie you should call Iwata and tell him that this is not the way to lead nintendo
Super nintendo was great because it had general and unique contents, learn from the past please

MouldyK

#21

MouldyK said:

@ecco6t9 A better idea: Do what Devolver Digital did with the Serious Sam Indie Series and let a couple Indies develop games for a lesser known franchise like Ice Climber or even Game and Watch in preparation of Smash Bros U. It would help indies and Nintendo with advertising themselves.

@triforcepower73 If it looked like that, I think it would become more Horror :D

Reverandjames

#22

Reverandjames said:

@triforcepower73 Haha, I get it sounds like I'm trying to pitch a 10 year old game to Nintendo here, but my point is Nintendo delivers the best platformer (mario) one of the best action/adventure (zelda) and one of the best racers (mario kart). And they now need to tap into the FPS multiplayer genre a bit more. Metriod could do with a HD reboot along with Starfox.

MouldyK

#23

MouldyK said:

@Jimtendo Give Samus a love interest with muscles, remove any sense of exploration, give her an AI companion to open doors for her and we might have a winner on our hands...

...or you know, just make Prime 4 with Multiplayer like Unreal.

Reverandjames

#24

Reverandjames said:

@MouldyK Ha, get Nintendo on the phone, NOW! I agree with getting indie developers to work on lesser know brands. And not just leave franchises like Kid Icarus to Masahiro 'workload' Sakurai.

LDXD

#25

LDXD said:

@Jimtendo yeah but prime wasn't a fps not even close it was basically just a first person adventure game and IMO one of the best games ever made

Reverandjames

#26

Reverandjames said:

Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't like to see it become a mindless shooter, but I think it would be smart to try and tap in to the COD audience at least.

LDXD

#27

LDXD said:

@Jimtendo sorry I think I see what you mean though at first I thought you were saying that you wanted a shooter like cod or something but if its another prime I'm all for that
And as much as I like wayforward not sure how I feel about them doing a side scrolling metroid if so the need to step up their game big time I say this because most of their games are short and liner and metroid isn't supposed to be either of that

PvtOttobot

#28

PvtOttobot said:

@Emblem Indeed. Becoming Americanized is truly the most attractive endeavor of the 21st century! How? Beats me.
PS I'm American/live in Scotland

AdanVC

#29

AdanVC said:

Reggie is right in a certain way, software drives hardware, that's why Wii U is the perfect console to buy this holiday, it has unique games and experiences no available anywhere else, the problem is how they are going to keep this train going? Well, right now it's not too much of a problem because 2014 looks like an awesome year for Wii U with Mario Kart 8 and Smash as the biggest titles that sell a lot, plus all the unnanounced stuff (I can smell a big Nintendo Direct is coming soon like the one on January 2013 when they announced Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart and the new 3D Action Mario.) The only thing now is that Wii U needs to sell more and I'm glad that looks like is finally happening, meaning that people is realizing that in reality, PS4 and Xbone are not that great right now, with those poor launch titles and features that 70% of the time doesn't work (cough Kinect).

LDXD

#30

LDXD said:

Another thing that's needs to happen is a huge open world starfox where you can fly to different locations and have a lot of ground gameplay too mix a better take on starfox adventures with good air combat open world with lots of exploring and you got a winner hell even mix some RPG elements in there upgrade your equipment and ship that would be awesome

Reverandjames

#31

Reverandjames said:

@LDXD A prime game with gamepad functionality would be awesome. It would also be extremely handy for a 2D game with the gamepad acting as a map. Or do another 'other M' where the majority of the game would be in 2.5D which then turns into a first person perspective when you hold up the gamepad. The multiplayer component would then be first person only. Getting off topic slightly, and I know the Wii U is still young but my point is that there is untapped potiential, which Nintendo need to be expoiting early on instead of playing the waiting game like they kind of did with the Wii.

Reverandjames

#32

Reverandjames said:

I know the Wii was a massive success, but the Wii U isn't so they need to turn towards the players rather than the casual audience. They certainly have enough franchises to explore.

Reverandjames

#34

Reverandjames said:

@LDXD I'm a little ashamed to admit that I've never played it...looks good though. It has 'indie revival' written all over it!

LDXD

#35

LDXD said:

@Jimtendo yeah for its time it was one hell of a game there's a bunch of games I think Nintendo could or should revive I mean I love Mario Zelda ect but I think it would be good to revive some old school classics we haven't seen in a while

Reverandjames

#36

Reverandjames said:

@LDXD Just saw your post about Starfox, and I've been saying this for a while now. Basically Mass Effect with animals. We know what's up. You're welcome, Nintendo.

LDXD

#37

LDXD said:

@Jimtendo yeah but more freedom I love mass effect but it was more liner than what I was thinking and starfox would need awesome dog fights and sky battles and why not make it online so you can play with friends not an mmo though

Reverandjames

#38

Reverandjames said:

Yeah, it woukd be sweet if you could create your own animal/pilot and ship and customise your crew. You could fight other players online of just hang with your buddies. Again, the gamepad woukd be excellent as a map, and could make use of the gyro control. It's just a shame that at E3, nintendo will probably end uo announing Super Mario 3d World 2 and Twilight princess 3D instead of something original and great.

jayclayx

#39

jayclayx said:

I think it is a bit late for the wii U now, yes Reggie is right that software drives hardware but the problem is that they should have released those software a year ago when all the attention were on the wii U, right now there is a big wow factor with the ps4 and xbox one release and now is more difficult for nintendo to make the people get attention to the wii U, no game from now on along this year were able to make the wii U jump on sales and honestly next year we expect mario kart and smash bros do the homework but in the same way the competition will get big AAA games and will make to the wii U its way more difficult than 2013.

P184

#40

P184 said:

@PvtOttobot Looking at the sales of the XBone despite its botched reveal, DRM/Kinect controversy and a less than stellar launch lineup i'm inclined to agree with you. :(

divinelite

#41

divinelite said:

@jayclayx I guess you are right
Last year wii u features was interesting for me so I wait a while... In the end now even the best game (sm3dw) doesn't even need game pad so it's kinda bummer

It's kinda late now that ps4/vita and xbox/smart glass could replicate (even not as great as wii u) the dual screen/ remote play

divinelite

#42

divinelite said:

To be fair off, I won't count super smash to save wii u
3ds version is far more unique for me... And I believe many others will say the same

Spectator

#43

Spectator said:

They do not have the big mainstream third party games to keep it stable. If Nintendo games is all that will keep it a float then they should except gamecube results.

It is hard to invest in a unique game, because it is a huge financial risk. If Wii U can't get people to buy it with the current games it has, why on earth would third party take a risk putting their games on it. The harsh reality is the majority of people who play games don't want to differentiate from the current games they have(unfortunately sales show that). That means that a majority of unique games will end up on all of the other systems just because third parties believe those systems have a better future(wait to be seen). This gives Nintendo no advantage what so ever. Most of the unique games don't take advantage of the Wii U Pad.

Quite frankly Nintendo needs to literally start buying out companies to start making games that won't end up on other platforms (AAA quality) that maximizes their game pad and their system. Nintendo exclusive that come out years apart with the same IPs is not going to cut it in the long run.

Is it a risk,.. yes, but you can't spend the wheels forever.

Dark_Link

#44

Dark_Link said:

@Spuratis If Nintendo doesn't want to come with hardware on the level of PS4 and XBONE than they need to use some of that money and either partner with some western studios or make their own FPS series and maybe one or two mature style franchises. That is what will get some of the gamers to get a Nintendo console. As it is Zelda, Metroid and Starfox do that but they can't do that alone and they can't do that if Nintendo always makes Zelda cartoony and doesn't even release Metroid or Starfox games.

MadAdam81

#45

MadAdam81 said:

@LDXD I've never played Starfox, but a Wing.Commander Privateer type game would he an insta buy for me (Uncharted Waters 2 in space)

Spuratis

#46

Spuratis said:

@Dark_Link I agree. It needs a couple mature exclusives and a western studio would definitely be able to come up with something that would have that appeal. I think Retro could do it but we need more than just one solid western company. The games going to have to be a FPS or a survival horror, as well. It doesn't have to be too violent but it definitely has to feel "cool" to appeal to the sad but typical gamers that saturate the market right now.. therefore, it's going to have to blow the competition out of the water and force them to buy a Wii U to play this "must have" game. Too bad the typical gamer is so obsessed with graphics right now and the Wii U is a bit behind in that area compared to the other systems. Thing is, I don't think Nintendo is really after this crowd anyways. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like a darker more mature game from them. I have hope we'll get something in that vein again some day. Eternal Darkness is one of my favorite Nintendo games to date.

MadAdam81

#47

MadAdam81 said:

@Dark_Link The problem is that Metroid and Star Fox don't bring in new fans. Of course they might persuade 10k or so fence sitters to finally buy a Wii U, but most Metroid fans would already have a Wii U.

Dark_Link

#48

Dark_Link said:

@Spuratis Agreed! Nintendo has the money and they should be trying to buy a few western studios or trying to get that done through talented western indie teams. FPS and Survival horror would be great. Yes, lots of gamers unfortunately are all about the graphics but there are lots of gamers like me that grew up with Nintendo that no longer play Nintendo games. They now either play Sony or XBOX. What is the common thing they all say to me, come on Nintendo, give us a reason to buy a Nintendo console again. Basically, Nintendo is only casual or kiddy stuff, they love Zelda etc but they say where is Star Fox, where is Metroid, etc, etc. Nintendo did that to themselves and they will not pull themselves out of that hole unless they make some drastic changes.

Dark_Link

#49

Dark_Link said:

@MadAdam81 Thanks for the response. Metroid, Star Fox and F-Zero type games will bring in former Nintendo gamers. There are a lot of those out there that don't dislike Nintendo at all and have their old systems but no longer buy nintendo because they no longer bring out these games and cater too much to the casual market. I know lots of people like this that would jump back on the Nintendo wagon if Nintendo did these things but as long as they don't, they will continue to lose these people to Sony and Microsoft. This is all about perception and also about Nintendo bringing a wider variety of games to the table.

Gerbwmu

#50

Gerbwmu said:

Could we get Nintendo to do an Eternal Darkness HD remake or new version, a FPS done in a N64 type vibe, a new starfox in a rogue squadron type game and a new Mario Golf.

vattodev

#51

vattodev said:

As a user that bought the Wii U early in it's life all I can say is: Let Nintendo take their time and make their games. They already released many gems for the Wii U. I expect nothing less. If they keep it like this, the Wii U will be full of amazing titles by the end of 2014.

Artwark

#53

Artwark said:

Its only a matter of time for the Wii U to shine bright after the release of 3D World. Next year is Smash, 8 and Tropical freeze. Who knows? Maybe the next Sonic game might be even great.

VolcanoFlames

#54

VolcanoFlames said:

@MadAdam81 @Dark_Link Yeah, I noticed that, too. I think they realized that they lost some of their audience with the Wii. But the U should amend it. It has the potential and to a small degree, power. Thing is, it's not selling well. So Ninty's best bet is the casuals who suck up to anything fun. Once they do that, I think it's pure Ninty fun from there!

LUIGITORNADO

#55

LUIGITORNADO said:

Just invest in software, Nintendo...and none of that Mario Party, minigames, or other Mario spinoff stuff. I want a games I can sink my teeth into.

elstif

#57

elstif said:

This weekend I saw the first Wii U ad on TV here in Europe promoting Mario 3D World. Better late than never...

Interestly enough it was sandwich between a PS4 and XBONE ads

rjejr

#58

rjejr said:

""It's our responsibility to show consumers how much fun you can have""

The end of this sentence needs to read - "...that you can't have on the Wii you already own."

Last year Nintendo tried going after the hardcore w/ Batman and Darksiders 2 adn Mass Effect 3, games the hardcore could already play on their PS3 and 360. Obviously didnt work. This year they are trying to go after the causal w/ Wii Sports Club and Fit U and Wii Party U. 3 games everybody already owns on their Wii. And Skylanders and Just Dance are a ditto.

That's 2 marketing attempts that don't really emphasize anything new and amazing. Nintendo Land was a big ole bust up their w/ Wii Music. SM3DW is new and different, but is it too late? Guess we'll know in a month or so.

The only real genuine "fun" I've had on my Wii U has been W101, too bad it should have been on the PS3. Not that Puppeteer sold either. History will show th ereal problem was lack of advertising. ANybody in the US seen enough of that guy sittign around the table w/ the school kids? I mean those commericals are funny, but enough already. "Can you hear me now?" And dancing "i" anything. And Peyton is everywhere. Where's Mario? He may be ovedone in games but he's severely underused in marketing.

DarkKirby

#59

DarkKirby said:

There isn't enough unique content.

There is barely any other content.

And by "content" I mean software.

kdognumba1

#60

kdognumba1 said:

They definitely need to talk as much as they can about the system. They also need to advertise to more then just kids and families, they need to show the system really can be for everybody.

DarkKirby

#61

DarkKirby said:

@kdognumba1

When the Wii U was released it seemed Nintendo was attempting to market the system as a "for everyone" system rather than the "kids and families" the Wii did, but after practically non existent 3rd party support they've fallen back on "kids and families" as the target audience.

But it's because the Wii U was both under powered and in the shadow of the release of the PS4 and Xbone that it lacked 3rd party support, and refused to let go of continuous advertising as a "kids and families" system rather than any advertising as a hardcore system.

HappyHappyist

#62

HappyHappyist said:

well, he certainly didnt do a good job. marketing for the wiiU is some of the worst ive witnessed.

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