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Reggie Fils-Aime Defends Wii U Prospects as Shigeru Miyamoto Highlights Nintendo's Creativity

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Miyamoto-san - "the numbers have never been as bad as they are now"

We're entering a vital period for the Wii U — though that's been said plenty of times in the past — as Nintendo looks to use the early success of Mario Kart 8 to kick off a sustained revival of the system. The company threw a lot of exciting Wii U content out for the world to see during E3, highlighting a range of promising titles for 2014 and beyond.

Of course, raw numbers are still, at this point, a millstone around Nintendo's neck, as it aims to reassure all concerned that the Wii U's long term future is set for success. In the latest interview segments published by Kotaku from last week's event, Reggie Fils-Aime highlighted that the Wii U's early struggles were in part down to content taking longer than planned to arrive. In what seemed like a fairly tetchy exchange, overall, he was emphatic when asked how he would respond to those that say Nintendo should rapidly move onto new hardware, rather than show such support for Wii U.

I say, 'No.' And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it. It's got great content coming that will help define the platform. For us, we think the 3DS is a very illustrative example. It wasn't just the price cut. It was having great content that started with Kart 7 and 3D Land and then progressed and created a larger and larger footprint.

We just launched Tomodachi Life. The Tomodachi Life numbers were significantly stronger than we had forecasted and planned. That's because it's a vibrant platform. That's exactly what we need to do with the Wii U, and we do believe that content like Splatoon, content like Hyrule Warriors, content like Mario Kart 8 that we just launched, content like Smash Bros. for Wii U, that is what is going to drive the installed base.

Shigeru Miyamoto is included in this interview feature, too, in which he takes a softer tone and acknowledges the extent of the Wii U's problems at the market so far. Nevertheless, when it was put to him that these circumstances have brought out a bolder, more creative Nintendo, he quickly moved onto the positives of the company's current efforts.

I'm happy to hear you say that. Certainly we've had tough times before, but the numbers have never been as bad as they are now. In my years with Nintendo what I've found is that it's always in those difficult times that we have a tendency to find that next new thing. And I think that maybe we're seeing a little bit of that [now at E3].

We also have younger members of the team now, and they're wanting to create their own games and have their own ideas. Splatoon is a good example of that. That's being made by some very young members of the group. They're having a lot of freedom to create the game that they want.

And of course we just finished Mario Kart, and what's now going on is that a lot of the people working on Mario Kart, their hands are free and they're coming up with ideas and doing a lot of experimentation with what they can do with two-screen gameplay and they're having a lot of fun doing that.

It certainly seems fair to say that Nintendo, when under pressure, is capable of producing games that can revive a platform. There's plenty to look forward to with Wii U, certainly, while following the progress of the system at retail should be fascinating.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (59)

LUIGITORNADO

#1

LUIGITORNADO said:

Nintendo's like that train in Dumbo. It's almost at that top of the hill, and sooner or later it's going to be rushing down screaming "I know I could, I know I could."

unrandomsam

#3

unrandomsam said:

Nintendo has always been better when they were trying to compete. (Same as Microsoft in other markets and likely pretty soon with the Xbone).

TruenoGT

#4

TruenoGT said:

For the sake of creativity and innovation in the industry, I hope Nintendo succeeds. I'm really digging their recent efforts and it seems more gamers are starting to "get" the Wii U... IMO this is good for the whole industry. Even if you're not a fan of the Wii U concept, more companies trying more things is good for competition and new ideas.

Hy8ogen

#6

Hy8ogen said:

As long as they do not drop the Gamepad, no one will buy the Wii U. The gamepad is forcing potential buyers away from the Wii U due to its overpowered awesomeness. Remove the gamepad and you will see a big jump in sales and it will become the next Wii.

Lasermaster123

#7

Lasermaster123 said:

The Wii U is not down for the count and probably will not be since Nintendo is enthusiastic about continuing its support for the Wii U along with the gamepad (ignoring critics), and are creating new marvels of creative games. Having played the 3DS for tons of hours (main culprit: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate) I can see that the Wii U's second screen opens up tons of opportunities that Nintendo can use for new experiences. Also the convenience of having an extended HUD on the gamepad! It is great that Nintendo's trying new things and I really look forward to their lineup from this September onwards :D

I really need to get the Wii U ASAP. Too bad I am currently bogged down with getting a new computer and TV so Wii U has to sadly be put on hold for now.

GregDavisBlows

#8

GregDavisBlows said:

Splatoon is proof Nintendo needs give to their younger members more power or at least get them involved in more projects.

OorWullie

#9

OorWullie said:

There's certainly no defence for England's prospects as Luis Suarez highlights their lack of creativity ;)

sub12

#10

sub12 said:

Nintendo still needs more games and at a higher rate if it expects to maintain momentum, it would be nice to see a summer release of something / anything.......yeah, yeah, I know about Sports Club, but personally I don't find it all that exciting.

Hy8ogen

#13

Hy8ogen said:

@sub12 Agreed. The summer is indeed a bit empty. Doesn't really matter to me because I have a total of 12 games back logging... To people who doesn't have one, yeah it's going to suck a bit.

Honestly I think there will be something coming for the Summer. Nothing huge, but Wii U owners will probably get some tid-bits along the way.

aaronsullivan

#14

aaronsullivan said:

Sounds like Nintendo is on the right track. If the young upstarts at Nintendo are coming up with games like Splatoon, I say give them more power! I want to see what those Mario Kart 8 developers are working on, too. :D

@Hy8ogen Whoa did Mahe hack your account? Oh wait, is there some sarcasm in there?

sub12

#15

sub12 said:

@Hy8ogen

Yeah, as a launch customer I don't have a backlog of first party Wii U titles, however, I am running through the Wind Waker HD again on the Wii U and the PS4 has Valiant Hearts soon.

I really want to get my hands on the 90's Arcade Racer this summer though.

BossBattles

#16

BossBattles said:

I am a little surprised there isn't a decent summer release. They really should have brought bayonetta 2 out in July/august.

Hy8ogen

#17

Hy8ogen said:

@sub12 The Wii U is gaining momentum and losing it will be the last thing Nintendo would want. So I think it is safe to assume that they will try to sustain it using VC games for the summer (Look at the N64 VC hint). Finger's crossed!

DiscoGentleman

#18

DiscoGentleman said:

"We also have younger members of the team now, and they're wanting to create their own games and have their own ideas. Splatoon is a good example of that. That's being made by some very young members of the group. They're having a lot of freedom to create the game that they want."

THIS is key to Nintendo's future success. Pass the reigns, Ojisans.

MegaScizor

#19

MegaScizor said:

Pokemon WiiU. Do i have to spell it out for ya? This is 2014, not those days where people play co op pokemon. Even your pokemon xy relied heavily on online rather than meeting friends in real life etc! Just, just nvm.

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

"We're entering a vital period for the Wii U — though that's been said plenty of times in the past — "

Plenty of times in the past? It's been said like 3 times today already ;-)

When that young hipster dude working on SSB came sauntering out on stage sometime during E3 - beginning of the SSB tournament maybe - I turned to my son and said - "that's the guy who's going to replace Miyamoto when he retires." Seem slike Miyamoto is already planning ahead.

And regardless of how many Wii U sell or don't sell the games will be there for the next few years, no new home console hardware. Though if the 3DS replacement wants to hook up to the tv in 2 years I'm ok w/ that :-)

NintyMan

#21

NintyMan said:

With games like Splatoon, I think Nintendo's got a bright future with its young developers. I really want Wii U to succeed. It already has good games and will continue to have good games in the future.

AJWolfTill

#22

AJWolfTill said:

Just think everyone! With the release of smash this year all the "sales driving essential releases" such as New SMB, Mario Kart, 3d Mario, Smash Bros and DK which release on every console generation will be out. This means the teams will start working on new or more irregular franchises. This can only be a good thing in my eyes! :D

Link506

#23

Link506 said:

@SteveSnowmn No, not only that, but I wanna see smash bros DLC, free or purchashable. A handfull of extra characters, a dash of stages, then stir them together and you get a Universe of smash bros.

Mahe

#24

Mahe said:

That "creativity" won't do you any good if nobody's playing your games, Nintendo. Even heavy hitters like Mario Kart suffer from severely diminished sales.

sinalefa

#25

sinalefa said:

Personally, I enjoy creative games that won't sell millions (PlatinumGames comes to mind) than the same old yearly rehashed stuff that sells because they are pushing them down people's throats until they puke them.

Shambo

#26

Shambo said:

@Mahe I believe it was Stalin who said:

"One death is a tragedy, 1.2 million copies of Mario Kart 8 sold in the opening weekend, equals no one is playing it."

I may have gotten it a bit wrong somewhere though, but it was something like that.

Dinosaurs

#27

Dinosaurs said:

Good news for Gamepad fans! Lots of life left for the gamepad! Kirby is coming to gamepad! Captain Toad is coming to gamepad! After 6 years of hating Wii remote, I don't care what anyone says about Wii U gamepad, it's the reason I bought the console!

Dpishere

#28

Dpishere said:

Looking at the lineup in the coming years I feel that by the end of the Wii U's lifespan it will have more than enough quality games to satisfy just about any gamer. I know I will be!

Cresartist

#29

Cresartist said:

Bringing in young, creative minds to design completely brand new games?

Great! It's good to see that Nintendo is doing that, and I think it may bring us even more new IPs and game concepts down the road.

k8sMum

#31

k8sMum said:

i don't trust anything reggie says. i don't feel he ever really lies so much as he talks alot but says little. jmho.

Dodger

#32

Dodger said:

He isn't wrong. Sales may still not be phenomenal, but I certainly can see them going up.

I would like to be a fly on the wall while the MK8 devs talk about new ideas.

Dev1: What should we do with the gamepad now?
Dev2: Can we use it as a horn again? Pretty please?
Dev1: We did that last time, and only because you wouldn't stop bugging us!
Dev3: We could put important maps on the gamepad screen only to punish pro controller or wii remote users?

Don't get me wrong, MK8, great game.

WanderingPB

#33

WanderingPB said:

@Sinalefa i agree.

I'd prefer a new creative game as opposed to one that sells millions…and The Wonderful 101 is proof of that if u dont believe me look up on youtube Operation 001-C…this is one of the most Epic boss battles ive ever played and The Wonderful 101 is filled with them.

When did people stop appreciating games and simply focus in numbers? Apparently to some people its more fun to comment about bad sales then play great games…now that we can agree is just STUPID

SahashraLA

#35

SahashraLA said:

Putting maps on the controller isn't 'punishing' those who favour other control schemes. Pikmin 3: Gamepad AND Wiimote at the same time. Zelda U is going to defeat the notion that the Gamepad is a waste. Considering how much Zelda OOT 3DS, Wind Waker HD and A Link Between World's benefitted from the 'open inventory', Zelda U will take that initiative and push it even further. Miyamoto is getting really fired up and his team is obviously excited to be switching gears with the next installment.

Hikingguy

#36

Hikingguy said:

If times were not as they are now we would never have gotten the "free" game with Mario Kart and I highly doubt we would have seen Bayonetta 1 and 2 come as a set. I wonder if we would have even seen a game such as the NES Remix??
Sometime when a company's back is to the wall things works out for the customer's benefit. Nintendo needs to create value and they are starting to do that.

BoobooMama

#38

BoobooMama said:

Nintendo is at there strongest and most creative when they are backed into a corner, E3 is proof of that. I think they are on the right track :D

Inkling

#39

Inkling said:

I think Smash Bros, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 will be the key to the Wii U's success. If they aren't, well... :(

Artwark

#40

Artwark said:

@Hy8ogen Oh yes. Do something like Xbox One where the Kinect is sold separately and most games will only work with the kinect frustrating consumers as a whole. :P

Come on. The Wii U is just as cheap as it can get. its now 200$ (if you're going for refurbished) so really price doesn't matter anymore now. its games that do and now the Wii U has games that people obviously want like Star Fox!

R_Champ

#41

R_Champ said:

@WanderingPB

Oh gawd, 001-C. My brother wouldn't touch the Wonderful 101 because he doesn't like the anime motif or beat-em-up gameplay, but he watched me play that boss fight and was like O_O. I understand certain games aren't for everybody, but I agree it's a shame certain ones are neglected or bashed because they decide to do something different without worrying about bloated budgets or review scores.

8bitforever

#42

8bitforever said:

If they have all of these young people then why the heck are we still waiting on an account system? I really want to buy some VC stuff but without the account system I won't be doing it. Cross buy too!

WanderingPB

#43

WanderingPB said:

@R_Champ Funny back in February i showed my older brother the battle with Orochee and he was jus like wait u were just on a ship & now ur on the back of that dragon? Then when ur free falling my brother just said "i cant believe they actually have games this krazy!" to which i told him it was only half way done…to which he exclaimed whoa!

The reality is that developers want that quick money and hey i understand from a business perspective these yearly franchises are a gold mine…but those games dont interest me anymore. And games like The Wonderful 101 are so creative that ir reminds me why i started playing video games…to have a lot of fun

AyeHaley

#44

AyeHaley said:

I hope that means we get some meaty MK8 DLC! They could sell a 2p gamepad/double dash mode.

Daz-brum

#45

Daz-brum said:

Best games line up in years just pure game play no need for blood or guts to have fun too much of that in the real world news, well done Nintendo gave me back my faith for being an early adopter.

BertoFlyingFox

#46

BertoFlyingFox said:

Personally, Nintendo's E3 presentation was great. If that was just a bit of Nintendo's "next new thing" then I'm very happy. This is when Nintendo gets into it's renaissance phase and that's god for gamers in general.

Tsusasi

#47

Tsusasi said:

@Hy8ogen You do realize that, especially in light of the system sales bump from Mario Kart 8, your statement really isn't timely or reality-based. Add to that increase in sales all of the new Gamepad experiences (ones that have the press, gamers and detractors alike actually excited about the system AND the controller post-E3), and the amazing games coming in 2015 and really the only thing holding the system back is the wait for these experiences. Not trying to be harsh, it's just that it's a long-dead horse that you're beating and one would have to have some sort of unusually intense hatred for the Gamepad to still hang on to that talking point. Now that Nintendo is more focused on the messaging for the Wii U and the Gamepad, it's no longer an albatross...

Peach64

#48

Peach64 said:

I'm just glad to hear someone at Nintendo acknowledge how bad sales are. They need to realise that before they can do something to fix it, but for the last 18 months it feels like Nintendo were content to just keep plodding along and hope it would change at some point. Look at the difference with MS, who with the Xbone have one of the fastest selling consoles of all time, but look how much stuff they're doing to try and get ahead of Sony.

TheAdrock

#50

TheAdrock said:

Oh please... so much spin. I just bought a Roko for $35 and it has more/better media channels than the U and Netflix works better on the Roku. I don't want to, and shouldn't have to, buy another device when the U could have provided all the same media benefits. No reason WHATSOEVER that Nintendo isn't working on stuff like that as well as everything else. Its called added value, and the U is grossly lacking in it.

Hy8ogen

#51

Hy8ogen said:

@aaronsullivan You're the only one that understood me :(

@Peach64 I kinda disagree. For the past 8 months or so I kinda see Nintendo is planning to do something, and I am very sure NOW that there are something behind the works secretly (it's nintendo, they have secrets, their secrets have secrets). The most recent example is the Amiibo, project like these cannot be produced in a few days. It takes months of experimentation and a crap loads of meetings/discussions to get it finalized.

In Reggie we trust!

DaveGX

#52

DaveGX said:

ya know, it's times like these when we're constantly reminded how much Nintendo is really holding themselves back on the days of yesteryear instead of moving forward with hardware and technology. They're constantly saying that their consoles/platforms "have a long life ahead of them", except if this is so true then how come they always come up short a few years come next generation XBox or PlayStation? Or how about the constant focus on th younger generations and their "ioving room experience:", except that this has been happening since the retro era of the NES itself. (Yes, it even had a 4 controller port adaptor once upon a time) Think about it, it semi-started on NES, probably could've been possible with SNES, N64 was the 1st to actually have 4 ports of its own, followed up on the GameCube, the Wii gave wireless support as well as Wii U, which carries 1 flaw, that only 1 GamePad can be used at a time. It really is high sabout time they realized how much potential lies online, especially with the younger generation that jump into CoD, Battlefield, etc, a bit early. (but then again, really, who of us hasn't back in the day?) Now they're adding their Amibos, which in theory seems like like a nice idea for the younger generation, except that who really wants to hang onto so many easily losable or breakable figurines? And lastly, it all boils down to them ignoring the hardcore base once again, the real potential they could have without doing themselves in, thus producing even further potential they imaged possible and still being able to satisfy every audience on a variety of levels. And if that weren't enough, what happens in life after the Wii U GamePad, or even the 3Ds for that matter? The DS line-up followed GameBoy, and VR seems to be the next big thing developers are finally readyto prepare for, $ony took the 1st leap and we have no idea about Micro$oft yet. Nintendo could still invest and let its VirtualBoy's past be past because it's only mistake was that it was simply ahead of its time and VR wasn't really very popular/catching on back then.

millarrp

#53

millarrp said:

I'm hoping that this means Nintendo will not be relying on their core franchises and will either try new stuff of revive older (or one off) franchises.

JarredBuzzo

#54

JarredBuzzo said:

IP like Splatoon show Nintendo are willing to try things they aren't normally accustomed to doing. Of course, it might not sell like hotcakes, but it's still a good sign they are doing something new when everyone asserts the reverse is happening. Although, I do find it odd that people discuss the system selling ability of a game when talking about quality, as if that is the most important factor of a game. This seems to be fairly exclusive to Nintendo devices, at least in recent times. Even if it's mostly "haters" saying all of that stuff, that shows you people who make up their minds are harder to sway, and gamers can be hard to sway.

sinalefa

#55

sinalefa said:

@WanderingPB

I am not a fan of superhero movies but I loved every second of W101. Mainly because it was really epic and creative but then they make a silly joke or someone botches a glorious entrance, reminding you not to take it so seriously.

And it was cartoony instead of realistic and colorful instead of gritty, but they have some dramatic and sad moments in the story. Definitely a gem of a game.

JimLad

#56

JimLad said:

I'm glad they're starting to think about ways to use the gamepad, but I still wish they would release a SKU that excludes it.
Offer a budget option for people that JUST want to play HD Nintendo games, there are so many out there that would jump at the chance.

WanderingPB

#57

WanderingPB said:

@sinalefa I wonder if its art style will stand the test of time kinda like Wind Waker or dare i say the original Looney Tunes cartoons?

My son and i still play the multiplayer in W101 and after alot of practice we finally got a Pure Platinum trophy though the rest were bronze but we're just happy we no longer get consolation prizes LOL! The hardest thing is recruiting civilians after beating a each section.

I believe one day will give W101 the respect it truly deserves and wonder how they couldve over looked such a creatively awesome game or they'll leave PEACHY comments about WiiU sales and games while never owning the console or playing its games ya know LOL!

sinalefa

#58

sinalefa said:

@WanderingPB

As most Platinum games, or even before they were Platinum (Okami), this one is destined to be a cult classic. The quality is there but it does not have mass appeal.

WanderingPB

#59

WanderingPB said:

@sinalefa Unfortunately ur absolutely right my friend…quality games but no mass appeal…the gift and the curse i suppose. And yet it seems so unfair for such a talented team which probably why i always mention W101…im compelled to spread the word.
Capcom, Clover studios to Platinum games…their games speak for themselves which im glad to be a gamer. I wish them the best of luck on XB1 with Scalebound and hope that we can still get another Platinum game on the Wii U after Bayonetta 2.

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