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

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.


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