As E3 progresses we're seeing lots of interviews with Nintendo's top brass. Of course NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime has been doing the rounds and in speaking to Glixel, we get to learn a little bit more about Nintendo's ambitions for eSports with the Nintendo Switch.
In response to a question about competition quietly becoming a larger factor in Nintendo's upcoming games and their ambition for eSports, Fils-Aime responded:
You know, it's not a recent shift. When you look at the NES system – the first system with two dedicated controllers. If you look at what we've done with N64, which was a true four-player machine – and you look at GoldenEye and some of those experiences and obviously Smash Bros. has been part of the competitive gaming circuit for a long long time and even the original Nintendo Championships from 1995, we've been in the space for a long time. What I would say is different in how we think about competitive gaming is that we think about the community, we think about trying to encourage and empower the community – you see that with Splatoon, you see that with Smash Bros. – and for us it's about having more and more players engaged and having fun and battling each other versus how others are thinking about in terms of leagues and big startup money and things of that nature, that for us is not as interesting, at least not today.
Reggie went on to say The Invitational was probably more the area of eSports which they were interested in participating in, rather than "pro" tournaments:
A lot of that activity is happening. We've done invitationals when we've done our mall tours, we've done invitationals in our store in New York. So we've done a lot of these kinds of activities. With Splatoon it's the first time it's on a worldwide stage – four different teams, four different parts of the world – that's interesting and unique. We like that. We'll probably be doing more of that type of activity. One of the things we like with Arms, especially with E3 now being open to 15,000 consumers, is the ability for someone to battle their way up to being on that big stage. We think that's interesting. And so, maybe it's more "competitive gaming for the masses" as an approach versus thinking about the "pro" who's all about big payouts and things of that nature. That's not an area – at least from our own investment standpoint – that's as interesting to us.
Fils-Aime went on to discuss a wide range of other things in the interview including the Wii U's poor performance, third parties and mobile. We'd recommend making yourself a nice cup of tea heading over to Glixel to read the full interview. Be sure to let us know what you think about eSports on Nintendo Switch and Reggie's other statements with a comment below.