Details are emerging of Reggie Fils-Aimé's 'Leaders in Residence' lecture which he gave yesterday at Cornell University. The hour-long presentation was focused on Reggie's 'principles for next generation leaders', and although the Reginator was held positions at a variety of global companies (Procter and Gamble and Pizza Hut among them), naturally his address touched multiple times on his time at Nintendo and some particularly famous moments he presided over.
One such tidbit to come out of his lecture (according to an attendee who posted details on ResetEra) is the fact that then-Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was actually opposed to the idea of bundling Wii Sports with the Nintendo Wii for its US launch. In a section dedicated to his former 'mentor', Reggie reportedly stated that, at first, Iwata didn't think packing in the software with the console was the best approach.
It should be remembered that Wii Sports wasn't a pack-in title in Japan. The software that would usher in a gaming revolution that saw kids and grandparents alike swinging Wii Remotes like tennis rackets, golf clubs and baseball bats was an integral part of the Wii's mainstream success, and Iwata apparently believed it was strong enough to encourage people to buy the game in addition to the console. It seems Reggie persuaded him that the best approach in the west would be to keep things simple and bundle everything together for one price.
Although it's arguable that the proposition of the Wii was compelling enough to make people pay for the console and the software, the fact that the killer app came bundled made things even easier for the newly-tempted non-gaming masses who wanted to do some virtual bowling with the family over Holiday season 2006. Indeed, it proved tempting enough that finding a console at all was a challenge for a while after launch.
In fact, Wii Sports is so synonymous with the console that when our parents talk about the Wii, they're actually talking about Wii Sports - in their minds (and no doubt in many other casual gamers' minds, too), the system was a Wii Sports machine and nothing else.
Cornell University has stated that a video of the lecture will be posted at some point soon - we'll update this post and point out the relevant part (and any extra details) as and when it becomes available.
Do you think the Wii would have been such a success if we'd had to buy Wii Sports on top of the console? Let us know your thoughts below.