Third-party support has been one of Nintendo's biggest issues since the launch of the Wii U. The console has struggled to attract external developers and publishers in the same way that Sony and Microsoft's systems have, and there are many games which could have made their way to Nintendo's platform but haven't — lack of commercial viability presumably being the main reason.
Nintendo is keenly aware of the situation. Speaking to re/code, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime feels that his company is making good progress on turning the Wii U into a much more viable vehicle for third-parties:
In the end, what third-party companies want is a large install base to sell their games into [and] a wide demographic footprint that they can target their games to. They also want a robust connected environment so that they themselves can explore downloadable content or digital sales. [For] the Wii U business, year-to-date versus last year, our install base is almost doubled. We’re building that footprint for developers, with a range of games from Bayonetta 2 to Mario Kart. In the North American territory, just about every Wii U is connected to the Internet.
However, when it was pointed out that Nintendo systems are missing out on Call of Duty for the first time in years, Files-Aime took a more defiant tone and even had a little dig at the tiresome resolution and frame rate war which seems to preoccupy the lives of many PS4 and Xbox One owners:
I would love to have Call of Duty on our platform. I would love to have any of the big blockbuster, multi-platform titles. But I have to say, more specifically, I want games that provide a differentiated consumer experience. If you look at the other two competitive platforms, fundamentally, what’s the difference? ...when you look at either one, either by themselves doesn’t have a lot of exclusive content. They have a lot of shared content. Look at it from the standpoint of, what don’t they have? They don’t have our games. They don’t have Mario and Zelda. I’d much rather be where Nintendo is, with a differentiated platform, differentiated set-up experiences that we can provide uniquely to the consumer. Let those other guys battle it out over, you know, which visual representation of Call of Duty is most compelling. I like our chances of having a differentiated console and a differentiated series of experiences.
What do you think about Reggie's comments? Would you trade Nintendo's exclusive games for more third party support, or is Nintendo of America's President bang on the money — the Wii U is unique while Sony and Microsoft's systems are merely sharing the same experiences alongside arguably weaker first-party content? Let us know with a comment.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.