Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime discusses why the company still has a big stake in holiday sales, and why he believes the Wii U won’t be overshadowed by the two next-gen newcomers.
Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime is confident in the company’s standing in the gaming industry, and believes that Nintendo will hold its own during the oncoming influx of sales from the holiday season.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Fils-Aime discussed why he believes the Wii U can hold its own against the might of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, citing an observation based on past-gen consoles–the more powerful machine doesn’t always win:
“The interesting thing there is, if you look at the last two hardware cycles, it was not the most powerful machine that won, not in the case of the PS2, not in the case of the Wii,” Fils-Aime began.
“So, in the end, it’s our responsibility to show consumers how much fun you can have, because in the end, this is an entertainment business, and we think we’ve got stellar entertainment to make the consumer smile.”
Nintendo’s recent bid in creative new titles in classic franchises across its family of platforms has proven to be a great move. Games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Pokemon X/Y on the 3DS handheld and Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U have garnered critical acclaim and stalwart sales upon their release.
Fils-Aime has faith that these franchises will be a strong point for Nintendo during this holiday season, even when facing off against the PS4 and Xbox One:
“We rate our chances very good. Software drives hardware in this business,” he said, touching upon e-Shop sales as well as the success of recent retail releases.
“We saw it with our Wii and DS businesses. We’re seeing it right now with Nintendo 3DS. It was probably a year ago, I was having similar meetings to these, when the challenge was, “Reggie, what are you doing with your handheld business? How are you gonna grow it?”
“Well, we bring our great franchises to bear, and watch what happens. Software drives hardware. And we’re having a stellar year. We believe the same will happen with our Wii U business, with these fantastic franchises that we’re bringing to bear this holiday.”
The exec went on to highlight some of the advantages that Nintendo’s Wii U has to offer, touching upon the “differentiated experiences” with innovative tech like the console’s GamePad, and he believes that these experiences will “drive our performance now and into the future”:
“The point that I keep coming back to is show me the differentiated experiences. And differentiated experiences in this entertainment business win.
“We’re differentiated with the GamePad. We’re differentiated with these fantastic franchises. We’re differentiated even in the entertainment space with Nintendo TV. We believe those will drive our performance now and into the future.”
Fils-Aime makes a good point on this front, as the Wii U is definitely a unique specimen in gaming hardware. Armed with its own brand of power, it focuses more on an immersive gaming experience rather than higher-end specs–and often achieves its goal quite well.
The Wii U isn’t just focused on games, though; Nintendo has provided a healthy offering of multimedia content with the system, allowing it to double as an entertainment device that offers many of the same content a console would. Plus there’s Nintendo TV, and the 3DS has its share of interactive entertainment functions as well.
While Nintendo isn’t backing down and has a strong stanchion with the 3DS and Wii U library of games to support its weight at this time, it’ll be interesting to see how it fares in the future.
New titles featuring the same iconic characters have kept the company afloat this long, but it may have a harder time when big-name titles like Titanfall, The Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy 15 and a handful of other yet-to-be-announced PS4/Xbox One exclusives are available.
Many would argue that Nintendo is treading water and that Fils-Aime is trying to maneuver a sinking ship, but the company does have a dedicated and steadfast fan-base that stretches across the globe.
They’ve already managed to facilitate their eco-system (the 3DS, Wii U and now 2DS) and provide a number of high-grossing games for their platforms, but the question that arises is how long can they continue doing so before being overwhelmed by the competition.
Over time, Nintendo will no-doubt continue expanding and evolving its brand across its eco-system with unique hardware and software, as they’ve always been on the forefront of innovation. The future is bright according to Fils-Aime, and we’ll likely see the company’s full armament in the next coming months as the next-gen war goes into full gear.
In any case, Fils-Aime is optimistic that the beloved gaming giant isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and that they have a good shot in keeping in the fight for years to come–especially during this holiday season.