Over the last year or so much has been made of the Wii U’s, and by extension Nintendo’s, financial struggles. 2013 was the first year in a long time that the company posted a loss, but Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime thinks things will turn around rather quickly.
In fact, Fils-Aime doesn’t believe his company’s latest console is out of the running at all. A recent uptick in May suggests the console may be on the rise, and so he’s interested to see how things shake out between all three major consoles in June.
In an interview with the Seattle Times, Fils-Aime discusses all things Nintendo, from potential price points for the recently announced Amiibo figures to the incredible success of the 3DS platform — the best-selling platform last year. But a major point of focus for Fils-Aime will continue to be the Wii U, and so the publication grilled him about the console’s past and its future.
While Fils-Aime was never willing to admit defeat with the Wii U, he does suggest that the company’s ongoing quest for software perfection hurt the console’s launch titles. Games like Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, and Wii Fit U were originally planned as launch window games, but Nintendo was unwilling to compromise on those games’ development simply to meet a deadline. And as a result, the Wii U’s selection was rather limited at launch.
The interesting point there is that when we announced the Wii U and when we announced all of the launch details, we fully expected games like “Wii Fit U,” “Pikmin,” the “The Wonderful 101” to be in the launch window. The Nintendo quality bar is really what kept us from launching those games potentially in February or March and so that’s what created the lack of software during that initial launch phase.
The reality is that what we needed was all of that great content to launch when it was initially planned, but to also have that great content also be the highest quality. That’s really tough to manage.
Now, however, Fils-Aime believes there is a strong line-up waiting for Wii U owners, starting with Hyrule Warriors later this year all the way through Super Smash Bros. on Wii U. Not to mention, the company’s 2015 slate, which includes the new shooter Splatoon and The Legend of Zelda on Wii U.
With such a strong lineup on the way, Fils-Aime believes that the Wii U is poised to turn the corner. Mario Kart 8 was only available for a short time last month, but it alone was able to boost Wii U sales by a reported 85% percent. In short, Fils-Aime can only imagine what a full month’s worth of sales, combined with excitement over Nintendo’s recently announced E3 2014titles will do for the Wii U.
As far as whether or not this will help the Wii U stay competitive with the Xbox One and PS4 is unclear. Still, as Fils-Aime points out, the Wii U is leading the charge when it comes to lifetime sales, besting the PS4 by a small margin.
The dirty little secret is if you look at life-to-date numbers, between Sony and Nintendo they’d be pretty close in terms of PS4 vs. Wii U, with Xbox coming in third place. I think it’s going to be a three-horse race for the balance of this cycle.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the PS4, which hit 7 million units sold in April, may have already passed the Wii U in terms of lifetime sales, and in a much shorter amount of time.
That being said, it appears the company’s E3 2014 presentation did exactly what Nintendo and its fans hoped. It generated excitement for upcoming games and likely helped make the Wii U a more enticing proposition. We, like Reggie, are eager to see how June’s sales numbers shake out.
Do you think that Nintendo’s E3 2014 showing will help boost Wii U sales? Which of Nintendo’s recently announced games are you most excited to play?
Source: Seattle Times
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