Posted on July 06 2011 by Benjamin Lamoreux
Nintendo’s Global President Satoru Iwata was recently interviewed by Mercury News, and had a few interesting things to say about the potential of the Wii U. While we recently reported on the fact that Reggie Fils-Aime does not see 3D in the near future of the Wii U, Satoru Iwata had a slightly different viewpoint on the subject.
Iwata went on to say that 3D will continue to be a major focus of the 3DS, as that’s a a more accessible technology. 3D TVs just aren’t common enough or easily affordable, and the Wii U’s focus is for everyone to be able to enjoy the experience. With this as the goal for the Wii U, pouring time and money into making 3D games for the system would alienate a lot of the Wii U fanbase. So while Nintendo does not plan to focus on 3D for a home console experience, it’s possible we could see some 3D Wii U titles.
Iwata also touched on what the Wii U has to offer the “hardcore gamer” that the Wii didn’t.
Nothing we didn’t already know here, but it’s good to see reassurance that the Wii U is out to provide a visually stimulating gaming experience, rather than just a “new” experience. That said, the Wii U still looks to innovate, with the controller again playing a key role in changing the way games are played.
This time around, Nintendo looks to appease fans with both the power of the system and the gameplay options provided by the controller. As Reggie Fils-Aime has stated many times, Nintendo is looking to build on the 86 million strong fanbase of the Wii by creating a system that every Wii owner will want, and yet attract a new crowd as well. While many labeled the Wii’s motion controls as being childish, Iwata believes the Wii U controller can offer a more “sophisticated” experience, while the normal Wii remote can still be used for most games as well.
Iwata commented on their recently strengthened partnership with third party developer Electronic Arts.
When we approached EA and provided them with the concept and the possibility of Wii U, I believe they thought, OK, with this machine, they’ll be able to do something that they really want to do.
This is just one example of how Nintendo looks to improve from what the Wii offered. At E3, John Riccitiello seemed quite excited about what the Wii U had to offer for the future of EA, especially in the realm of sports games. One way in which the more sophisticated controller of the Wii U was shown to cater to a larger audience than the Wii was in a demonstration of how the Madden franchise can benefit from it. The screen of the Wii U controller allows things like statistics, the game clock, and the playbook to be displayed on a separate screen, making the main screen uncluttered and much more appealing. Combine that with the significant power enhancement of the Wii U over the Wii, ad you have a much better gaming experience.
So what of the Wii then? With many developers jumping on the Wii U train, have we seen the end of the Wii’s dominance in the market? Iwata had this to say on declining Wii sales:
But right now, I think it’s premature to say, in terms of the current sales, what the one-year sales (result) will be like.
It’s nothing new. Last year and two years before, many people were very much concerned about the future of the Wii around this time of the year. However, the fact of the matter is that it ended up being the top-selling home console hardware of the year two years in a row, each year exceeding the previous record. That’s simply because the Wii was able to enjoy great sales during the holiday season.
While what Iwata says is true, it’s a little disheartening. Rather than allude to possible must have titles that will be released between now and the release of the Wii U, Iwata is simply counting on holiday sales to carry the Wii until it is replaced by the Wii U. The big difference between this year and the previous two, however, is that some people may keep their wallets closed when they see the Wii on the shelf, because they know that the Wii U is just around the corner.