Seattle-based news station King5 recently sat down with Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO of Nintendo of America, for an interview. The interview was conducted by Renay San Miguel, and a lot of interesting topics were covered. Reggie discussed the sales of the Wii U, and what Nintendo plans to do in the future to continue to drive the sales of the console. Reggie also dropped a hint on what Nintendo hopes to achieve within the mobile market. To watch the full interview, as well as insight on what was said, hit the jump!
Reggie begins the interview by discussing the sales of the Wii U, reaffirming that the console has sold more in November than in October. Reggie continued to solidify Nintendo’s stance on what he believes will make the Wii U successful: strong exclusive and first-party content that can only be found on the Wii U. Reggie specifically mentions Super Mario 3D World and Wind Waker HD as games that have helped drive the sales of the Wii U in the past month, illustrating that Nintendo aims to keep the console’s momentum going into the holiday season.
Reggie also discussed the demographics that Nintendo was targeting this holiday season. When the interviewer asked where Nintendo’s marketing was aimed towards (citing the lack of marketing at football games in comparison to Call of Duty as an example), Reggie responded by stating that Nintendo’s marketing is targeting the parent and child demographic this holiday season. Thus, Reggie illustrated that Nintendo’s marketing was more likely to appear on things such as daytime television programs, or other places that are inviting to the whole family.
Mr. Miguel went on to point out the newly-released Angry Birds Go! bears a striking resemblance to Nintendo’s Mario Kart franchise. He then brought up a question which has almost become commonplace when discussing Nintendo’s future: why won’t the company release games on smartphones and tablets? Reggie addressed the topic, and provided some interesting insight into Nintendo’s plans to use mobile devices:
“It’s a topic that comes up all the time. It’s a debate that’s constantly had… We recognize that there are a lot of smartphones and tablets out there, and so what we’re doing is we’re being very smart in how we use these devices as marketing tools for our content.”
When asked if Nintendo would utilize smartphones for gaming purposes, Reggie further elaborated:
“We’re also doing a lot of experimentation of what I would call the little experiences you can have on your smartphone and tablet that will drive you back to your Nintendo hardware,” Fils-Aime said. “It’s largely going to be much more marketing activity-oriented, but we’ve done little things where there’s some element of gameplay – a movement, a shaking, something like that.”
Finally, Reggie drove home the notion that in the end, the goal is to have people purchase Nintendo hardware for the full Nintendo experiences:
“We believe our games are best played and best enjoyed on our devices,” he said, “and so the full game play will only be on Nintendo devices.”
Mr. Miguel then touched on the current state of the Wii U. Despite the massive success of the Wii, which sold over 100 million units worldwide, the Wii U has been struggling so far. Though Reggie acknowledged the fact that the console hasn’t been doing as well as Nintendo had hoped, he believed that it was too early to label the console as a failure:
“We still have a few more years to go. But the key to driving the installed base of a system is having unique proprietary experiences that can only be played on that system.”
Reggie then admitted that certain key games that they wished to release for the console are being released much later than originally planned. Wii Fit U was given as an example:
“This is a game we wanted to launch in the first quarter of this year, not the first quarter of 2014,” he said. “The delay in some of this key software is really what’s been difficult for us. What I can tell you is that we have a very strong pipeline coming.”
He went on to cite Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Wii Sports Club Golf, and Super Smash Bros. 4 as games included in that pipeline.
You can watch the full interview below. What do you think of the Wii U’s chances? Can Nintendo compete with the other consoles? Is Nintendo being smart by targeting the family demographic this holiday season? Is Nintendo doing the right thing by not focusing on smartphones and tablets? Let us know in the comments below!
[Editor’s note: that’s the embed script misspelling Reggie’s name below–not us!