Attack of the Fanboy

Nintendo: “Pretty Pictures” not enough

by William Schwartz


Understandably, Nintendo is in a tight situation. The Wii U has not been the success they hoped it would be, with it selling roughly half as much as the Wii during the same time frame. They recently had to announce a price cut due to the Ps4’s $399.99 price tag. And with the impending Xbox One and PlayStation 4 set to arrive November, along with them boasting pretty good launch line-ups, it would seem understandable that Nintendo might be worried. They are not, if a phone interview with Kotaku indicates anything.

Nintendo of America’s president, Reggie Fils-Aime, seemed unfazed by the arrival of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, saying, “I don’t think consumers buy hardware just because it’s sexy and new. I think consumers buy hardware because of the experiences they can have on them. That’s why, for us, having a strong holiday line-up is so critically important.”

When asked how he thought the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 might fare, he replied, “There are a lot of variables out there, and that’s for my friends over at Microsoft and Sony to go figure out. My job is to drive Nintendo products and make sure we have a great holiday.” He also added that “how [Microsoft and Sony] perform is going to come down to the clarity of their proposition, their execution.”

When confronted with the knowledge that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have better hardware than the Wii U, Fils-Aime said, “Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren’t selling propositions and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence. And that’s true whether you look at the home console space or the handheld space. It’s not about the graphics by itself. It’s about the entire experience.”

He pointed to the Wii, which sold significantly higher than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 despite weaker hardware, along with the DS compared to the PSP and the 3DS compared to the Vita.

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