In a very interesting interview with Time, new Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima opened up about the current state of Nintendo and their plans going forward. The entire piece is worth a look, going into the company’s mobile strategy, as well as how they feel about their IP. A few elements stuck out as particularly interesting though, such as their discussion about the Wii U and the perception that it is a failure.
In a previous interview Kimishima said some things that were taken as proclaiming the Wii U as a failure. He clarifies here that that is certainly not what he was saying. “The Nikkei reporter’s question to me was ‘The Wii U is not selling at this point in its lifetime as well as the Wii was at the same time. Why is that?'” explains Kimishima. “And my answer was that the Wii at this point has sold over 100 million units worldwide, and even through there are people saying ‘Hey, since the Wii was so successful, Wii U is also going to be successful and it’s also going to sell like wildfire as well,’ I looked at that global install base and said that it might not sell as well. That was my response. Not that it wouldn’t sell, but that it would be more difficult because of the install base of the Wii itself.
“The point that I was trying to get across was that Wii has sold so much and is being played by so many people, it’s not going to be easy to make them leave that and come to the next system. That was my only point, that it was a difficult task for us to bring those consumers from Wii to Wii U. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like my message got across clearly.”
With that said, how does Nintendo feel about the Wii U? According to Kimishima, they just want to make sure that their fans, and those that bought the Wii U specifically, are happy. “At this point in the Wii U lifespan, we’re looking at 10 million sell-through for the hardware itself, which is just about a tenth of what we sold overall for Wii.”
“What I want to do, I think our first job right now is to make sure that the customers, those 10 million customers who have a Wii U at home have software to play. And we need to make sure that they are satisfied with their purchase and continue to enjoy playing on this platform. So we can’t just abandon them and say ‘Hey, it’s time to move on to the next thing.’ Of course we are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform. But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have purchase Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.”
To see the rest of the interview, including the fact that gamers aren’t using Amiibo the way Nintendo originally intended, click here.