By James Brightman
The Wii has seen steady declines in the last year or so, as the focus has shifted to HD consoles like PS3 and Xbox 360. Publishers have clearly reallocated their resources to the HD platforms, but the one thing we’ve all learned is to never count Nintendo out. 3DS is currently in the spotlight, but Nintendo may soon announce an update to the Wii console (possibly by E3).
Speaking to IndustryGamers, EA Games label head Frank Gibeau hinted at the fact that Nintendo knows the situation and is working on another platform. “When you look at Nintendo, for a while there, it was all about the Wii being the biggest entertainment platform ever and capturing the mass market, and it faded away. Now, they’re coming back with a second act. I think they know that. They’re very self-aware as an organisation and a very powerful brand,” he said.
Interestingly, Gibeau also lumped the Wii into the same category as PS2 – a “legacy console.” He continued, “They understand the dynamics and the fact that HD consoles is a booming part of business right now. Legacy platforms like PS2 and the Wii have dropped off significantly. They’re not stupid. They’re going to figure something out. They’re going to come back at it.”
Whenever Nintendo does launch its next console, Gibeau warned that the company needs to do a better job in courting third parties – an area that historically has not been a bright spot for Nintendo platforms where the emphasis is very much first-party.
“[Wii] is a tough market for a third party. When I look at a development dollar in terms of which teams do I invest in, and what platforms to go at, they’re not very competitive when you look at HD consoles, or free-to-play bets, or things like tablets and handsets. It’s something they need to think seriously about with their next gen – how serious is a third party development community for them on their next platform and their next bet? They can get to a certain level of success with their own IPs and their own internal development, but if they don’t have that developer ecosystem where it’s frankly easy to make money on the platform, they’re going to see there are too many opportunities in the world right now to go build games on other platforms in a very successful high quality, highly profitable way. They need to take note of that,” Gibeau offered.