By James Brightman
Nintendo’s reception at E3 for the new Wii U console was largely positive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that sales will be gangbusters at launch when the Wii U debuts sometime in 2012. After all, 3DS had a very nice E3 showing too, but it staggered out of the gate at launch… possibly because people have not fully understood the value of the 3D screen.
For the Wii U, communicating the value of the tablet controller and a second screen won’t be a problem, according to Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime.
“What we are doing with Wii U is creating an ability for games to leverage two different screens; the big screen in your room, and the smaller handheld screen in front of you. By doing so it opens up all of these different experiences. The experience I use to describe it to someone is to imagine a first person shooter, where instead of constantly having to look at the screen, now I’ve got things happening all around me,” he told Forbes. “It’s a great experience. I don’t think it’s going to be a hard sell. I think that communicating to consumers through the magic of the second window, you can have a totally unique experience, with another player still in the room… I don’t think it’s a difficult sell.”
Fils-Aime also touched upon Nintendo’s evolving online stance and how the company is aiming to provide a much more robust online experience with Wii U, even though online dominance is not the company’s “goal.” Interestingly, it appears that Wii U will be much friendlier to independents.
“We’ve seen what our competitors have done, and we’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we’re going to continue to build our online capability.For Wii U, we’re going to take that one step further, and what we’re doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear. So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that. We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers,” said Fils-AIme.
He continued, “We’ve said that the Wii U will have an extremely robust online experience. There will be other publishers talking about that as well, and from our perspective, we think it’s much more compelling for that information to come from the publishers than to come from us.”