Nintendo’s Looking at the Core Audience with 3DS and Wii U, Says Iwata
Some might argue that the Nintendo Wii was brilliant. Others might say that it ignored core gamers in favor of families. Nintendo’s big boss Satoru Iwata tended towards the latter opinion, and said during an investor Q&A that the company plans to go back to core gamers with the 3DS and Wii U.
“The Wii was able to reach a large number of new consumers who had never played games before by bringing hands-on experiences with its Wii Sports and Wii Fit,” said Iwata-san during the session. “However, we could not adequately create the situation that such new consumers played games frequently or for long, consistent periods. As a result, we could not sustain a good level of profit. ”
In other words, a new audience was introduced to the world of video games. Thanks to the saturation of family-titles versus core titles though, serious gamers had a hard time looking to the Wii as a gaming powerhouse. Queue the soccer mom jokes.
“…regrettably, what we prioritized in order to reach out to the new audience was a bit too far from what we prioritized for those who play games as their hobby,” continued Iwata-san. “Consequently, we presume some people felt that the Wii was not a game system for them or they were not willing to play with the Wii even though some compelling games had been released.”
Thus, with the 3DS’ release, Nintendo flooded the lineup with titles like Super Mario 3D Land, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Ocarina of Time 3D. The company also intends to do the same with the Wii U whenever its ready to step out onto the stage. But has the heavy damage already been done? Iwata hopes this isn’t the case and that gamers will have faith in the Wii U’s capabitlies, as well as the 3DS’ future.
“Once consumers have a notion that ‘this system is not for us,’ we have learned that it is extremely difficult to change their perceptions later,” said Iwata-san. “Therefore, in promoting the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, we have announced that we would like ‘width’ and ‘depth’ to coexist.
“With the Nintendo DS and the Wii, the approach of ‘width’ was well accepted by many people; however, what we did in terms of ‘depth’ was not satisfactory for some consumers. This time, we would like consumers to be satisfied in both aspects.
“In order to do so, we started to work on the ‘depth’ aspect first, and the current and existing software you can see for the Nintendo 3DS is based on that idea. In the future, the approach will evolve.
“Our approach for the Wii U is basically the same. By doing so continuously, we are expecting that the number of game users per household will increase and as the gaming population increases, we believe we can create a sustainable video game market.”
Will Nintendo succeed with their plans? We’ll just have to see when the Wii U is released later this year.