In a discussion with Kotaku, Reggie Fils-Aime commented that the $400/£349 PS4 price point will “put no pressure on [the Wii U] at all.”
Sony and Microsoft are going to do what they’re going to do. My bet is that there are going to be more announcements the closer we get to whatever their launch date is.
From my perspective, I can’t focus on that. I have to focus on how we satisfy the needs of all of the consumers out there with Nintendo products? How do we make sure they understand our proposition? How do we make sure they’re excited about the software that we offer? And from that standpoint we’re going to let our competition do what they’re going to do.
Fils-Aime makes a few more claims regarding the Wii U’s stuttering beginnings. One commonly held belief is that the Wii U had a relatively weak launch beginning, and here he admits that the system should have come with a better launch software line-up.
I would say the big difference in the Wii launch vs the Wii U launch is that, at the [Wii] launch we had a fantastic game in Wii Sports that really helped people understand the magic of the Wii Remote, and we had Zelda.
We had Zelda there at the launch to satisfy the more active player and when you look at what we had at the launch for Wii U, yes we had a Mario game – a fantastic Mario game that has a very strong attach rate to the hardware – but there wasn’t as many opportunities for the more active player to really get behind the system.
There are a few missteps that I think Reggie Fils-Aime makes here. First, I do not honestly think that the Wii U launch was poor or could have been better. Some would argue that it was better than the Wii’s launch line-up. For the active player, the target demographic Nintendo has to foster and maintain, games like Mass Effect, Batman, Assassin’s Creed and Darksiders, combined with New Super Mario Bros. U, backwards compatibility, and other adventurous titles (e.g. the alternative kart racer in Sonic, or Nintendo console newcomer, Ninja Gaiden) should have comprised a ‘sufficient launch’.
For some, it was. Miiverse participation attests to that, but also, the critics’ generous and optimistic reception of those titles listed above… There were effectively many opportunities for the more active player to get behind the system. What made the Wii U seem like a ‘quiet, marketing failure’ is that everyone was aware that the launch would not pave the way to greater software in good time. That dearth of software is what the public complained about.
This highlights the fact that Nintendo and Reggie Fils-Aime should not have to count on Zelda to pull through and gain momentum. Will the Wii U survive the PlayStation 4 launch and price point? Of course it will. But I don’t think Nintendo have gotten it quite right yet with the way they see their own console. From the looks of it, Super Smash Bros. and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will not be enough to bring the console back to prime. At least, they won’t be enough for me. Do you believe things will completely turn around for the Big N?