Nintendo is likely to be the first publisher out the gate with its next generation of gaming hardware. The Wii U debuted at E3 this year, and will have a similar appearance at CES next month. Considering the challenges the Wii U faces thanks to the innovations made by the Xbox 360 and PS3, we’re all wondering what Nintendo’s strategy is going to be. We want to know if Nintendo can capture lightning in a bottle with the Wii U just as it had done with the Wii. Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, answered some questions for AllThingsD about the position Nintendo will put itself in moving forward.
One of the most interesting things Fils-Aime talked about was about the transition gaming consoles are having from being dedicated gaming machines, to boxes that provide all sorts of video content to the living room. The Xbox 360 is currently leading the pack in this regard, while the PS3 and Wii lag behind. Despite gaming console’s evolution into entertainment centers, it doesn’t sound like Nintendo is all that interested in providing its customers with more options to watch television shows and movies.
“If the consumer wants live TV, they can get it through the options they have today,” Fils-Aime said. “We always ask the question, ‘What can we do that’s new and provocative?’ And we will continue to think of new and provocative experiences for the user.”
Fils-Aime did acknowledge that Netflix is one of the reasons why many Wii’s are connected to the main television in the homes of customers.
Fils-Aime also touched on social gaming. Social gaming is certainly a money-maker, but Fils-Aime believes those games have to provide something different if that business model is to survive.
“So when I look at gaming experiences on social networks, there’s a variety of entertainment value,” Fils-Aime said. “Some are strong, some are not. But in the end, how will they evolve? Doing the same thing over and over again is no longer fine.”
Fils-Aime is betting on Nintendo’s innovation to assist the company while it investigates new monetary options for games. Nintendo is currently looking at different models (probably free-to-play). The products that use that model will only be available on Nintendo’s platforms. In other words, we won’t see Nintendo franchises on Facebook, iOS or Android.