Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has spoken out on the Wii’s flagging sales, a well as the potential for third-parties, hardcore appeal and 3D support inherent to the Wii U.
“No single entertainment device can enjoy eternal popularity,” Iwata said in an interview with the Mercury News.
“And when it comes to Wii, we have to understand that any potential sales are going to be affected by the seasonalities much more than before.
“If we cannot sell as well as we expect to during the holiday sales season, it’s going to be a grave concern for us.”
The executive said that worries about Wii hardware sales are “nothing new”, and that similar concerns arose during the slow summer sales period of 2009 and 2010.
“However, the fact of the matter is that it ended up being the top-selling home console hardware of the year two years in a row, each year exceeding the previous record,” he said.
But now there’s a new challenger on the horizon, and Iwata is banking on the Wii U having something to offer hardcore gamers turned off by the Wii’s lack of HD graphics.
“As a result, we have not been able to provide hardcore video game players with the option they really want with the Wii,” Iwata said. “That sort of picture-processing issue is going to be solved this time around.
“These hardcore gamers are the ones that are looking forward to something brand new, some brand new entertainment. With Wii U , we will be able to provide them with that.”
Iwata commented that the Wii U will be capable of stereoscopic 3D if connected to a compatible TV, much as the Xbox 360 is, but Nintendo won’t be pushing the technology because of poor market penetration.
“Rather than pouring a lot of energy into that kind of area, with the Wii U we’d like to focus more on each Wii U owner being able to have an equal opportunity to enjoy it,” he said.
Third-party support for the Wii U is already looking promising, which iwata puts down to giving developers what they want.
“EA thought that with Wii U they’ll have a better opportunity for software creation,” Iwata said of EA’s show of support during E3.
“When we approached EA and provided them with the concept and the possibility of Wii U, I believe they thought, OK, with this machine, they’ll be able to do something that they really want to do.”