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Iwata: 'We Need To Evaluate'  Wii Music 's Mixed Response

Iwata: 'We Need To Evaluate' Wii Music's Mixed Response

February 5, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

February 5, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admits Wii Music hasn't achieved what the company hoped -- but also suggests that it's such a subjective experience that the negative feedback of a few might have colored the opinion of many.

"I feel that Wii Music is a software that elicits largely two extremely different reactions from consumers," said Iwata, speaking during a briefing that followed Nintendo's third quarter results. "There are people who highly appreciate it and those who do not appreciate it at all."

"Usually for other software, if there is a fair amount of people who evaluate the software positively, the appreciation level of that software becomes slightly skewed toward a positive note," Iwata said.

"But on the other hand, if a number of people evaluate it poorly, the overall reaction to the software is bad. For Wii Music the impression seems to completely depend on each individual player."

Iwata said it's "unfortunate" that Wii Music didn't immediately appeal to some consumers -- but Nintendo has far from given up on the title. He pointed out that the original Brain Training in Japan had lackluster sales until the second installment, More Brain Training, launched at year's end.

Similarly, Iwata said Wii Music still has yet to reach its full potential audience. "We do not like to think that we failed with Wii Music nor that we should abandon sales support," he said, suggesting through the comparison that perhaps a related supporting title launch or other further investment might be useful to bolster Wii Music's userbase.

"If we had approached Brain Training with that mentality, the software would have not achieved the current sales situation," Iwata noted, stressing that certain titles' sales potential can't be judged on its first week or even its first month.

Iwata admitted, however, that it's hard for software to become popular if it isn't easy to understand immediately, and suggested that the success of many of Nintendo's more divergent kinds of products can be credited to the spread of favorable opinions from those who do understand them right away.

"Something good can spread when a cycle is born where people who have hands-on experience can immediately understand its appeal, easily explain the positive experience they had to those around them, who then spread that information to the others," Iwata said.

"Nintendo was blessed with certain products that created this positive cycle, which has made Nintendo what it is today. In that sense, I feel like we need to reevaluate why [Wii Music] has not been able to clear that hurdle."

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