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Wii U skepticism will dissipate, says Nintendo's Iwata

Wii U skepticism will dissipate, says Nintendo's Iwata

November 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Design, Business/Marketing

"The brand new user interfaces that Nintendo invented often faced skeptical views before a hardware launch, but wound up becoming de facto industry standards."
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discusses why skepticism surrounding the recently launched Wii U console won't be around for long.

"It is challenging to communicate attractions which are hard to understand unless you actually touch and experience them yourself," he adds. Indeed, both the Nintendo Wii and handheld DS faced dubiety at release, yet have proven themselves as landmarks in the industry, with lifetime sales of 97 million units and 152 million units respectively.

He continued, "Nintendo has paid a great deal of attention to the dynamic of people playing video games together in the same room. With Wii U, we thought about expanding this concept into separate rooms which are connected online. Miiverse is a network community dedicated to video games that represents a very unique game-dedicated social graph that has never existed before."

Nintendo is well-known for doing its own thing, and not always following the industry trends. Iwata says that when looking into the online features for the Wii U, he was not at all interested in offering the same services that competitors Microsoft and Sony have. "We have not thought that offering the same features that already exist within other online communities would be the best proposal for very experienced game players," he noted.

Elsewhere, Iwata discussed the idea of playing down success, and keeping improvement firmly in your sights.

"I always and strictly tell Nintendo employees never to use the term 'success' to describe our own performance," he explained. "If we call a result of any of our efforts a 'success,' we might apply it as the standard for success for future projects as well, and we could wind up not trying to do better than that or not making something which is very different in nature."

And he also had an apology to make regarding the large and time-consuming day-one system update for the Wii U, admitting that it was not the optimal way to launch a console.

"Personally I think that users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box," he added. "So I feel very sorry for the fact that purchasers of Wii U have to experience a network update which takes such a long time, and that there are the services which were not available at the hardware’s launch."

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