Nintendo of America claims the Wii U “has a very long life ahead of it”


The Wii U is struggling to prove its case to gamers in comparison to the PS4 and Xbox One, but in an interview with Kotaku, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime reaffirmed the company’s commitment to its hardware. Fils-Aime dismissed the idea of starting over in the home space with a replacement console, explaining that Nintendo believes the Wii U “has a very long life ahead of it. It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform.” Fils-Aime also referenced the 3DS’ sluggish start, crediting its turnaround to Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 rather than the price drop announced eight months after the handheld’s debut. While the Wii U’s equivalents have already arrived as Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, Fils-Aime added that Nintendo believes Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. and the E3 surprise Splatoon offer a similar sales-shifting potential that could help pull the Wii U out of its rut.

The Wii U has struggled since it was launched in late 2012. That might be bad news for Nintendo bean-counters but it might be good news for Nintendo fans, especially if this month’s big E3 show is anything to go by. Despite the gaming press and fans seeming to be agog over PlayStations and Xboxes, Nintendo arguably stole the show with an entertaining mix of expected sequels and—shock—a new multiplayer shooter and an original 3DS game. (It turns out that the late-May Mario Kart 8 has been a hot-seller, to boot, a bona fide Wii U hit.) At E3, I talked to two of Nintendo’s most senior people about the state of Nintendo’s console. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime sparred with me about how the Wii U has been doing and pledged that the console “has a very long life ahead of it.” Nintendo’s senior game designer, Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto, admitted that times have been tough, but found hope, saying that “In my years with Nintendo what I’ve found is that it’s always in those difficult times that we have a tendency to find that next new thing.” I discussed other topics with both men, but what follows is what we discussed about Wii U. (More on the other stuff later.) I think Nintendo fans will find some hope in both exchanges.

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