Remember back when Reggie wasn’t the president of Nintendo of America…back when he had all the time in the world to do interviews? Ever since he was promoted, we haven’t heard much from the big guy…who we suspect has been quite busy! Finally Reggie has put an end to his dry spell by doing an interview with USA Today. You can read a portion of the interview below, but make sure to click over and read the rest.
USAToday: What made Nintendo try to do something dramatically different with the Wii?
Reggie: Our focus is interactive game play, a whole new way to play, that puts fun back into this business. It allows everybody to pick up and play and isn’t focused on the core gamer.
USAToday: The Wii seems to emphasize the controller, not heavy attention on graphics. Is that by design?
Reggie: That is exactly by design. Our visuals for Wii will look fantastic, but in the end, prettier pictures will not bring new gamers and casual gamers into this industry. It has to be about the ability to pick up a controller, not be intimidated, and have fun immediately. The trick is being able to do that, not only with the new casual gamer, but do it in a way that the core gamer gets excited as well.
USAToday: Microsoft has made the comment that people can buy an Xbox 360 and Wii for about the same price as a PlayStation 3. Would you mind terribly if that happened?
Reggie: I’d much rather have the consumer buy a Wii, some accessories, and a ton of games, vs. buying any of my competitor’s products.
USAToday: A few years ago, Nintendo made a conscious decision to lie low when Microsoft introduced Xbox Live and began promoting its subscription online gaming service. In retrospect, does that look like a good decision?
Reggie: I wasn’t here. What I can tell you is the way we’ve approached online play now is really with a view to the masses. With Nintendo DS (a dual-screen handheld player), for example, we offer free Internet play in a wide-ranging series of games. Our focus is getting as many consumers to enjoy that online experience as possible. And we’ve done that.
USAToday: You’re not pursuing a subscription model?
Reggie: We view online gaming as essentially an enhanced way to enjoy the gaming experience and drive more sales of hardware and software.
USAToday: How do you extend your online strategy to Wii?