Multiple devs question Wii U's future, if Nintendo should go third party

A portion of a Games Industry interview with Jason Avent, Georg Backer, Dan Marshall, Ella Romanos and Andrew Oliver...

Q: GI: Let's open by talking about the Wii U launch, certainly the biggest recent event on the calendar. Is it enough to rejuvenate the console scene, acting as it does as a bit of a bridge between this generation and the next? Is Nintendo's policy of marketing it first to long-term, core fans sensible? Is it an attractive enough prospect to Wii owners?

Andrew Oliver: It's really interesting - I'm a massive Nintendo fan, and they've got a big, hardcore fanbase, but I do wonder if it's enough to sell a fairly expensive machine to people. You just see every TV advert, it's tablets and phones, tablets and phones. The general population is just going, 'I can play games on these sexy devices. It's coming round to Christmas where I can get a device and once I've got it, I can get all these games for free or nearly free'. I think that's skewed things so massively. It's a tough market for anyone, so it's going to be difficult for them.

They've gone with the idea that people like tablets, so they've made a tablet controller. Yeah, they do love tablets, but the problem is that they're probably going to buy one.

Ella Romanos: There will be a niche group of gamers who will buy it because it's a Nintendo device, but I wonder if that's going to be enough to justify the cost of doing it. I think things have changed so much since the Wii. If the Wii was coming out today we'd be having the same conversation, because the people who bought the Wii are today spending all of their time on tablets and phones and at the time they weren't.

It all comes down to the fact that all those people who already have a tablet, or a mobile phone - which you can get on contract, which makes them look cheap - whether there's going to be enough people left to make it worth it. I also think the fact that it's a tablet type thing - people who aren't in the games industry or don't know it well are going to be quite confused by that.

I think they'll be thinking 'why don't they use a tablet which already exists on the market? Why that specific one? Why can't I just connect mine to the TV? Why buy one which I then can't use for anything else?' People use tablets for multiple things.

Dan Marshall: I'm not sure about the Wii U because I haven't touched one, but I bought a Wii on launch day and got my £179 worth of joy out of it by playing tennis with my mother. That was enough for me. I think Nintendo's problem is actually one of software rather than hardware. I played Mario Galaxy, and enjoyed it, but played Mario Galaxy 2 for about an hour before I realised I was playing exactly the same game and was bored shitless of it. After a while, the Wii's core buckled under its own success.

It didn't have the hardware for many games like Call of Duty to justify making a port, so it was basically lumbered with Nintendo's software for a large part of its lifespan.

Jason Avent: People who buy Nintendo buy Nintendo products - what you're saying about it is true, though. My wife thinks that the Wii is for Wii Sports, she doesn't think it does anything else.


Make sure to read the entire article, which discusses the future of the Wii U. Of course, we also see discussion of whether or not Nintendo should go third party. You know, the same discussion we've heard for years and years now.

Interview here
Tags: wii, wii-u


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