Nintendo of America’s president says claims that the Wii is a fad are “overblown.” In a wide-ranging interview he also defends the Wii’s software line-up and status as a living room experience in line with the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fils-Aime cited internal research that suggested Wii owners are using their systems more than ever, and not just playing Wii Sports.
“What we’ve found is people are playing their Wii consoles frankly more today than the day we launched. We are finding that consumers are playing a wide range of software much beyond Wii Sports. I think the concerns about the Wii being a fad are overblown.”
While defending the Wii’s software line-up, Fils-Aime did acknowledge that Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen platforms play host to a number of titles that Nintendo would be happy to roll out on its own. Notably he said he was unsure whether PS3 title Little Big Planet “belongs on their [Sony’s] platform,” while suggesting that Microsoft’s “range of first-person shooter type games… could all do quite well on a Nintendo platform.”
Fils-Aime said that “the path of disruption” Nintendo chose to follow in creating the DS and Wii, which aims to limit complexity and boost innovation, was central to combating the stagnation of the market. However, despite the basic principle of keeping things simple so that they can be enjoyed by the masses, he said, “… I do think home consoles need to do different things than just simply play a game at home to satisfy the consumer.”
He rebutted suggestions that the Wii is not a living room experience compared to the Blu-ray-equipped PS3 and Xbox 360 with its HD DVD capabilities, saying that around 50 to 60 percent of the 4 million US Wiis sold to date were Internet connected. "… When you talk about a box that is creating a living room experience tied to the Internet, we’re doing it."
Speaking on the subject of in-game advertising, Fils-Aime said that Wii gamers wouldn’t be able to adorn their Mii avatars in Nike apparel anytime soon, although the possibility wasn’t being discounted entirely.
“The advertising model is something that we’ve looked at. Can I see an immediate application for the Wii, no. However, one of the things that we are smart enough to say is ‘never say never’.” In the near future, Wii gamers will be able to customize and personalize their Mii characters to a greater extent on the upcoming Check Me Out channel, he added.