Nintendo still believes that online play is an important part of 3DS and Wii U’s futures. Speaking to IGN this week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime discussed Wii U’s connected future, including online play and digital purchases.
Maybe people read into it, when a Nintendo first-party game doesn’t have connected play, that somehow we’re not interested in connected play.
“Online play is always important,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “I guess maybe people read into it, when a Nintendo first-party game doesn’t have connected play, that somehow we’re not interested in connected play. The reality is that when our developers are making a game, they think about the type of experience that they want to see happen. And so for Super Mario 3D World the development team wanted people to be in the same space, having that fun enjoyment, that’s the vision that they had in their head. So they created an experience that was multiplayer in the same room. That doesn’t mean that we don’t care about connected gameplay. It’s just that the developers have a vision for what we want to bring to bear. We do exceptionally well in that in-the-same-room multiplayer experience.”
Nintendo understands that connectivity is an increasingly important element of gaming, and also understands the importance of digital purchases for consumers.
“From a Nintendo perspective, we needed to have the right infrastructure,” Fils-Aime told us. “We needed to have the right approach from a digital standpoint. And we needed to have the capabilities to execute it right. I would say that, beginning with the 3DS, and certainly to a whole new level with the Wii U, we’re getting digital right. The consumer is voting with their wallets. A game like Animal Crossing, where 30 percent of the sales are happening digitally, the consumer is recognizing the benefits that we have with digital content. Not only in dual distribution products – products sold both digitally and physically – but in the very strong library of digital games, whether it’s games from independent developers or content that we’re bringing back digitally. We’re creating a very strong business proposition on our digital space.”
Let’s sell a system that has enough memory to get you going, and then if you love digital downloads and you want to keep downloading content, buy a separate external hard drive.
We asked why, if digital is such an important part of Nintendo’s plan, Wii U’s largest available hard drive is 32GB, which is likely to fill up with only a few games.
“We believe it’s important to provide a value to the consumer,” Fils-Aime explained. “[Memory] gets cheaper, right? Minute by minute, day by day. And so why lock the consumer into some high price point just because it happens to have 120 gigs of memory? Our mentality is, let’s sell a system that has enough memory to get you going, and then if you love digital downloads and you want to keep downloading content, buy a separate external hard drive. The price of it today is a hell of a lot cheaper than it was six months ago. And that’s a value benefit that the consumer should enjoy. It’s a different mentality than our competitors, but I’ll tell you, ours is much more consumer-oriented given the reduction in ongoing price, of the cost of memory.”
Fils-Aime says he expects digital downloads to continue to increase in popularity among Nintendo consumers.
“Just to put this in perspective, when we launched the Wii and when we launched the DSi, from a consumer’s perspective there wasn’t a great motivation to get connected to the internet,” he recalled. “I mean, sure, yes, you could watch Netflix on Wii. Yeah, there was access to some digital content. But you compare that now to all the reasons why you want to have your device connected, it’s like night and day. The first step in driving digital sales is getting the device connected. So as we sit here today, the percentage rates of connection are huge. And that just gives us the ability to message to the consumer, to merchandise, to motivate them to spend some time in the eShop, and as they do that, they see just the wealth of great content we have.”
“The other piece that we’re seeing is that there are certain packaged games that I would argue are a better experience having them digitally and on your device,” he continued. “Animal Crossing, right? I’m one of those consumers. I have it as a digital download. I actually have Pokemon Black in my slot. I’m revisiting that before Pokemon X and Y comes. So for me it’s just easy to get into that game, play a little bit, water my flowers, get my fossils, and then go back to another game. And so by recognizing these consumer behaviors, we’ve been able to dramatically grow our digital business.”
For more from our interview with Fils-Aime, be sure to read his thoughts on Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s launch lineups and why Nintendo loves independent developers.
Source : ign[dot]com