The Next Wii Will Innovate, The Race To Motion Is "Embarrassing"

In the wake of this week's unveiling of Sony's take on motion-controlled video gaming, and Microsoft's push for their motion-controlled gaming well under way, Kotaku sat down with Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime to ask if these high-def entries into a market Nintendo so dominates is concerning.

Do the coming of Xbox 360's Project Natal and Playstation Move mean that Nintendo should start thinking about their next console? Is it time for a Wii HD?

"For us high definition by itself is not the next frontier," Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America told Kotaku. "For us we need to provide a whole new compelling experience in our next generation."

And that moment won't be tied to an arbitrary lifespan for their current console, he added.

"When Mr Miyamoto goes to Mr Iwata and says. 'I have this great idea and I can't do it on the Wii,' that's when there will be a next generation console. What that includes we'll see," he said. "I think Mr Miyamoto himself has said that he himself is very interested in a high-definition experience, but to be 120 per cent crystal clear, HD by itself in our view is not enough to go for a new console past the Wii."

Instead Nintendo's next console will need to be something "consistent with what we brought to market with Wii and with DS".

"It will be mainstream. It will be encouraging more and more consumers to get into this category that we love. It will provide new, unique, compelling experiences that are meaningful to that large potential consumer base.

"Those are the principles that drive us."

Nintendo made a splash in 2005 when company CEO Satoru Iwata unveiled the console to gaming press at the Tokyo Game Show. The concept that drove Nintendo to concentrate on control mechanics over faster, more powerful processing power and graphics was the idea of the Blue Ocean. There are plenty of consumers in the sea, the logic goes, why get into a tooth-and-nail fight for them over one specific area, like who has the most powerful gaming system?

But Nintendo's move into motion gaming, and the company's successes in those mostly uncharted waters, could be interrupted now that both Sony and Microsoft are trying to once more compete directly with the console maker.

I asked Fils-Aime if Nintendo's next generation console would be an iteration of the Wii, a move back to the pursuit of more-muscled gaming machines or another attempt at reinventing what people view as important to gaming.

"I think a hallmark of Nintendo is that we are constantly trying to innovate," he said. "I think we would have been embarrassed to do what our competitors are currently doing.

"So, all I can tell you is that we will innovate. We will provide something new. Something that the consumer and the industry will look at and say 'Wow, I didn't see that coming.'"

And despite last month's relatively weak showing in hardware sales, Nintendo doesn't feel like a new console will be coming anytime soon, Fils-Aime said.

"We just celebrated our fourth holiday," he pointed out. "During that December we sold over 3.8 million units just in the United States. We sold so well in the holiday that we are now in a position of once again chasing consumer demand.

"What I can tell you is that that seems to suggest that the Wii still has a very long, very vibrant life in front of it."


Comments

    That line about embarrassment is a pretty massive jab at Sony and Microsoft, if you consider what the Japanese tend to do when they feel embarrassed. I think I have to agree with what he's saying though, over the past 40 years of console gaming, its been Nintendo leap-frogging ahead of the other consoles, mostly in terms of interface.

      Don't forget the Virtual Boy.

        You win some and you lose some. Sony has never innovated with their console. Sure they came up with a 2nd analogue stick but thats it... and nintendo had the first before sony copied?

          Not only that, but if it wasn't for Nintendo there wouldn't even be a Playstation.

          As I recall after Sega released the Mega CD
          Nintendo wanted to get in on some of the action and commissioned Phillips to make a cd drive to sit underneath the Super Nintendo. Apparantly they had a falling out and struck up a deal with Sony to make the device which was to be called the "Play Station". That didn't work out either, Sony then turned around and decided to make their own stand-alone console.

          In my many years of gaming I have found that pretty much everyone copies off everyone at some point and to some degree. But I think it has been way more prominent this generation.

      I personally don't think Sony's new device is anything to 'wow' about but Natel is pretty friggen awesome. If Dev's get behind it wholeheartedly it could open up so much more + 3D TV's Natel and even some more periphels and that would be amazing.

        irony is the natal is no more than a bloody EyeToy anyways

        sure Sony let the tech fall by the wayside but all this motion stuff is useless until it has a resistive feedback it can buzz off as far as im concerned

        its great tech for demo but as a product i think its just them trying to get gimmick sales

    Since i have heard the PS Move could cost anywhere between $70-100 in the US, that could mean potentially (who am i kidding, it will)cost here in Australia anywhere between $140-200. That is just for a single controller bundle (the wand with the nunchuck thingy.)

    If it was to be released in Australia at that price it would be like the launch of the PS3 all over again at the price of $999. No one is going to buy it....

      dont be naive :) they said under $100 USD that means $99.99 USD.

    Well, the Wii 2.0 will probably sell well to grandmas and casual gamers. However, Nintendo will have to pull something huge out of the hat to appeal to core gamers again.

    I dont think it i Nintendos fault there consoles are seen as 'casual' i think its more to do with the 3rd party devs not putting out more 'hardcore' games.

      And they have every reason NOT to develop core games. SEGA attempted and did very well AT attempting, but still failed.

      Core games DON'T sell on the Wii.
      Super Mario or Galaxy etc... aren't "core" games per say - but only Nintendo can really dish out games OTHER than Mario at the Olympics or Wii Sports and they will sell well.

      I wouldn't point the finger without looking at the bigger picture.

    As great as the N64 was, at LAUNCH, Sony totally upstaged Nintendo. Xbox upstaged the Gamecube.
    This gen - SONY has the most powerful, Xbox is cheaper, but the Wii has neither what the others offer, but has motion control and continues to sell well.

    It's funny cause Nintendo would totally be jumping on the motion bandwagon IF MS or Sony was in Nintendo's shoes. Saying their moves are embarrassing, is pretty low - definitely in a professional way aswell.

    It will be funny to see Nintendo release a DS2 and Wii 2 - how innovative will that be! Since the Gamecube, respect for Nintendo has just gone DOWNHILL.

      Jay
      March 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM:

      "As great as the N64 was, at LAUNCH, Sony totally upstaged Nintendo. Xbox upstaged the Gamecube.
      This gen – SONY has the most powerful, Xbox is cheaper, but the Wii has neither what the others offer, but has motion control and continues to sell well.

      It’s funny cause Nintendo would totally be jumping on the motion bandwagon IF MS or Sony was in Nintendo’s shoes. Saying their moves are embarrassing, is pretty low – definitely in a professional way aswell.

      It will be funny to see Nintendo release a DS2 and Wii 2 – how innovative will that be! Since the Gamecube, respect for Nintendo has just gone DOWNHILL."

      In response to that, Nintendo is in their shoes as far as HD is concerned. They are not jumping on the HD band wagon that Sony and Microsoft is cornering.

      As far as saying the xbox is cheaper; even if online multiplayer was free you would still need a harddrive to play it. Harddrives are required regardless- the memory units are overpriced.
      Even IF all these things were free a 200 dollar xbox360 would cost the same as the 200 dollar wii.

      but back to topic. yeah, the ds2 and the wii2 or whatever they call it will be innovative- as they say. These motion control competitors were probably losing money with expensive higher end machines and needed to get more consumers to buy into them.

      What sony and microsoft is trying to pull off could still be innovative...only because they will be forced to be creative with this. Any shameless rip offs or multi platform games will be met with major backlash.

        Well, the first Sony Move title seems to be a blatant rip-off of wii sports so...

        The main problem with natal is nothing to hang on to, and gaming with just your hands in the air feels, well, empty. The problem with the Sony solution is really just market share - how do you get enough people to buy the Move to make it worthwhile for developers to make games for it that really take advantage of it.

        I can't think of a gaming addon (sega CD, Jag CD, Sega 3D Glasses etc.) that has ever sold enough units to be successful.
        Both Natal and Move will struggle with that unless they ship in the box with every new console sold, and even then the userbase would still be relatively small.

        I went to Nintendo a few times when I used to work at Autodesk, and can honestly say that culturally they would be embarrassed if they were scrambling to release a HD addon or something similar to try and copy to compete. Not saying they wouldn't do it to keep afloat, but it would definitely upset them to have to do so.

    Do whatever you want Nintendo, just keep the awesome games coming and I'll continue to buy.

    I'd like to see Nintendo making games for people that enjoy them, and not just those that they've roped in with marketing.

    The wii is really sad. The iPhone 3g has much better graphics then it. And it has motion. Nintendos next system will fail hard as everyone will feel burnt by getting a wii. I hope nintendo live it up while they are still getting buzz sales.

    Wii-snobbery is at an alltime high and I for one am a little tired of it. We all make jokes of their shovelware, but dont forget this is mostly 3rd Party.

    The Big N have never really claimed to be anything but fun, and this is what is so magical. They are like the Disney of games- and like Disney, by continuing to do things contrary to the norm, they also seem to find success and yet are looked down upon for it. Touchscreen? No way is that going to sell. Motion control? Ridiculous! No-one will want that. Yet here we are 5 years on, bitching about how they have 'abandoned hardcore gamers'. Sorry people but when Wii-Fit is- at such a high price point- still one of the highest selling titles of all time, that makes it a successful game and one that developers have had to adapt to-whether it is by copying or improving upon. Obviously Ninty ought to bring out more than one decent inhouse title per year, but I would prefer every N game to be perfect rather than the gobshite that gets pumped out every 3 mths like Playzone.

    After having read all the comments on another forum about this comment, I think I see that his comment has been taken a little bit the wrong way. I am now interpreting it to mean

    "If we made the next Wii a PS3 with the wiimote, we would be embarrassed" as opposed to the way it has been widely interpreted which is "Sony should be embarrassed for trying to make the PS3 have a wiimote"

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