Reggie Fils-Aime: Wii U Is Not A Tablet, It's An 'Experience'

I've always felt that Nintendo is unique in the way it tends to create controllers tailored around a new kind of gaming experience. Instead of imitating, they decide what kind of game they want to sell, and build from that point. To an extent, that's why I was a little disappointed with the Wii U.

Because, at first glance, the Wii U seems like an attempt to grip on to the coat tails of the tablet market. This is a first impression that Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo is keen to dissuade.

"We’ve made it clear," claims Aime, "this is not a tablet, it’s not meant to be a tablet. But having said that, yes, it has a screen, yes, it has a range of input buttons, and yes, you’re going to be able to have a great console experience right in the palm of your hand.

"But as we at Nintendo often do, we’re essentially creating a whole new type of game. It’s not handheld, it’s not a tablet, it’s a different type of experience. It’s an experience that most consumers have said, wow, I’d love to do that. I’d love to be able to have my home console gaming experience while my spouse is watching something else, whether that’s live sports, whether that’s some other entertainment option. Once it’s described, people are tremendously excited about it."

It's an interesting interview. Forbes has been talking shop with plenty of gaming executives as of late, and it's helped provide a unique insight into the long term strategy of companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

For more, including info on Nintendo's online strategy for the Wii U, it's well worth checking out the whole interview.


    All the ways he suggests the device can be used in the article sound a lot like a tablet to me.

    Classic Reggie. I could hear the deliberate pauses in his speech even reading that. the annunciation on the buzzwords. god these suits make me sick.

    Still waiting on something worthwhile to play on my 3DS. (that I hadnt finished already ten years prior)

    Blow more smoke Reggie, if you say it enough times then the magical Nintendo fairies might make it come true!

    I don't buy this whole "It's amazing because you can play the game while someone else is watching the TV!" deal.

    The world solved that problem years ago by buying more than 1 television.

      Well seeing as it's only 1 control per console your friends need to do something while you play all the single player games.

      I don't get the single controller allowance. I mean it's like buying a soccer ball and inviting all your friends over to watch you kick the ball against a wall.

        The problem is that if they announce 'hey guys, you need 4 of these tablet controllers to play!' They'd have everyone complaining about how they'll cost so much.

        I think the problem is that Nintendo introduced this as the "new controller" when it is actually a second screen - with controls. You can use up to five controllers with the Wii U, as long as only one is the "new controller". So in reality the Wii U adds a new element to local multi-player games - the second screen.

      I thought PS3/PSP remote play already enable this function a long time ago?

        Yes, as did the DS and Wii, but you need to buy two machines and two copies of the game with this set up on either machine.

        Get over it people, sure hes making it sound so great but hes supposed to sell the thing. I mean remember when sony was saying the playstation could launch missiles or crap like that, its marketing, All companies do that. Dont take it to seriously, sheesh.

    '(It's) Not A Tablet, It’s An “Experience”'

    Sounds morel like he's selling hard drugs to me

      Pretty much everything in life is "an experience".

      "Dysentery - it's not a disease, it's an experience!"

    The only thing that confuses me about the WiiU is:

    When you play a game using just the U controller (not using the TV), you won't be able to use its touch-screen, right? (not in the same way, anyway)

    So how would that work for games that require using the touch screen in conjunction with the TV display? Will they just limit this no-TV functionality to certain games or provide a single-screen version of each game?

    Disclaimer: Not a hater, just genuinely confused. xD

    Going to get 4 wisdom teeth pulled out is also an 'experience', but it wasn't a good one.

    I wish these developers and publishers will stop using marketing gimmick words like "experience" or "immersion" and my personal favourite "high-definition".

    Just tell it to us straight up and don't envision or describe your device/game like it's the Second Coming of Jesus.

    It's not just about playing while the T.v. is on. The second screen can be used in a number of ways. Even in it's most simple form, all the old screen "clutter" of most games, maps, health, weapons, etc. can be put on the second screen. In Colonial marines, one of the uses of the second screen will be as the motion detector. In Metroid, it will be used as the scanner, put the second screen between you and the T.V. and you will see the same scene, but as though through a scanner, which gives X-ray, infra-red and command mode information. Some bad guys in Metroid have hidden weak spots that can only be seen with a scanner.

    In vehicles, it can give rear-view, nav-sat and even 360 degree viewing.

    The touch-screen can have custom programmed buttons/icons for special combos, items or weapons. It can be used to strategically moves units around a map while you still have your FPS view on the T.V. like this;

      That actually sounds like a massive pain in the ass. How are you supposed to control your character with your arms held in front of you like a zombie?

        Well, reports from those who have actually used the controller have all said it is comfortable to hold and use.

    “But as we at Nintendo often do, we’re essentially creating a whole new type of game."

    Wut? I mean other than Wii Sports, what's he even talking about? Nintendo spin has become even more garbled rambling than Sony's.

    The second screen will display and control anything the console does, so you will be able to play any game on it, that plays on the console, browse online, watch Netflix and use it to control these things when on the T.V. There is even a suggestion it may have a "universal remote" function, for all your devices, -though the controller does seem to have an infra-red emitter, that is just rumour.

    Apparently the hacking community has made more progress with Kinect than MS. No doubt the (incredible, IMHO) potential of Wii U can also be unlocked by enthusiasts.

    One day these companies will get a clue and start offering jobs to these real innovators and actually make use of their considerable talents.

      But then they'll put their innovations through so many focus groups that they'll end up being exactly the same as everything else anyway.

    The Wii U controller is simply an input/output device. The console does the processing. This allows the Wii U to handle much more complex games and graphics than those limited by the size of a tablet. The controller is not designed to leave the house, so it is not designed around portability like a tablet. You can read more at

      except the controllers screen is not high deff

        The controllers screen is 800 x 480, not high definition, but at 6.2" it gives a better resolution than the 720p most console games run at.

    Well,if that the case, than I've got some other news!

    The iPhone isn't a phone, it's an experience!

    The iPad isn't a touch screen computer, it's an experience!

    Wacom products aren't graphics tablets, they're experiences!

    Seriously Nintendo, just like infrared for the wii, this technology has been around for quite a while and it really pisses me off when you label your products as being innovative and original.

    Really it's just the DS functionality for a home console, 2 screens with one being a touchscreen.

    So based on what is on the DS, most games will just use the second screen as a map and hud which should at least clear up the main screen but it's hardly a new experience.

    I'm not all that excited for it but I'm a sucker for Mario and Zelda games so I'll end up getting one.

    The WiiU screen controller is only a single-touch resistive touch screen, i.e. a giant DS touch pad. If they're trying to push into the tablet market with it then they're doing it with a vastly inferior product to most actual tablets.

      Um no. The Wii U controller has dual analogue, motion sensors, d pad, Wii Pointer, face buttonds, shoulder buttons, triggers AND accurate resistive controls (IE pin point accurate). On the other hand, capacitive phones like iphone have - multitouch......

      Wii U controller wins no contest (in terms of amount of controls, control choice and control accuracy) Capacitive win - can use more then two fingers to control a game and .... nothing.

      They are not pushing into the tablet market. Tablets are portable, this is not. However its trying to turn your big screen tv into a tablet, since the touch screen can emulate what is being displayed, you can directly interact with the screen itself.

      The Wii U controllers inferiority to tablets is its lack of portability, otherwise its superior in every way.

    Get your hand off it Reggie. It's a tablet.

    R.I.P. Nintendo. We thought you were dead after the gamecube but you found an elixir of life called Wii. Such a shame you used it to entertain fat housewives with fitness software...

    Regie really strikes me as a man who just does what Nintendo Japan tell him to.
    I always get the impression that Nintendo have told him what they've done and told him to go out and sell it.

    Despite what everyone else thinks, im still excited for the potential of Wii-U. Finally HD graphics on a Nintendo game, but with the functionality and possibilities that the DS/3DS has with the option of a second touch screen.

    I think there is a lot of promise, and like he says, im one of many adults who will get a HELL lot of use of being able to play my game while being in the same room as the missus. Despite everyone saying "get a second TV" it doesnt always solve the problem of spending time/being together :P

    I still think there is a lot here.. Bring out a HD Zelda or Metroid and im there reguardless. We know the hardware can have more then 1 WiiU controller hooked up, I just hope Nintendo lets use do that so we could see some decent RPG love come in the way of FF:CC.

      Though that being said, I can see why a lot of people are questioning the viability and its uses.. Nintendo really showed off this console/controller in the worst manner. There was no focus on the console or its purpose in the room, they really did only show off one aspect of there new system and just left too many questions with little answers to appease people..

        I agree entirely, the presentation, though not atrocious, was focused on the wrong thing. They should have talked about the console, then introduced the new controller, but not as the "new controller" rather as a second screen. I think this would have saved a lot of confusion.

    Ecstacy's not a drug, Mum, it's an experience!

      You can tell alot of people that posted simply read the misquoted Kotaku title and posted without reading the whole article.

      With that being said Nintendo need to reduce the emphasis on playing the game entirely on the controller and more so on the dual interaction between the controller and the TV screen

        sorry the word should be out of context, more then misquoted

    shut up, it's an ipad with buttons

    seriously, it pisses me off when ANYONE calls ANY DEVICE an "experience"


    He didnt say its an "experience" he said its a DIFFERENT type of experience. And with some imagination hes right IMO. There are many ways the controller will change the way games are played, more so then the Wiimote before it (IMO). Before people make your rants make sure you put them in context.

    hes said a "DIFFERENT type of EXPERIENCE" not "an EXPERIENCE" ok. get it right.

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