Nintendo Of America Chief On Xbox One And PS4: Being New Isn't Enough

Nintendo of America Chief on Xbox One and PS4: Being New Isn't Enough

Nintendo has to compete with two more machines later this year — the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, both launching in November. It's part of Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime's job description to be unfazed by that.

Here's his take on the pending competition:

"I don't think consumers buy hardware just because it's sexy and new," he told me during a phone interview earlier this week. "I think consumers buy hardware because of the experiences they can have on them. That's why, for us, having a strong holiday line-up is so critically important."

I wondered how he thought those new systems would fare.

"You know, to a certain extent, how they perform is going to come down to the clarity of their proposition, their execution," he said. "There are a lot of variables out there, and that's for my friends over at Microsoft and Sony to go figure out. My job is to drive Nintendo products and make sure we have a great holiday."

Nintendo's own new console, the Wii U, experienced a challenging launch last November, and many industry pundits have blamed Nintendo for making its own problems. Nintendo itself has blamed its failure to deliver a steady flow of good games. (They're trying to change that.) At launch, though, no console has a lot of games. That's the nature of launches.

Fils-Aime: "Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren't selling propositions," he said, "and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence.

What does appear to be clear, though, is that the Xbox One and PS4 will have more advanced graphics than last year's launch Wii U games. Microsoft and Sony's machines are much more powerful than the Wii U, which is closer in graphical muscle to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Fils-Aime sounds unintimidated by the graphical disparity.

"Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren't selling propositions," he said, "and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence. And that's true whether you look at the home console space or the handheld space. It's not about the graphics by itself. It's about the entire experience."

Fils-Aime has the weaker Wii's incredible success over the more powerful Xbox 360 and PS3 to point to, though it appears that the Wii ultimately faded early in part because it lagged behind in power. He can also point to the weaker DS' and 3DS' success over the more advanced PSP and Vita. Could he be right again? Are the most powerful game machines really going to struggle against or even lose to a weaker machine yet again this coming generation?


    “Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren’t selling propositions,” he said, “and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence. And that’s true whether you look at the home console space or the handheld space. It’s not about the graphics by itself. It’s about the entire experience.”

    And by not being up to scratch in the graphics department, you miss out on a whole host of multiplatform titles that help bolster the system's library. All you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence.

      Well he is right, the wii outsold all other consoles so i don't really know what your point is.

      i don't know about you but there at at least 5 wiiU games ill be getting from now until Christmas. I can not say that about either of the other consoles.

        It sold well because of it's fun gimmicks and friendly casual gamer approach. Not because of it's stellar exclusives or it's amazing graphics

        The attach rate (games sold per system) was horrendously low though.

        Sony and Microsoft sold their consoles at a loss to make money back on software sales. Having a high attach rate is generally considered a good thing.

        As for the Wii U having more games than the others, that's because the Wii U is out. Wait until the other systems have been on the market for a year and I imagine that the differences in available titles is going to be rather stark. Especially because Nintendo admits that they've failed to get enough titles available so far.

          That's a good call. I do believe Nintendo have stuffed up with how many games came out in the firt year. It's looking good from here on though.

          Plus, nintendos are in a different market if you ask me. You must have a Sony or Xbox and the Nintendo is the add on console for the Nintendo exclusives. The funny thing is, I'll always have a Nintendo for that exact reason. Meanwhile Sony and Microsoft fight for my business.... Just saying

          That's what kind of happened with the wii as well

        the Wii outsold the other consoles because it had a gimmick that interested people over the other alternatives. Nintendo does not have the same advantage this time because their tablet is occupying a space within very close proximity to both Apple and Google.

        Let's not forget that the 'casual' market that Nintendo reaped with the Wii, has since been utterly decimated by the rise of the smartphone and tablet market. Needless to say, that casual market is no longer there to pull Nintendo to victory, and the fact they decided to release a console that both used a tablet, and was graphically of par with their iPad's and such hasn't left many of that audience clamoring to get a Wii U.

        At the end of day Nintendo is left trying to appeal to the devoted console gaming fanbase once again, and we're seeing the results of their attempts right now. . . at the end of the day however it's not Sony or Microsoft that put Nintendo in the position they currently are, hell not even Nintendo are 100% responsible for it... Apple and Google are the one's that can be held at least somewhat accountable for the hole Nintendo currently find themselves in.

        Last edited 31/08/13 12:42 pm

          Stupid tablet games. I really hate them

        Keep in mind the other two are just coming out, but the Wii U has taken over a year to bring out some games worth buying... Also it won't be getting the majority of the multiplatform games on PS4 and Xbone, meaning it's library is pretty much only going to consist of the occassional games produced by Nintendo themselves and partner companies.

        It's all well and good to say the Wii was weakest and outsold the other consoles, but the Wii already had a lot of sales by this point.Obviously they don't have enough unique features to justify the lack of power this time around.

          *less than a year

          Only came out the start of December :P

            Yeah, but that's still about 9 months of practically nothing.

              Except not really. The biggest gap of nothing was between the launch titles and the next lot of releases in March. There's been a fairly steady stream of solid releases since then, especially over the last month or so.

      I talked about this years a go, check my comments. The fickle nature of casuals would not sustain Nintendo. Well... I don't want to say I told you so.... But...

        Filthy casuals.

          Casuals play a role. But basing an entire company on it is stupid.... One word, Tamagotchi.

    Who the hell does this guy think he is?
    "Being 'new' isn't enough"?
    Yeah buddy, it helps when you have more 3rd party game developers working with your console.

    I no longer have time for anything that Reggie says.

    “I don’t think consumers buy hardware just because it’s sexy and new,”
    Guess he's never seen the Apple fanbase.

    His argument would be more valid if the Wii U wasn't doing ridiculously bad in sales, even BEFORE the PS4 and Xbone have come out... I mean yeah, graphics aren't everything, but Nintendo is only just starting to give us the 'entire experience' Reggie is talking about with some games coming out (after over a year i might add), and even then there's not enough to compete with the other two.

    Nintendo desperately needs to get their act together...

      Just like to point out it is doing better then the PS3 did in the same situation, so yes it still is valid

    "Systems that generate large sales by themselves aren’t indicative of quality,” he said, “and all you need to do is look at Justin Bieber to see the evidence."

    One of these days a big wig is going to be asked to comment about their competition in the console market and they're going reply by saying "What do I think about [insert competitors console name]? Of course I have, it looks great, I've got one pre-ordered and I can't wait to play [insert exclusive title]. I can't wait to play it and begin thinking up ways to improve on our own experience and top the competition. They're a really worthy competitor for us and we appreciate that."

    And everyone will love them for saying it.

    Last edited 31/08/13 3:54 pm

    After all this time I only own two games for the Wii U and the only two games I'm looking forward to down the road is a HD remake and the Bayonetta sequel.

    how long can mario keep them afloat? surely they're sinking, surely it wont be long - if they dont evolve surely they will sink

      They've got heaps of other titles - like Zelda, and.... um.... Luigi?

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