Nintendo’s Wii U has been out for about a year longer than its current competitors, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While those platforms are the home of big-budget 3rd party titles and action blockbusters, the one thing they don’t have is great exclusives. The Wii U does, says Nintendo of America’s Reggie Man-meat Fils-Aime.
“I would love to have Call of Duty on our platform,” he told Recode, speaking about the system’s lack of third party support. “ I would love to have any of the big blockbuster, multi-platform titles. But I have to say, more specifically, I want games that provide a differentiated consumer experience. If you look at the other two competitive platforms, fundamentally, what’s the difference?” he said.
“When you look at either one, either by themselves doesn’t have a lot of exclusive content. They have a lot of shared content. Look at it from the standpoint of, what don’t they have? They don’t have our games. They don’t have Mario and Zelda.
“I’d much rather be where Nintendo is, with a differentiated platform, differentiated set-up experiences that we can provide uniquely to the consumer. Let those other guys battle it out over, you know, which visual representation of Call of Duty is most compelling. I like our chances of having a differentiated console and a differentiated series of experiences.”
According to Fils-Aime, the Wii U’s install base has doubled in a year, thanks to games like Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2 and the impending Smash Bros Wii U – which should help with third party support.. Just not immediately.
“This business is built on a year-and-a-half or two-year planning cycles, especially for the home console space,” he said. “Products that they’re thinking about today are not going to come into the market until two years down the road. By doing a great job today in the here and now, that’s what’s going to feed the pipeline of great new third-party content coming onto our platform. For us, that’s the long game that we’re trying to play.”
In many ways, I agree with him. The Ps4 and Xbox One are indeed quite similar, and right now I don’t see much point in owning both of those. I do, however, think that having the Wii U as your primary or only console will lead to little but sadness. I’m pretty happy to be dual-wielding the Ps4 and Wii U, which I think gives me a balanced, rounded selection of games. I may not use my Wii U as much as I should, but I’m damned happy to own one when those special, exclusive games – Like Mario Kart and Splatoon – come around.
Last Updated: November 7, 2014