Nintendo on what went wrong with Wii U, Switch Online info in 2018, access to classic games

Reggie is doing the rounds lately with Super Mario Odyssey launching. The gang at Forbes managed to grab an interview with the big guy himself, and they talked about why the Wii U failed, and what's in store for Switch's online service, classic games, and more.

F: Is it fair to say that one of the problems with the Wii U launch is that it didn't have a big exclusive Zelda or Mario game?

R: Those titles came. We had Zelda experiences, we had Mario experiences. I would say the key learning was that first, we were not able to simply and directly communicate the proposition of Wii U. We rectified that with Nintendo Switch. The proposition is clear: Home console that you could take on the go, play anywhere with anyone at any time. And then the second key difference was the steady cadence of content. Again, you look at what we've been able to accomplish just so far and you compare to the Wii U launch time frame, there's a significant difference. I would say also the third key difference is something that we did to support our third party business, and that was that we had the Unity and Unreal engines ready to support external development. That made a big difference and allowed Stardew Valley and Golf Story and all of this great independent content to come onto the platform, essentially to just keep reinforcing for the consumer who's bought in with the hardware that they always have something to play.

F: Tell me about Switch Online, and the plans for next year and when it becomes a paid service. What, exactly, is that going to look like?

R: I'm not going to tell you exactly what it's going to look like. We'll share more about that next year. But what I can tell you is that our vision is to have a robust online environment that not only provides the mechanism for you to have your multiplayer experiences and matchmaking, those elements are minimum. Our goal is to provide that extra Nintendo twist, and that's what makes our company historically so effective. We don't do things the same way everyone else does. We relish being different. We see that difference as an element that makes us more compelling to the consumer. And so having that differentiated experience is what we are focused on and we'll unveil more next year as we're closer to the launch of the service.

F: You've already talked about how Switch Online subscribers will get access to a library of classic games. Nobody else has a back catalog of first party games like Nintendo does. But why does the company's strategy seem to be –both when it comes to software, and hardware– to sell access to that old IP as a bundle, versus allowing customers to buy individual games?

R: Again, [as far as] details around Nintendo Online and what that service is, we're gonna deal with that separately. Regarding our back catalog, we are in an incredibly fortunate situation that we have a robust back catalog. Not only robust in number, but robust in truly best of all time types of games. Our strategy today is to leverage that with the NES Classic and SNES Classic. And we believe what we're offering at a set price is a fantastic value for the consumer. And a way not only for adults like myself to relive playing the Super NES and all of the great games on that platform, 21 of them, but that it provides an opportunity for new players to experience all of this great content. And we think that is a fantastic way to do it. It's both rekindling nostalgia but also creating a passion for Metroid, creating a passion for intellectual property that newer players may just not have ever tried. And we think that is a really effective strategy. So that's what we've done with the NES, that's what we've done with the SNES. Again, what the future looks like we'll talk about in a different setting. But we believe monetizing our content, exposing it to consumers in that way is a great execution of our strategy.





from GoNintendo

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