Reggie Fils-Aime is one of gaming’s most outspoken personalities. When he’s not too busy being lousy at Mario Kart, he speaks with a commanding authority that few have. The Nintendo of America president recently sat down for an interview with AOL Games, and we’ve got the more important pieces right here.
What He’s Looking Forward To This Holiday:
“Me personally? It’s like asking me which of my children do I love the most. I’m a huge Zelda fan — my favorite game of all time is Zelda: Link to the Past. One of the benefits of my job is that I get to play games in development. I have a special Wii in my office, and I’ve been playing Skyward Sword since E3 [in June]. I’m very much looking forward to that game.
From a non-Nintendo standpoint this holiday, I think what Activision has done with Skylanders is really innovative. And that’s a game that plays extremely well–the 3DS version plays well, the Wii version plays well. So, I’m looking forward to playing Call of Duty. I play all the games, [and] I make sure that I spend time on competitive systems as well.”
What The “Casual” Crowd Can Look Forward To:
“In terms of the more casual gamer, I would highlight a number of things that we’re doing. First, from a third party perspective you’ve got Just Dance 3, Zumba Fitness, so there continues to be new, fresh content for the more casual user. Second thing I would highlight is we recently introduced the line of Nintendo Selects, so these are highest quality, strong selling games now being made available for $19.99. Included in that lineup is the original Wii Sports, so for consumers that bought hardware over the last year or so that didn’t come included with Wii Sports, that product is available. But also Super Paper Mario, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy–I mean, some great, high quality titles that for maybe a new-to-the-Wii buyer, those products are available.”
How Nintendo Views DLC and Post-release Patches:
“We’re interested in it to the extent that it makes sense to the consumer. And it’s interesting: I’ve had this conversation with a number of our key developers, and their mentality is, “Reggie, when we sell a game, we want the consumer to feel that they’ve had a complete experience.” Now, in addition, if we want to make other things available, great, and we’ll look at that. But what we’re unwilling to sell a piece of a game upfront and, if you will, force a consumer to buy more later. That’s what they don’t want to do, and I completely agree. I think the consumer wants to get, for their money, a complete experience, and then we have opportunities to provide more on top of that.”
Plans To Make The 3DS Appealing To Casual Gamers:
“Well, our two big holiday titles for this year will certainly broaden the audience. Everyone loves Mario, [and] everyone loves to play Mario Kart [pictured below]. And the way those experiences are tailor-made for the 3DS certainly will continue expanding the base. As we look to next year, Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic Games is coming out on 3DS early next year–that’s gonna’ continue to broaden. But my expectation is that, come E3, I think we’ll be showcasing a range of different titles that, for a more casual consumer, they’ll see reasons to jump on board with the Nintendo 3DS.”
Shareholder Pressure To Develop For Other Platforms:
“First, we’re an entertainment company. We don’t make devices for the sake of making devices. We make our hardware in order to bring great entertainment experiences to life. Whether that’s the DS, the Wii or the 3DS–or even back to the NES and the SNES–that’s our philosophy. Therefore, the concept of having our core franchises on other systems really flies in the face of what we believe in, and that’s because by understanding the hardware, that’s how we’re able to bring these great experiences forward.”
Learning From Past Mistakes For Wii U Launch:
“The Wii U has to deliver a differentiated experience that can only be brought to bear through the use of these two screens. If all we do is a beautiful game in HD, it’s been done before. We have to take advantage of the second screen, we need to take advantage of the connectivity that the system will offer and, if we do that, we believe that we will yet again disrupt the market the same way we with DS and Wii.”
Replicating The Success of The DS:
“Content. It’s all about the content, and we’re gratified when we see reviews for Super Mario 3D Land, for example, giving it a perfect score. We are gratified when we saw that with the launch of Ocarina of Time in 3D. It’s those types of games that make the 3DS a must-have piece of hardware. It reaffirmed for us that lesson that software drives hardware, and that the launch and ongoing for the system to be effective, you need to have titles to drive the install base.”
For more, including what is included in future 3DS system updates, how digital transactions will work in the future, and if The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is really the Wii’s last hurrah, you can read the full interview here. In the meantime, stay connected to The Game Fanatics for the latest gaming news, and leave us a comment while you’re here.