Iwata on Wii U price, free-to-play and that Zelda TV series on Netflix

Ben Parfitt
Iwata on Wii U price, free-to-play and that Zelda TV series on Netflix

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has admitted that price has played a big factor in Wii U's failure.

The platform holder last week confirmed that it has a new console in development, thus effectively marking the beginning of the end for the ever-struggling Wii successor.

I think, to be honest, we were in a difficult situation,” Iwata told Time. Because for the home console our biggest market opportunity was in the overseas markets in the US and Europe, but because of the valuation of the yen and the exchange rates into dollars and euro, it made it a difficult proposition for us to capitalise on that, because of the cost that we were forced to sell the system at.”

Over a year ago Iwata said that a Wii U price cut was not an option”, and while there has been some unofficial pricing activity on old stock of the Basic 8GB SKU the console has to this day retained its eye-watering 280 retail price point – even as the likes of PS4 and Xbox One have been cut to similar levels across the High Street.

Iwata also admitted to his dislike of the term ‘free-to-play' (he's previously seemed to favour ‘free-to-start') because he – and many others – think it's a tad disingenuous.

I have come to realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology,” he argued. The thing that concerns me most is that, in the digital age, if we fail to make efforts to maintain the value of our content, there is the high possibility for the value to be greatly reduced as the history of the music industry has shown.

On the other hand, I have no intention to deny the Free-to-start model. In fact, depending on how we approach this model, we may be able to overcome these problems.”

And remember that story about a live-action Zelda TV series in production at Netflix? Well, you'd probably best forget it.

As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films,” Iwata insisted. But I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information.”

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