INTERVIEW - Nintendo UK

Ben Parfitt
INTERVIEW - Nintendo UK
Are the installed base figures you released ahead of expectations?

The figures are very positive but are really a reflection of demand and the huge amount of work that has been done with logistics in trying to ship as much product as we can to try and help satisfy the support we have received for our products.

We know that there are many more people out there still looking for both Wii and DS hardware and our company is doing everything it can to meet that demand. You’ll have seen clear evidence of this effort reflected in the various updates made over the past year with our company’s figures.

What do you think are the key reasons that Wii and DS have been such a success?

We have been very lucky and believe there are probably two key reasons that have helped in growing the market. They are, firstly, making the interface easier for everyone to be able to pick up and play regardless of previous experience of gaming. And secondly, the content that, with Wii, has put the fun back into gaming and makes people smile, whilst on DS also gives people an opportunity to enrich their lives whilst playing 'games'.

Touch Generations software, most notably Brain Training and More Brain Training, have started to attract a much broader audience to the market which has allowed for incremental sales growth.

How do you intend to keep up the momentum?

It is very important that we try and satisfy existing demand, some of it still latent demand from Christmas, so we are continuing to bring stock in as regularly as is possible as the demand is still huge on a global basis.

In the UK we are continuing to work on further improvements with logistics and in addition we also have a fantastic line-up of new product to release that includes Mario Kart and Wii Fit.

But also we have ongoing titles like Brain Training, More Brain Training, Sight Training and the overall Touch Generations range that maintain significant chart presence weeks, months and – in the case of Brain Training – even years after release. So the focus is on both new software titles and existing ‘older titles’ that still have huge potential at retail.

Are you concerned that Wii might not have the same kind of longevity as the likes of 360 and PS3?

Wii is still in high demand and in the space of twelve months we have become the top selling ‘next-gen’ format with the highest installed base in the UK. This is due in part to the fantastic content we have available for our systems, and from the strong ongoing support from third party publishers. We are as confident as is possible that Wii has a solid future.

Do you feel that you are the dominant force in the handheld market? Why do you think this is?

We still have a lot of work to do in bringing new audiences to gaming, we have some great releases still to come and as such we can never rest on our laurels. Constantly surprising and innovating with what we offer is key to keeping everyone engaged with our platforms whether they are handheld or home console.

One criticism of Nintendo consoles is that attach rates are lower – how do you respond to this?

We are still very early into the life-cycle but even so we are seeing the attach rate increasing all the time. As we bring new users to video games we are creating future potential and as new product is released that provides innovation and appeals to everyone, we will see attach rates grow even further.

Do you feel Nintendo has become the games industry’s trailblazer?

As a company we are constantly looking at new ways to innovate in terms of both hardware and software. Perhaps as important is that the strive for innovation exists not just on the development side of the business but throughout everything we do.

We aim to be disruptive and to surprise in what we do, be it advertising, PR, sampling and also how we deal with our customers and consumers. Our rapid growth hasn’t come without issues but we are addressing them and looking to enhance the experience that anyone has when they come in contact with Nintendo UK.

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