Fils-Aime: Publishers Missing Out

Last week EA’s chief executive John Riccitiello expressed disappointment in Wii’s performance and its weaknesses as a platform for third parties.

That’s not the way Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime sees things. He’s disappointed that third parties – particularly those publishing traditional, hardcore packaged games – aren’t showing enough belief in the world’s top-selling console.

"I’m extremely disappointed," he told Kotaku. "I’ve had this conversation with every publisher who makes content that is not available on my platform. The conversation goes like this: ‘We have a 22-million unit installed base. We have a very diverse audience. We have active gamers that hunger for this type of content. And why isn’t it available?’"

Speaking to investors a week ago, EA’s Riccitiello said, "I think the Wii platform has been a little weaker than we had certainly anticipated. And there is no lack of frustration to be doing that at precisely the time where we have the strongest third-party share."

Referring to the absence of big hits like Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin’s Creed 2 on Wii, Fils-Aime said, "I think for those games, typically decisions are being made two years prior. And so the decisions two years ago were that those types of games would not be effective on the platform. But we’ve shown that that’s just not the case. High-quality, effectively marketed against our installed base will sell, period, end of story."

Fils-Aime denied that a so-called HD-Wii, offering graphics to compete with Xbox 360 and PS3, might be a solution. "What we have said, repeatedly, is that’s not the way we at Nintendo do things. The way we at Nintendo do things is, when we move to a new generation, it’s because there are some fundamental things the current console cannot do. What that says is that simply the addition of HD capability will not be the next step for us. There will be more to it. There will be additional capability. There will be additional elements, and, given that, it is far into the future."

Fils-Aime was characteristicaly bouyant about the release of New Super Mario Bros on Wii, that hit in the U.S Sunday to rave reviews, and arrives in Europe later this week. "I really do believe that New Super Mario Bros. Wii will satisfy even your most jaded, even your most competitive player. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like playing New Super Mario Bros. with three of your friends. You’re picking each other up and throwing each other into the lava pits and the crevasse. This game is the most fun."

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