What do you feel are the key first party products for Nintendo this Christmas period?
In terms of key new releases on DS we have Professor Layton and the Curious Village and on Wii, Wii Music and Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City.
That’s not to mention some of the ‘evergreen’ back catalogue of titles that we hope will continue to perform well for us this Christmas.
Titles include the Brain Training series, 42 All Time Classics, Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros, Nintendogs and Cooking Guide, to name a few on DS. And Wii Fit, Mario Kart, Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros, Big Brain Academy and Wario Ware on Wii. Regardless of taste, gaming experience, gender or age, there really is something for everyone across both platforms this Christmas.
And which third party titles do you feel will perform strongly this year?
The opportunity for third parties on our platforms is huge this Christmas.
As shown and reported by MCV, Ubisoft’s recent performance on DS sends a clear message that our platforms are for everyone, third party as well as first party.
Are you confident you’ll have enough Wii, DS and Wii Fit stock to fulfil demand this Christmas?
We’re doing all we can to ensure we get as much stock to as many stores and into the hands of as many people as possible this Christmas. Market expansion brings with it challenges and one of those is predicting the demand for products that are still showing growth in their third and fourth years.
Do you pay much attention to what Sony and Microsoft have planned?
As we’ve always maintained for a number of years now, we will always do what we believe is right for Nintendo when we believe it is right to do it.
How far do you think you have come in terms of breaking into new markets – and how far do you think you have to go?
We really have only scratched the surface in terms of the number of potential users still out there. As long as there are still people who do not play video games, then we still have a lot of work to do.
How do you respond to critics that suggest Nintendo doesn’t have enough games to cater for the hardcore audience?
It’s simply not true, Nintendo has never lost its passion for core gamers. Nintendo would like to bring smiles to as many different faces as possible and produce games which appeal to mainstream and gaming audiences worldwide.
We have never neglected core gamers. We still have developers working on popular core gaming franchises but we need longer to complete these games, approximately two to three years.
These games are not ready to launch in early 2009 but are being worked on by all development teams. Recently launched popular Nintendo gaming franchises have included Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart Wii and Wario Land: Shake Dimension. There is also a vast array of third party core gaming titles available for the Wii console.
Has the success of both Wii and DS surprised you in any way?
We always hoped that Wii and DS would be popular and well received, but the popularity and demand for both systems has taken everyone by surprise.
How do you intend to keep up the sales momentum on Wii and DS this Christmas – and into 2009?
A new year brings new challenges, and on DS we hope the planned spring launch of DSi will attract new people to the format. In terms of Wii, we hope the software announced in Japan will make its way over to UK shores to keep both families and gamers alike happy.