‘After Wii U, we're hoping that next time it will be a very big hit’

Miyamoto blames high price and tablets for Wii U struggles

Shigeru Miyamoto says the Wii U has failed to match its predecessor’s success due to its high price, the emergence of tablets and a lack of understanding about the hardware.

Speaking to NPR, the development veteran said though its high price was somewhat prohibitive, consumers would still have bought the system had it been appealing enough to them.

Instead, he said one of Nintendo’s main challenges was a lack of understanding about how the Wii U worked amongst the public. And despite creating what he calls a unique console thanks to its tablet controller, Miyamoto said the emergence of tablets and their rapid evolution in the market meant Nintendo’s new console lost its uniqueness.

He added that he hopes the firm’s next console, the NX, will be a bigger hit.

“I think unfortunately what ended up happening was that tablets themselves appeared in the marketplace and evolved very, very rapidly, and unfortunately the Wii system launched at a time where the uniqueness of those features were perhaps not as strong as they were when we had first begun developing them,” said Miyamoto.

“So what I think is unique about Nintendo is we’re constantly trying to do unique and different things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they’re not as big of a hit as we would like to hope. After Wii U, we’re hoping that next time it will be a very big hit.”

When asked why Nintendo sticks to its ethos of not joining the race for the top specs with Microsoft and Sony, Miyamoto said the company likes to do something unique and different from others.

“The reason for that is that, number one, we like to do things that are unique and different from other companies, but we also don’t want to just end up in a race to have the highest-tech specs in a competition to try to find how we get these expensive tech specs to the lowest price of the other systems,” he said.

“And so there’s different ways that we can approach it, and sometimes we look at it just from the sense of offering a system that consumes less power and makes less noise and generates less heat, or sometimes we may look at the size of the media and the size of the system and where it fits within the home. But really what’s most important to us is, how do we create a system that is both unique and affordable so that everyone can afford it and everyone can enjoy it.”

Image credit: Vincent Diamante

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