• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF
  • Like

mcdonnell
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:33 AM)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118011476751914861.html

Nintendo's U.S. Head Sees Strong Future
For Wii Beyond 'Hardcore' Gamers
By NICK WINGFIELD
May 29, 2007

Three years ago, Reginald Fils-Aime, a new executive at Nintendo Co., took the stage at a videogame conference determined to fire up gamers, whose faith in the Japanese game company was shaken in recent years because of its lackluster performance in the market.

"My name is Reggie," he declared. "I'm about kicking a--, I'm about taking names, and we're about making games."

The speech (archived on YouTube1) became a battle cry for the Nintendo faithful and turned the burly Mr. Fils-Aime into a minor Web celebrity, dubbed "The Regginator" by some fans. And now Nintendo -- a company known for classic game characters like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda -- is performing to match Mr. Fils-Aime's rhetoric.

The company's Wii console and Nintendo DS handheld game player are currently the two best-selling game gadgets on the market in the U.S., leading a dramatic resurgence at the Kyoto-based company. With its relatively low price of $249 and an innovative motion-sensing game controller, the Wii is sharply outselling the competing PlayStation 3 from Sony Corp. and Xbox 360 from Microsoft Corp., and is on a trajectory to overtake both in cumulative sales. About 2.5 million Wii consoles have been sold since it went on sale last November, according to sales-tracking firm NPD Group, compared with 1.3 million for the PS3 and 5.4 million for the Xbox 360, which went on sale a year earlier than its rivals.

Mr. Fils-Aime, the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo's U.S. division, sat down for an interview recently at a hotel in downtown Seattle, where Nintendo hosted an event to showcase upcoming games for the Wii and DS. The conversation covered Nintendo's efforts to expand its audience beyond "hardcore" gamers, whether the Wii is a novelty that will eventually fall behind rival systems and why independent game publishers haven't found as much success as Nintendo itself with games for Nintendo hardware. Excerpts follow:
* * *

WSJ: What's the best illustration of how Nintendo has managed to expand the gamer audience?

Mr. Fils-Aime: In my view, what's happening in Wii households. The reason I believe that's most compelling is today Wii is still hard to get. Largely it's still those core gamers who are waiting in line and doing all the work to find the system.

What those data show are, once it's in the household, everyone is picking up the Wii remote. That's what our strategy is all about. That's why we have Wii Sports packed in. That's why we have the Forecast Channel, the News Channel. It really is to motivate that nongame player to be comfortable with the Wii remote and use it.

WSJ: Does that mean you will sell more games than you did for past systems, or will you sell a comparable number of games that are simply used by a broader audience within the household?

Mr. Fils-Aime: First, we're going to sell more systems. In the past, the consumer that would have looked at this and said "it's not for me" is now finding experiences that give them enjoyment. The second piece is we will sell more software -- not just us, but third parties as well that create content for this expanded audience.

WSJ: You said independent, third-party publishers have collectively sold more games for Wii than Nintendo. Have any of these companies topped a million units sold with any of their individual titles?

Mr. Fils-Aime: They have not, but a number have reached or are about to reach the half million mark. Ubisoft has two titles that are awfully close. EA has done very well with Madden and Tiger Woods. Activision has done very well.

We focus on this because there's a historical view that third-party licensees cannot make money on Nintendo platforms, and it's just false. Today, third parties are doing extremely well both on Wii and DS. That's why they're devoting more and more of their own development resources against these two platforms.

WSJ: Some game executives have told me Nintendo historically charged game publishers a higher royalty rate to make titles for Nintendo consoles than rivals, which crimped publishers' profits. And Nintendo executives have said publishers in the past put their second-string development teams on Nintendo projects. Is this why most companies have been less successful with Nintendo games than they have with titles for other hardware?

Mr. Fils-Aime: I think our licensing structure is very comparable and competitive with what other platform holders do. That is not the issue. While in the past development teams may not have been up to par, I certainly believe that's changing. When you have Disney or EA creating dedicated centers of excellence on our platforms… the game creation and game content will only get better.

When you have such a strong publisher as Nintendo, third parties may have looked at our platforms and said, "It's tough to compete." But that paradigm has really been broken as key licensees create content that competes just as effectively as Nintendo-published content does. Again, I point to Ubisoft. During the launch window [for Wii], Ubisoft was selling not too many less games than we were from a Nintendo first-party perspective. That's staggering. That's because they made a commitment to the platform.

WSJ: Do you foresee a day when third-party publishers beat out Nintendo for the first-place position for Wii game sales?

Mr. Fils-Aime: I think it's certainly doable. I think some of the content here is quite provocative. Boogie from EA is quite provocative. I love the support we're getting from 2K games and their sports franchise. Activision with Guitar Hero -- when that comes out on Wii I think that has the potential to become the top-selling game across the industry.


WSJ: Are people today buying the Wii as an impulse purchase because it's relatively inexpensive compared with other systems, and when the price comes down on the PlayStation 3 they'll buy that console?

Mr. Fils-Aime: What I know is Wii is outselling PS3 right now 3-to-1. Wii is right now outselling Xbox 360 at a pace of 2-to-1. When I do that math, and analysts have, there will be a crossover point when the Wii is the top-selling system, first, world-wide and then, secondly, here in the United States [on a cumulative basis]. If I'm a competitive platform holder I have to be concerned. The data certainly suggest it's not some fringe buying the Wii and it is a much more massive consumer group that represents the core and the expanded audience.

WSJ: When do you think that crossover point might be -- this year?

Mr. Fils-Aime: On a U.S. basis, we have sold through roughly 2.5 million Wiis... On a pace of 2-to-1 [compared with Xbox 360 sales], that inflection point certainly happens this year, if not next.

WSJ: The Wii remains very difficult to find in stores. Why in May of 2007 -- more than a half-year after Nintendo introduced the Wii -- are there not a few more Wiis on store shelves?

Mr. Fils-Aime: It's consumer demand. The issue is not a production issue. We're producing north of a million a month. It's that demand is so unprecedented at this point in time six months after launch.

WSJ: Sony has said that the PS3 is a technology that's future-proof because of its powerful microprocessor and high-definition disc format. In a couple years, is there a possibility the Wii will start looking a little creaky in comparison to the PS3, and Nintendo will be left in the dust?

Mr. Fils-Aime: I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something. From our perspective, this industry is about entertainment and it's about driving a consumer interface and engagement with content. That's why people want to play games. From that standpoint, our strategy is certainly working and we believe it's going to work into the future. What that future is going to look like and what's the content -- stay tuned.


Write to Nick Wingfield at nick.wingfield@wsj.com2

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118011476751914861.html
Last edited by mcdonnell; 05-29-2007 at 08:14 AM.
Grampa Simpson
(05-29-2007, 06:35 AM)
Grampa Simpson's Avatar
Can you bold the interesting bits that made you want to post it here?
underfooter
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:36 AM)
He's right, GH3 is going to be huge on wii.
Battersea Power Station
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:37 AM)
Battersea Power Station's Avatar
Although the questions are obvious and mostly old to us, they're very good by journalist standards -- relevant and direct. Nice job to the interviewer.
Agent Icebeezy
Welcome beautful toddler, Madison Elizabeth, to the horde!
(05-29-2007, 06:38 AM)
Agent Icebeezy's Avatar
Hmm, can't knock their hustle.
angelfly
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:40 AM)
angelfly's Avatar
Nintendo interviews these days have been boring. They just go over the same "we're selling well and demand is high" lines. July needs to come sooner.

Mr. Fils-Aime: I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something.

:lol
jman2050
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:40 AM)
jman2050's Avatar

Mr. Fils-Aime: I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something. From our perspective, this industry is about entertainment and it's about driving a consumer interface and engagement with content. That's why people want to play games. From that standpoint, our strategy is certainly working and we believe it's going to work into the future. What that future is going to look like and what's the content -- stay tuned.

I'm convinced Reggie reads GAF, if not posts on it regularly.

EDIT - Beaten :(
QuickKick89
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:41 AM)
This is probably one of the best interviews I've ever seen from Reggie. For once, he answered every question pretty concisely, and none of the answers sound like candy-coated PR bull.

First off, he finally admits that Nintendo fans are using the Wii as a trojan horse, to get others into wanting the system, instead of saying that Grandmas and Grandpas are rushing to buy the system. Makes perfect sense. Also, I agree that "It's all about the games" and that the great majority of gamers really don't put graphics at the forefront. Many do, obviously (and most of them post on this forum).
Vic
Please help me with my bad english
(05-29-2007, 06:43 AM)
Again, Reggie = Troll
QuickKick89
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:43 AM)

Originally Posted by Battersea Power Station

Although the questions are obvious and mostly old to us, they're very good by journalist standards -- relevant and direct. Nice job to the interviewer.

Yeah, and they're light on the insults. I can't stand it when a journalist decides to come out and basically insult their interview. Dan Patrick of ESPN does it a lot and it drives me nuts...just listen to his radio interview with Tonya Harding. He basically tells her that she shouldn't have become a born-again Christian since no amount of mercy could save her for what she did to Nancy Kerrigan.
Polari
(05-29-2007, 06:43 AM)
Polari's Avatar

Originally Posted by mcdonnell

Again, I point to Ubisoft. During the launch window [for Wii], Ubisoft was selling not too many less games than we were from a Nintendo first-party perspective. That's staggering. That's because they made a commitment to the platform.

HORSEZ 2
underfooter
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:45 AM)
Ugh, Ubi soft is so bad to wii, so very, very bad.



Red Steel 2 can save them.
Eteric Rice
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:45 AM)
Eteric Rice's Avatar

WSJ: Sony has said that the PS3 is a technology that's future-proof because of its powerful microprocessor and high-definition disc format. In a couple years, is there a possibility the Wii will start looking a little creaky in comparison to the PS3, and Nintendo will be left in the dust?

Mr. Fils-Aime: I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something.

OH SHIT!... :lol
CrushDance
Banned
(05-29-2007, 06:46 AM)
Reggie has been trolling a lot lately.:lol
Zynx
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:47 AM)

Originally Posted by mcdonnell

WSJ: You said independent, third-party publishers have collectively sold more games for Wii than Nintendo. Have any of these companies topped a million units sold with any of their individual titles?

Mr. Fils-Aime: They have not, but a number have reached or are about to reach the half million mark. Ubisoft has two titles that are awfully close. EA has done very well with Madden and Tiger Woods. Activision has done very well.

This is the interesting part, I think.
titiklabingapat
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:47 AM)
titiklabingapat's Avatar
I think that it's safe to say that Nintendo won the pre-E3 media days against Sony regardless of megatons and gaming media opinion.
Agent Icebeezy
Welcome beautful toddler, Madison Elizabeth, to the horde!
(05-29-2007, 06:49 AM)
Agent Icebeezy's Avatar

Originally Posted by CrushDance

Reggie has been trolling a lot lately.:lol

Naw, Reggie is just sprinkling ether here and there. I can just imagine a nonchalant tone as he said that as well.
Mrbob
how can the baaasheep
enjoy the shootbang?
(05-29-2007, 06:53 AM)
Mrbob's Avatar

WSJ: When do you think that crossover point might be -- this year?

Mr. Fils-Aime: On a U.S. basis, we have sold through roughly 2.5 million Wiis... On a pace of 2-to-1 [compared with Xbox 360 sales], that inflection point certainly happens this year, if not next.

Damn, Nintendo has been throwing down the gauntlet in a couple interviews lately.

MS needs to stop taking them lightly or they'll soar right by.
titiklabingapat
Member
(05-29-2007, 06:59 AM)
titiklabingapat's Avatar

Originally Posted by Mrbob

Damn, Nintendo has been throwing down the gauntlet in a couple interviews lately.

MS needs to stop taking them lightly or they'll soar right by.

I thought that part was interestibg. Are they planning matching 360 sales twice over? Sounds like they are ramping up production quite drastically.
JDSN
Banned
(05-29-2007, 07:03 AM)
JDSN's Avatar
Damn, about time they started to take cheap shots, the competitors are doing it was well even tho some of them are not in position do so.
PantherLotus
Professional Schmuck
(05-29-2007, 07:04 AM)
PantherLotus's Avatar
Those wondering why Public Relations professionals make it to the top, take note at how deftly he handles, redirects, and manages a potentially damaging question like the one about the PS3 being future-proof. Ha.

With Nintendo this generation the whole communication goal has been to redefine the industry in terms of "entertainment" value vs. graphical greatness. It might irk some people, but those who are wondering how it's done--this is it. Own the language and own the industry.
Meier
(05-29-2007, 07:06 AM)
Meier's Avatar

Originally Posted by mcdonnell

Mr. Fils-Aime: I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something. From our perspective, this industry is about entertainment and it's about driving a consumer interface and engagement with content. That's why people want to play games. From that standpoint, our strategy is certainly working and we believe it's going to work into the future. What that future is going to look like and what's the content -- stay tuned.

Damn, that's some serious smack talk. I wish I had the "Not my problem" image archived. :lol
Branduil
(05-29-2007, 07:06 AM)
Branduil's Avatar

Originally Posted by titiklabingapat

I thought that part was interestibg. Are they planning matching 360 sales twice over? Sounds like they are ramping up production quite drastically.

Well they did sell 360,000 Wiis last month in the US, almost twice as much as the 360.
Phife Dawg
Member
(05-29-2007, 07:52 AM)
Phife Dawg's Avatar
Good interview, thx.

Originally Posted by Zynx

This is the interesting part, I think.

Yeah, this means both Red Steel and RRR are close to 500.000. Quite something when they both were just OK games. I hope the sequels improve both franchises in significant ways.
Deku
Banned
(05-29-2007, 10:38 AM)
Deku's Avatar

Originally Posted by Mrbob

Damn, Nintendo has been throwing down the gauntlet in a couple interviews lately.

MS needs to stop taking them lightly or they'll soar right by.

Globally that is probably inevitable given the Japan and European situations. But in the US I think Fils-Aime might be a bit optimistic. We've only see the Wii outsell the 360 for a few months, though I'm not sure what quite to think of Elite and the supply situation at launch supposedly gimping 360 sales for April.
_Alkaline_
Member
(05-29-2007, 10:47 AM)
_Alkaline_'s Avatar

Originally Posted by Phife Dawg

Good interview, thx.


Yeah, this means both Red Steel and RRR are close to 500.000. Quite something when they both were just OK games. I hope the sequels improve both franchises in significant ways.

And both are very close to 1million worldwide.
Kafel
Banned
(05-29-2007, 10:50 AM)
Kafel's Avatar
Is it in GH3 that the developers will include special features with the remote or in Rock Band ?


I don't remember.
IfAllElseFailsUseFire
Member
(05-29-2007, 10:52 AM)

Originally Posted by CrushDance

Reggie has been trolling a lot lately.:lol

side-effects of the whole printing money thing
Screenboy
Member
(05-29-2007, 10:57 AM)
Screenboy's Avatar

Originally Posted by mcdonnell

In a couple years, is there a possibility the Wii will start looking a little creaky in comparison to the PS3, and Nintendo will be left in the dust?


in a couple of years? more like yesturday! That doesn't reflect on the popularity though.
LM4sure
Banned
(05-29-2007, 10:58 AM)
LM4sure's Avatar

I guess when you're not doing well you have to grasp at something.

:lol

so true
F#A#Oo
Banned
(05-29-2007, 11:33 AM)
F#A#Oo's Avatar

Reggie Fils-Aime at the front of the crowd, working it with his trademark smile and good will. He poses for pictures, he signs Wiimotes, he presses the flesh with a goodnatured ease that would make even the most seasoned politician weep with envy.

“Kick his ass and take his name!” someone shouted from a few rows behind me.

“Who?” answered Reggie in mid-autograph.

“Phil Harrison, front row!” Sure enough, there was Phil Harrison, seated dead center, front row. Looks like he could show up on time for Nintendo’s keynote, but not Sony’s.

With a grin and a chuckle, Reggie replies, “Some would say we’ve already done that.”

Touchdown. The crowd goes wild
.

In the history of the videogame industry here in the United States, only one company has ever been the number-one manufacturer of a hardware console, the number-one manufacturer of a portable console, the number-one game publisher and the owner of America's top-selling game all at the same time. The company was Nintendo back in the 80s. And now today we've done it all over again. The second point is a sales chart -- one of the few I'll show. What this shows is the monthly cumulative sell-through for hardware in the US for this year. If you can't see it clearly there in the back, the red line all the way at the top is Nintendo DS. The second line is Wii. The third line, interestingly, is PS2, not PS3. PS3 is down there at the bottom, just holding off Game Boy Advance. [Laughter from the crowd]

Reggie loves to troll Sony...:lol
LCGeek
formerly sane
(05-29-2007, 11:42 AM)
LCGeek's Avatar

Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Reggie loves to troll Sony...:lol

Truth is often painful and funny, what comes around....
Yixian
Banned
(05-29-2007, 11:49 AM)
Ugh, jesus, I'm getting sick of these professional trolls from MS and Nintendo. I know Sony would be doing exactly the same if they were in their place, but they're not, so here's a big middle finger to those who are.

Nintendo isn't as guilty of it a MS though - Kaplan seems more interested in trolling pre-Wii Nintendo fans than anybody else, but there's not a day that goes by without some useless tosser from Microsoft giving his worthless opinion on why he prefers the console of the company that pays his wages over it's competitor.
Neomoto
Member
(05-29-2007, 11:52 AM)
Good interview. Reggie should keep pushing the two main points in this interview in the coming months. 1) That third party games don't sell on Nintendo platforms and 2) That Wii might look outdated to the competition which will hurt sales and such. He handled both pretty good. And I have read the speech he gave on the Media Summit, the amount of 'owning' he did to get more 3rd party's on board was impressive. The more times that passes, the less developers can "ignore" what Nintendo is achieving imo.
Wiitard
Banned
(05-29-2007, 01:39 PM)

Originally Posted by PantherLotus

Those wondering why Public Relations professionals make it to the top, take note at how deftly he handles, redirects, and manages a potentially damaging question like the one about the PS3 being future-proof. Ha.

With Nintendo this generation the whole communication goal has been to redefine the industry in terms of "entertainment" value vs. graphical greatness. It might irk some people, but those who are wondering how it's done--this is it. Own the language and own the industry.

Sorry, man, but you are blowing your trumpet a little too hard here.

There only reason he can dismiss and redirect this question and not look like a delusional idiot is because of the sales situation. Consumers are saying rather unambiguosly they don't care about PS3's stuffings. But they did, all this "we are about entertainment part" would not quite cut it.

Not saying Reggie is not deft. Just that it's not all in the spin.
Threi
notag
(05-29-2007, 02:02 PM)
Threi's Avatar
Reggie = Stealth troll of the year.

im starting to really think this
chriskzoo
Banned
(05-29-2007, 02:13 PM)
The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.
Pureauthor
(05-29-2007, 02:15 PM)
Pureauthor's Avatar

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.

I don't even understand what the heck you're trying to say here.
Masklinn
Accept one saviour, get the second free.
(05-29-2007, 02:15 PM)

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.

Hagi23
Member
(05-29-2007, 02:16 PM)
Reggie's finally able to troll after 10 years :lol
Saoh
Member
(05-29-2007, 02:17 PM)
:lol :lol i love Sony trolling by Reggie.
Masklinn
Accept one saviour, get the second free.
(05-29-2007, 02:18 PM)

Originally Posted by Pureauthor

I don't even understand what the heck you're trying to say here.

He's saying that nintendo tries to hide the fact that they can't produce Wiis fast enough: they're covering up the fact that the Wii is suffers heavy shortages.
Tobor
Look!
A crack addict with a tag!
(05-29-2007, 02:20 PM)
Tobor's Avatar

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.

When the Wii market levels off as you say, will they be outselling the PS3 by 4-1? Or maybe 6-1? These are the important questions Chris.
titiklabingapat
Member
(05-29-2007, 02:20 PM)
titiklabingapat's Avatar

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.

They get delusional by the day. It truly is something of ana almost amazing sight. :lol
StellaStella
Member
(05-29-2007, 02:22 PM)
StellaStella's Avatar

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

The Wii shortage snowjob continues - and is probably one of the most brilliant marketing strategies any company has ever done. The moment that we start to see units on the floor at every retailer we walk into is the day the Wii market levels off.

...?
chriskzoo
Banned
(05-29-2007, 02:23 PM)

Originally Posted by Masklinn

He's saying that nintendo tries to hide the fact that they can't produce Wiis fast enough: they're covering up the fact that the Wii is suffers heavy shortages.

Not sure if I understand your Engrish, but we've all discussed it before - people want what they can't have. Nintendo has done a great job of hitting the supply/demand curve just right, erring on the side of undersupply. Whether that is a true manufacturing problem (which I think it was at the beginning) or just smart marketing (which I think it is at this point), it's the same outcome.

When the Wii market levels off as you say, will they be outselling the PS3 by 4-1? Or maybe 6-1? These are the important questions Chris.

I don't know, maybe. We won't really be able to see the TRUE impact of the Wii for another 4-5 years when we see the total market for consoles. If they are able to push the console market to 200 million units, they truely have carved out a new niche. If we are still at 150 million units, well, they are still competing for the same consumers.
Reilly
Self-Confessed Team Killer Scumbag, Want my Gamertag?
(05-29-2007, 02:24 PM)

Originally Posted by ivysaur12

...?


I think he means part of the appeal of the Wii, to many, is that they're hard to find.

edit: beaten
titiklabingapat
Member
(05-29-2007, 02:24 PM)
titiklabingapat's Avatar

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

Not sure if I understand your Engrish, but we've all discussed it before - people want what they can't have. Nintendo has done a great job of hitting the supply/demand curve just right, erring on the side of undersupply. Whether that is a true manufacturing problem (which I think it was at the beginning) or just smart marketing (which I think it is at this point), it's the same outcome.

...ok...:lol
.dmc
Banned
(05-29-2007, 02:26 PM)

Originally Posted by chriskzoo

Not sure if I understand your Engrish, but we've all discussed it before - people want what they can't have. Nintendo has done a great job of hitting the supply/demand curve just right, erring on the side of undersupply. Whether that is a true manufacturing problem (which I think it was at the beginning) or just smart marketing (which I think it is at this point), it's the same outcome.

Oh come on, do you think Nintendo planned on outselling the PS2 in its first six months? Given the levels of uncertainty they faced before Wii launched there was no way they were going to produce more Wii's than they did. Does the product scarcity provide good PR? Yes. But it's a side-effect of the overwhelming demand, not the cause of it.
castle007
Banned
(05-29-2007, 02:27 PM)
:lol I love Reggie

Thread Tools