So far, Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U, hasn’t been a smash hit out of the gate the way the original Wii was. For those who are curious, Nintendo’s longtime game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, has offered his thoughts on the situation.
The creator of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and numerous other classic series said in a recent interview with The New York Times that while he does wish that the system was performing better at this point, he isn’t worried about its long-term life.
“I think that the Wii U still has a long future,” he was quoted as saying. “We really view it as being the ideal device that families are going to want to have connected to that screen in the living room that everyone is going to gather around and watch.”
It’s certainly possible that Nintendo has some aces up their sleeve for the system, some of which will likely be unveiled at this year’s E3 conference. It also wouldn’t be the first time the company has turned a struggling system around, as very recently the 3DS, which also underperformed in its launch window, has also found its footing in terms of support and sales. Being one of the leads behind some of Nintendo’s biggest hits (Wii Sports, the product that got many casual gamers interested in the Wii, was also his brainchild), Miyamoto doubtlessly knows about some future products that the public does not. Right now, what’s still uncertain is whether or not the public will be interested in them.
Miyamoto also discussed Nintendo’s overall feelings regarding online play and features for their systems. As he explained, the company was initially hesitant to dive head-on into supporting the internet with their consoles because they felt it would limit the audiences that would enjoy certain features. Times have changed, though, as he added that now the company sees many possibilities regarding how the internet can be used to enhance their products.
Though certain games on the Wii did support online play, downloadable game services such as WiiWare and the Nintendo eShop are around, and the Wii U includes interesting features such as the Miiverse, I can’t help but think Nintendo can take their online stance even further.
Games like New Super Mario Bros. U would definitely have benefited from online multiplayer, which, at least in that case, wouldn’t have taken away anything in terms of local play. Hopefully with future titles, they’ll consider adding more features and fully embracing the online play model – I’m looking at you, Super Smash Bros.
Feel free to post your thoughts on the Wii U’s future and Nintendo’s stance on online in the comments below.