I don't think anyone can really say that Nintendo did a poor job with the Wii. It perhaps isn't what some gamers were hoping for in the company's current-generation console, but it has nonetheless been an unqualified success, particularly in contributing to the exponential growth of the so-called "casual" gaming market. Despite that success, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has some regrets, which he shared at an investors' conference this morning.
"I now regret that we didn't tie up with someone outside the company to market the Wii. If we had done that, the fate of the Wii might have been different," he said, according to Reuters.
Now let's think about that statement for a second. Would you agree that the Wii's woes can be pinned to poor, or perhaps a better descriptor would be misplaced, marketing? Or that the Wii's "fate" has been anything less than fantastic?
Personally, I feel like the console's biggest mistakes were not trying to compete on the same level as Microsoft and Sony, and skimping on the online community focus. The world was moving in the direction of high definition and social media at a rapid pace even back in 2006, and Nintendo -- which is a company that is typically recognized for its foresight -- fell short in these areas.
The result was better than anyone could have hoped for though, what with the explosion of casual gaming fans. The Wii introduced a whole new set of people to gaming in a very user-friendly way. Even without the glossy visuals, it caught like wildfire.
Iwata says that with some outside marketing, "the fate of the Wii could have been different," but I fail to see how it could have been any better than it was, given what the console offers. Fans of "Call of Duty" (for example) simply aren't going to go nuts in the same way for a bowling simulator, no matter how you package it.
Iwata goes on to say that he's learned from earlier mistakes, and that this will be evident moving forward in how the company puts its product out there. "Now I am aware that we should not rely too much on ourselves. You will see what I mean by this when we market the 3DS and the Wii in the future."