Shigeru Miyamoto has never shied away from telling reporters and journalists in interviews exactly how he feels about the company he works for and its products. In a recent interview with NPR, Miyamoto discusses the origins of the Mario character, as well as his thoughts on the more recent Wii U console, which has been struggling since launch. The interviewer minces no words and asks Miyamoto directly why the Wii U has failed to take off, to which Miyamoto has an interesting answer.
So unfortunately with our latest system, the Wii U, the price point was one that ended up getting a little higher than we wanted. But what we are always striving to do is to find a way to take novel technology that we can take and offer it to people at a price that everybody can afford. And in addition to that, rather than going after the high-end tech spec race and trying to create the most powerful console, really what we want to do is try to find a console that has the best balance of features with the best interface that anyone can use.
Further into the interview, the interviewer askes Mr. Miyamoto why he the Wii sold so well, while the Wii U was something of a flop when it was released. Miyamoto blames the rapid rise of tablets as an every day purchase item for millions of people, which wasn’t the case when Nintendo themselves were working on the Wii U. The tablet was a novel concept back in early 2010 and no one knew how quickly they would be adopted.
I think unfortunately what ended up happening was that tablets themselves appeared in the marketplace and evolved very, very rapidly, and unfortunately the Wii U 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. 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.
It’s nice to see a top executive at Nintendo acknowledge that the current price point for what the system offers is too high, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see a price reduction at this point. If you want to read the rest of the interview, you can do so here.
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TAGS: Nintendo, npr, Shigeru Miyamoto, wii u