E3: Nintendo's David Yarnton • Page 2

"No, I don't have a crown."

Eurogamer: Assuming your rivals' new technologies do work, will the PS3 and Xbox 360 have an advantage over the Wii? They'll have motion-sensing, which as Nintendo has proved is highly popular, plus powerful graphics engines. Won't that give them the edge?

David Yarnton: Consumers will decide, at the end of the day. So far they've shown through the sales of Wii that we're onto something they really do enjoy.

Eurogamer: Do you ever feel like you can't win with the hardcore? People are still griping today even though you've presented Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Is there a sense that unless you also give them a new Pilotwings and Pikmin and Starfox and all the rest of it too, they're never gong to be satisfied?

David Yarnton: Everyone wants all their Christmas presents at once, every day of the year! There's lots of product in the pipeline. As we know, good product isn't just developed overnight. It doesn't make much sense to launch it all at once.

Eurogamer: How do you feel about accusations you've abandoned or betrayed your traditional fanbase?

David Yarnton: We've never abandoned anyone. I think sometimes people are never satisfied. I'm the same, I want everything at once, but it's a good thing to take time to develop. You can see from the products being developed, not just by ourselves but third-party as well, there's something for everyone.


Eurogamer: Have you thought of using traditional gamers in some of your lifestyle photography? So perhaps instead of old people and lithe young women you could have a fat bloke in a Metroid t-shirt, curtains drawn, overflowing ashtrays...

David Yarnton: Ah, but is that what a traditional gamer is? I see lots of people walking around here that look quite athletic. We used to have a stereotype of people sitting in a darkened room by themselves. That still exists to some extent, but it's a minority of people who play games. It's become much more social and the audience is broader.

Eurogamer: Some Wii owners have complained that your great first-party titles are too few and far between. In the meantime, they're left with nothing but a load of shovelware - piles of quickly churned out, cheaply made games designed to sell on the basis of the cover alone.

David Yarnton: Are you having an interview with EA, Activision, Capcom? Are you going to ask them that question as well, suggesting the product they make for Wii is second-rate? Because I've seen some fantastic product out there.

Eurogamer: Me too - I'm a big fan of Boom Blox, for example. But it seems like for every Boom Blox I have to play nine Hasbro Family Game Nights, Golden Balls, Carnival Sports Party Surfing Nightmare Fiascos...

David Yarnton: Which you don't necessarily like, but a lot of people out there purchase those games because it's what appeals to them.

Eurogamer: I can't believe anyone likes Golden Balls. There are third-party games I like, I just feel you have to pluck them out of a lot of rubbish designed to make a quick buck out of less knowledgeable gamers...

David Yarnton: At the end of the day, the consumer makes that decision. It's about value, it's about different styles of game. I don't like every game either. You can look at any format and you'll find there are better games, and games that maybe aren't so good.


Eurogamer: Let's get back to first-party issues, then. Are there any plans to overhaul the Friend Codes system?

David Yarnton: There's been a big uptake. Anecdotally, a lot of kids at university who you wouldn't consider to be typical Wii owners are very into things like Mario Kart, which I think surprises a lot of people.

Eurogamer: Students liking Mario Kart? Does it? I almost failed my degree because of that game. I was Sorby Hall of Residence Mario Kart Champion 1996.

David Yarnton: Well, there you go. So there's a big uptake, and it seems to work OK.

Eurogamer: But compare the complexity of the Friends Code system with the Xbox Live Gamertags system, which has proved hugely popular and works so well. Why not introduce something similar?

David Yarnton: We're always looking at improving and enhancing our services. At the moment we feel it's adequate, it does the job for us and for our customers. I'm not aware of too many complaints about it. [PR chap: "Just to butt in, the three guiding principles of our gaming service have always been 'simple, safe and free'. We don't see a reason why they should be changed at the moment, because people like it. People say it is complicated but it's complicated for a reason - to keep people safe."]

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