Electronic Arts' Jeff Brown has revealed the extent of the publisher's support for the Nintendo Wii, and believes that the console's place as second in line to either a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 could be very good news for Nintendo.
Speaking to Eurogamer during EA's summer showcase Brown, who is EA's corporate communications VP, noted: "everybody's saying that the Nintendo Wii is so unique that it's going to be the second system people buy, meaning if you own a 360 or a PS3, you'll probably also buy a Nintendo Wii."
"The funny thing is, some people say that discursively, like it's some sort of dig at Nintendo - and what they don't get is that if you're second on everybody's system, you're first overall."
Brown also revealed that EA plans to offer the Wii more support than it did the GameCube. "This is not a business plan, but there are a lot of people at EA who are walking around whispering: '40 / 40 / 20 per cent'," he said. EA has already pledged six titles to Nintendo's next-generation format, and Brown says that interest in the console internally has gone up after it received a spectacular welcome at E3.
"One of the things that we noticed after E3 is we thought, you know, we're going to support Nintendo, they've got an extraordinarily loyal base of consumers all over the world, and we had a number of games we planned to make for Nintendo Wii. That said, we were very surprised by the level of enthusiasm we saw at E3 and subsequently for the Wii," he told Eurogamer.
It's inevitable though, Brown said, that EA will direct its support based on market behaviour. Asked whether EA is equally committed to all three next-gen formats, he responded directly: "No."
"I don't want to be indiscreet, but the truth is EA is most committed to the platform with the biggest installed base. We've always been very practical and open about the fact that this is a business; if you do well in business, you get to keep making more games, and you can hire more people to make more different kinds of games - as long as you remember that this is a business first."
Brown also poured scorn on suggestions that the PS3 will be put in an impossible position by its unusually high price point.
"Everybody writes these big stories like 'Oh my God, what will this mean? Will they stumble for the next for years, can they recover?' When Sony first put out the PlayStation 2 there were hardware shortages, and some manufacturing glitches, and everybody was like 'Can they recover?'," he told us.
To read more of Brown's views on the next-generation formats, and EA's current direction, including questions of PS3 pricing and EA's commitment to new intellectual property, read the full Jeff Brown interview elsewhere on the site today.