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Dev focus shifting to Wii - Fils-Aime

NoA boss speaks in Canada.

Speaking at the Montréal Games Summit, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has said that more and more developers are turning their attentions to the Wii - and away from rival consoles.

"We've had a tremendous amount of third party support as we've prepared for the launch. The shift that's been reported in developer focus from those other consoles to Wii truly is happening," Fils-Aime told the audience.

"And Mr Iwata, the entire senior team in Japan, my leadership team in the States - we recognise the tremendous contribution that you have made to the launch of Wii."

Fils-Aime went on to defend Nintendo's decision to bundle the new console with the Wii Sports game, saying, "We talk to business men, we talk to analysts, and they say, 'Why did you do this? You could have easily boosted your bottom line by selling this title.'

"And we say, it would have been off our strategy to sell it - we had to make it available to all of those consumers that'll buy the hardware to have a great first experience."

Fils-Aime believes the arrival of the Wii will herald fundamental shift for games, just as Super Mario 64's 3D graphics did in a previous console cycle. "We believe with the next home console a similar change can happen; and it'll happen week after next, with the launch of Wii," he said, adding, "We don't believe you can expand the market by using a traditional multi-button masher of a controller."

Earlier in his speech, Fils-Aime discussed the success of the Nintendo DS with reference to its performance in the Canadian market. "Looking at monthly sales this year, up until May, we were running about neck and neck with our competition," he observed.

"But since the launch of DS Lite, sales have soared. During [the last six month] period, the advantage in unit sales is about two and a half to one, and DS is the top selling platform so far this year in Canada by a wide margin."

According to Fils-Aime, Nintendo believes it has a mission to "change the central dynamic of this industry", which over the last few years "was becoming consumed by intesifying the game experience along a very narrow path".

"We believe that narrow path was alienating a lot of potential consumers during that time. Almost all publishers and manufacturers were chasing the same class of player; a group that many believe had a seemingly limitless desire for more of the same," he continued.

"We opted for disruption - not ignoring these core players, but looking beyond them; looking for a way to expand the market audience to include new types of players."

The Nintendo Wii will go on sale in North America on November 19, with the European launch to follow on December 8.