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Wii U: "Certainly we will learn from 3DS"

Re: games, digital, but not necessarily price.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nintendo has pledged to learn from the mistakes of the 3DS launch when releasing Wii U.

The 3DS trade price will be cut by around a third tomorrow. The lowest selling price we've seen so far is at Tesco, where a 3DS will cost £115.

But price, bizarrely, wasn't one of the areas Fils-Aime highlighted while discussing 3DS launch shortcomings.

"Every platform we launch, every title we launch, we do a deep dive of understanding what worked, what didn't work," Fils-Aime told MTV Multiplayer. "How do we take the learning and apply it to future initiatives?

"Certainly we will take learning from 3DS, both positive and opportunities, and apply all of those to the launch next year of Wii U.

"Things like the importance of digital. Certainly the importance of strong first-party support right at the launch. Those are things that we will look to strongly reapply as we prepare for Wii U."

"Based on the pre-sales and based on the strong day-one sales, at that point we certainly felt that the value equation was appropriate."

Reggie Fils-Aime, CEO, Nintendo of America

Fils-Aime defended the launch price of 3DS, which had a retailer-set RRP of £229.99, by saying pre-orders and "strong" day-one sales meant "the value equation was appropriate".

So why did Nintendo significantly lower the 3DS price according to Reggie Fils-Aime? To build momentum ahead of Christmas.

"This is a momentum business; we know we have to have strong momentum going into the holiday timeframe," he said.

"In order to address that, we've taken this dramatic step of reducing the price, doing it fairly early in the platform's life, to address the value equation and to reset that value equation beginning this Friday."

Nintendo has set no price for the Wii U. The Wii gained early momentum due to an attractively low price of £179. The DS also tore out of the blocks thanks to a low price of £99. The 3DS, on the other hand, limped off shelves at £229.99. So, will Nintendo go low or high with Wii U?

Reggie Fils-Aime's comment about learning from 3DS concerned two things: big games and digital support.

"A platform is driven by the quality and quantity of content to be enjoyed on the platform."

Reggie Fils-Aime

"A platform is driven by the quality and quantity of content to be enjoyed on the platform," he declared. "What were are doing to rectify this is [on 3DS] by, first, making sure we have great games."

Fils-Aime name-checked Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Starfox 64 3D, Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land and Pokemon Rumble Blast as examples of how the line-up has and be will strengthened.

As for digital support, "we believe we've addressed that issue" by launching eShop, Nintendo Video and Netflix.

The connotations for Wii U are that Nintendo will be reluctant to release the machine without a strong game line-up - presumably containing a recognisable first-party game - and that there will be a realised and deep online offering at launch.

Nintendo unveiled Wii U at E3 with the promise of a Super Smash Bros. game and Pikmin 3, although there was no commitment to either as launch titles - or, indeed, a commitment to any release date whatsoever.

Nintendo also had playable builds of Super Mario Bros. Mii and Zelda HD on Wii U, but classified both not as tech demos but as experiences, and said there were no plans to develop either into full titles.

We're still in the dark regarding Wii U's online capabilities, although publishers claim to be working closely with the Mario maker to ensure the appropriate options appear.

The Wii U.

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