Sony Needs Wii U To Succeed
Eh? I’m confused, I thought Sony was only concerned with PlayStation consoles and everything else would be considered competition. Yes, even your fridge is an opponent to the PS4. No, this has nothing to do with a few PS4 consoles breaking down at launch.
Technically speaking, the PS4 and Wii U are competitors but Sony is probably more worried about your kitchen appliances posing a threat than Nintendo’s abysmally performing inbetweener console. At least, that’s what we mistakenly thought. It turns out the Wii U is far more important to Sony as a gateway console.
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In an interview with IGN Sony president Shuhei Yoshida spoke at length about how the success of Nintendo’s console would benefit the gaming industry at large.
“We need Nintendo to be very successful to help induct as many consumers who like to play games with controllers, sticks, and buttons because we believe they are great things,” Yoshida said after the interviewer asked about the impact of smartphone and tablet gaming.
The Wii U has sorely underperformed to the point where earlier this year some South African retailers were practically giving consoles away to clear stock. Yoshida believes this is down to Nintendo pushing the console on the hardcore crowd rather than marketing the Wii U as family-friendly.
“I think success or making mistakes depends on how you set your goal. I don’t know what was Nintendo’s goal when they launched Wii U,” Yoshida said. “To me, it was a bit confusing because what they do really well was create some very safe environment for anyone, especially children to enjoy games like induct those people who have never played games ever to become gamers. And they always do very well.”
“To me, what they have made with Wii U was continuing what they were doing well [with the original Wii]. But the messaging when they were saying ‘we are for core gamers’ was a bit confusing,” he added. “But this year I think they slightly changed their messaging, and it seems to me like they are coming back to where they are focused.”
Nintendo has its usual string of first-party titles coming to Wii U but is still struggling to get appreciable third-party support with some developers and publishers flat-out refusing.
This sort of interconnected and somewhat co-dependent view of the gaming industry is intriguing and certainly more forward-thinking than seeing everyone as competition. It mirrors the notion propositioned by Caveshen of Call of Duty being a gateway game that opens people up to gaming.