The Wii's family-friendly image and library of casual games made it a hit with the casual crowd, but Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata says it wasn't the firm's intention to focus on the casual gamer.
"First of all, we would like to keep pursuing 'gaming population expansion' as our fundamental goal for the future because we believe that it is worth continuously aiming at," Iwata told investors recently. "On the other hand, we do not think that developing video games for casual or light users is the only way to expand the gaming population."
He went on: "There was a misunderstanding that Nintendo was dedicated to such games at some stage of the lifespans of the Wii and the Nintendo DS. We have made efforts to develop video games that are in tune with various consumer tastes; however, we have not been able to gain adequate consumer understanding regarding our intentions, while in the common perception there are no or few core users playing Nintendo platforms, which is not the case."
Iwata believes pulling in new players to be a step-by-step process that leads to more core gamers. "Unless we create a flow from beginner to expert by offering an entrance for beginners and the processes for a beginner to become an intermediate user and from an intermediate to an advanced player, the video game industry will gradually shrink," he said.
"The symbolic stories of how "Wii Fit" and "Brain Training" made non-users start playing video games were overemphasized, and many other cases that such beginner players tried the "Dr. Mario" series next and eventually reached "New Super Mario Bros. Wii" attracted little attention. We hope to improve our efforts to explain that even though such titles initially triggered beginners' interest to play video games, they will possibly try various kinds of games as their tastes change."
Will the Wii U do better at pulling in core gamers? We'll see...