June 19th, 2013, 00:43 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has put the lack of Wii U games this year down to the necessity for software to be more polished and offer more value than ever before.
Iwata contests that customers are much harder to please in an age of free-to-play and $1 smartphone games. "I think it is becoming increasingly more difficult to have consumers understand and appreciate the value that a particular game offers than ever before," he said in Nintendo's E3 Analyst Briefing.
"For example, it is now common to find on smart devices a large volume of products categorized as games selling for one dollar. With countless games offered for free, consumers are far more careful than ever to decide whether it is worthwhile to spend dozens of dollars to buy one game," he added.
This, says Iwata, makes adding extra value and polish to $60 games paramount to the success of Wii U, which has drastically underperformed at retail since its November 2012 release.
"Under these circumstances, we feel that it is important to offer games that are even more polished than before in terms of quality to have consumers buy our products, understand the value that they offer and recommend them to others by word-of-mouth," commented Iwata.
"The barriers are indeed higher than before," he added.
"Moreover, it is not an easy task to regain the trust of the fans of a franchise once you lose it. Therefore, it is critical for us to improve and re-polish any game that we feel is still lacking in quality. Failing to do so, we feel, would be detrimental to what makes our strong franchises the valuable assets that they are."
Iwata explains that it's this push for quality that's caused delays, not issues with developing for the console itself.
"We had to push back the releases of some games because it has become more difficult to satisfy the quality standards that we feel are necessary for games to satisfy before they are released. It was not because it took us more time to take advantage of what is unique about the hardware," he said.
"On the other hand, we have become more experienced as we continue to develop software on our platforms, and we have gradually been able to predict more accurately how long it will take a particular game to meet our quality standards. There has been a software shortage in the past two years (for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) in the early stages of their product lifecycles because it took us time to meet our quality standards."
Nintendo is under increasing pressure to turn the Wii U's fortunes around. Electronic Arts said recently that it will resume full support for Wii U when it "becomes a viable platform" on which to sell games.
Nintendo used E3 last week to show off several major new Wii U titlesincluding Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros, Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3.
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