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The Wii U Gamepad is the Only “Real Innovation in this Console Cycle,” says Nintendo’s Scott Moffitt

Nintendo of America executive VP of sales, Scott Moffitt, has stated he feels the Wii U Gamepad is the only real innovation in this current console cycle. He also discussed a host of other issues in an interview he had with Examiner. Nintendo Everything rounded up all the quotes from Moffitt below:

On the annualization of franchises…

“We tend not to annualize our franchises, there’s not a new Mario Kart every year. What we’ve tried to do with the Wii U is first, create a fully featured really enjoyable game that has something for everybody, has surprises that you’ll discover as you play through levels and it gives you a good amount of quality entertainment.”

On how DLC can keep games fresh and played over a long period…

“For fans who love [Mario Kart], we’ve released extra content over time so that it keeps the game fresh and allows them to experience more than they could when they originally bought the game. That’s the approach we take, rather than annualizing the franchise, we are periodically releasing new courses, levels and features that keep people playing. We see a huge surge in gameplay hours on Mario Kart when we [release new content].”

On how this style of delivery depends on the franchise…

“We take different approaches with different franchises. If you look at the Pokémon franchise, we have released multiple core games for 3DS. We like to give Pokémon fans something every year, but something like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. there may only be one version of that franchise in the whole console cycle.”

On whether Nintendo will annualize more of their franchises…

“It all depends on the franchise, the developer and what new ideas they can bring to the franchise to move the gameplay forward and keep the franchise fresh. I think we always need to innovate and we need to always bring new ideas and new thoughts, but they have to be sufficient enough to justify the next release. Small, incremental changes may not be worth a whole new release.”

On showcasing the Wii U GamePad’s potential…

“We’ve proven time and time again, we make great games, they get great users scores as well as critical scores. With games like Star Fox and Mario Maker, we are continuing to show the promise of the GamePad and, candidly, early on we probably didn’t showcase the promise of the GamePad as well as we could have.”

“As developers have gotten more comfortable with the technology, now you’re seeing games that really leverage the power of the GamePad. I think that will invite people to take a second look at Wii U.”

“That’s our real secret sauce is [the GamePad], it is the only real innovation in this console cycle, it’s the only real new idea or game experience and with Super Mario Maker it shows you how magical it is to create levels with that GamePad. It’s so easy and intuitive.”

On Star Fox Zero and Super Mario Maker possibly help selling Wii U hardware…

“Then with Star Fox Zero it’s showing how the GamePad can give you a different view into your game world. You are piloting the ‘R Wing’ and you’re getting a cockpit view on the GamePad. I think those types of experiences may help us propel the system to new heights.”

On how software helped lead the 3DS to a turnaround…

“We’ve had a string of high-quality, well-received, well-rated games, and the breadth of content spectacular. You’ve got games for Japanese RPG fans, classic Mario titles like Mario Kart and Smash Brothers 3DS, which was a great seller last holiday.”

On how offering different 3DS models at varying price points allowed Nintendo to create hardware that was affordable to a range of gamers…

“Second, we’ve got a range of hardware at different price points that allow a variety of gamers to play the content at a price point they can afford. Its accessibility has really been part of the magic.”

On how the New 3DS XL has caused the 3DS to exceed expectations…

“We were short on product when we first launched the [New Nintendo 3DS XL]. It was selling 40 percent above what we were forecasting and expecting. All we’ve shared in regards to numbers of the system is that we’ve sold half a million units in the first couple of months.”

On what he feels is an important thing for gaming to improve upon in order to ensure continued long-term success in the future…

“I think we owe it to our game fans to bring a diverse array of experiences and not be too copycat-ish of other ideas. I think the industry is at its best when we take balanced risks and don’t just resort to the easy solutions. We’re at our best when we push the limits and challenge each other to think provocatively and be bold.”

I don’t know about this one, I think PS4’s SharePlay is pretty innovative, unless he was talking about hardware only. What do you guys think?

Source: Examiner, Full Source: Nintendo Everything


  • http://network.wikia.com/wiki/neTwork_Wiki T-ZA

    Moffitt has a point: the GamePad is certainly a unique piece of tech (in the gaming sphere, anyway), and it can be used to do some interesting things that weren’t possible before. Some examples I personally like are ZombiU (yes, it was unpolished and could’ve used some more features, but the tension brought about by GamePad usage in the midst of gameplay just can’t be felt with a standard controller where you have to pause to fumble around for things [removing all tension for getting things you need when you could die]), Lego City Undercover (something a lot of people seem to forget used it pretty well), Rayman Legends, and Super Mario Maker. There are probably others I’m forgetting, but yeah, it can be used for unique experiences that are actually fun.

    However, Moffitt also has a point: they didn’t show the promise of it early on…you know, that time period when consumers (especially casual gamers) are expected to see why X thing is useful/cool in order to establish a strong consumer base? Ironically enough, the examples I gave that did come out within that launch window-or within the first year or two of Wii U being on the market-weren’t made by Nintendo themselves…which is bad :P.

    They needed a “Wii Sports”, if you will: that one game where anyone who uses the GamePad will see that “I understand this immediately and am having a really good time playing this”. On a scale of 1 to Wii Sports, NintendoLand was like a 4, Game & Wario was a 2 :P, any other party game-like attempt they’ve done so far is an instant 1 imo XD, and the big-hitters (MK8, DKC: TF, SM3DW, Sm4sh) don’t even have ratings because it wasn’t really utilized to enhance how to play those games. If SMM or Splatoon came out two years earlier, I don’t think justifying the GamePad would’ve been a problem (especially with that Splatoon commercial being a thing that much earlier XD. Think of the mindshare >:D *evil laughter*).

    As for SharePlay, the “playing locally online” part is interesting should there ever be a major PS4 game released that is local multiplayer only :P. Maybe they exist already, but I don’t know what they are. It does make me wonder why it’s there, seeing as how nearly everything with multiplayer worth playing (at least that I know of) already has online to begin with ‘:/. Honestly that seems like something Nintendo would benefit more from than Sony would at this point :P. Overall, this side of SharePlay is certainly new, just not really changing how we play.

    The “taking over my game part” of it…enh, not really seeing how that is a good thing overall, personally. If you buy a game, you should be the one experiencing the whole package, not someone else. If you actually like the game, difficulty shouldn’t be a reason to “hand it off” to someone else; that should be motivation to improve yourself, making overcoming that challenge all the more satisfying. One positive I can see from it is to “demo” potentially anything :o, buuuuuut that depends on what your friends own :/. Might as well just get an actual demo :P.

  • donzaloog

    He’s absolutely right.

  • ednice

    So innovative in fact that they believe they don’t have to show us how innovative it can be.

    • android138

      the whole fact the wii u can function without a t.v. is pretty innovative dont you think?

  • person

    True, but there are useful, innovation that connect with people, and less useful innovations that don’t garner enough interest and isn’t exploited properly. Guess which one this is(!)
    Nintendo, you can’t boast about an innovation because it’s there, you’ve got to show us why it’s worth adding an extra £50/$70 (at least) onto the price of the console!

    • android138

      smart phones and touchscreen tablets concepts are not innovative because it was made by nintendo. wtf does that sound right or kinda fanboyish?

  • Mythosa

    Dur. It’s the ONLY new thing this gen.

    • android138

      yup the gamepad was the only innovation this gen. sony and ms only gave us a slightly better OS thats it.IMO

  • awang0718

    Obviously, a Nintendo executive will praise the one feature that makes the Wii U stand out. Just like how a Sony executive will praise Share-play/Share-button, while a Microsoft executive will praise Xbox One + Windows 10 integration. Nothing much to see here…

    • GreysonTetsuya

      And to think this is the same guy who just recently said that Nintendo often listens to its fans lol

  • Hardin Twentyfive

    He’s not lying.

  • luis garcia

    Share play is not innovative. It is not something that has changed the way we play. It changes how you share thing but not how you play.

    • getagrip

      it lags like fuck its a laggy gimmick

    • android138

      have to agree with this opinion 100% a feature can be fun but is not gameplay.

  • NintendoPower

    Hell yeah. This is true. I love the gp.

  • getagrip

    its the only innovation and its a gamecentric innovation THATS WHAT MATTERS

    generic TECH gpu-cpu increase in power WII U HAS THIS but nintendo take tech and apply it to gaming

    wii remote isnt just awavey stick its a 3D mouse blutooth pointer with soundfeedback etc

    gamepad is a multifuntion device,it applys to gaming and web surfing and media playing and easy to the point OS interface

    im on my gamepad right now

    • chrgby

      lol, so am I.

  • chrgby

    I’d say he’s right. SharePlay is a neat idea, but mostly useless for anyone who calls themselves a “gamer”. And I doubt many of the casuals who might benefit from it actually have a helper at their beck-and-call. Narrow and redundant application is no competition for what makes games like Super Mario Maker, Fatal Frame, Star Fox Zero, Project Giant Robot, Affordable Space Adventures and more possible.

    Certainly, when you’re explicitly talking hardware, there’s no doubt. The GamePad may not be the barnburner the Wiimote was, but it’s stuff like the DS4 light bar and HoloLens that really make me think sometimes that few at Sony and Microsoft actually understand how games work.

    • getagrip

      wii remote is HIGH TECH and very core,but nintedo marketed it as casual GENIUS MOVE

      i think nintendo thought a tablet come controller was self explaned,but it seems casuals dont get it,and ms sony fanboys are intimidated by it

      the way fanboys slander the wii remote in forums,is FEAR they know the wii remote rocks but show there jelousy by callng it waggle

      waggle isnt the wii remote its a poor USE OF IT, a button can be waggle a anolog stick can be waggle a mouse can be waggle,a touch screen can be waggle

      wii remotes blutooth mouse IS HARDCORE AS HELL so is gamepads gyro 9 axis

      using the term MOTION CONTROLS is people showing how ignorent they are

      • NintendoPower

        So true lol. I remember playing black ops 2 on the Wii U there be hordes of kids complaining that I was using a Wiimote. They seen it as a disadvantage to them and I guess for good reason. It’s so precise. When you get used to it it’s much funner than using a standard controller.

        • getagrip

          YOUR PLAYINGA FPS WITH A MOUSE POINTER THATS AHARDCORE AND CURRECT WAY TO PLAYA FPS NINTENDO IS FIGHTING GAINST IGNORENCE

          LOL TIN STICKING A FPS IS ROBOTIC AND CLANKY AS HELL FUCKING BUNCH OF IGNORENT CASUALS

          • Chazprime

            You’re not really a good example that Nintendo is fighting against “ignorence”.

          • android138

            yea but he’s not wrong. besides the caps and run on sentences the wiimote is better at shooters and the 9 axis on the gamepad works rather well with splatoon. regular controllers have their place in gaming though. since the gamepad the pro controller takes a backset. enuff said.

  • Wegotexclusives

    In before some one says that a laptop pad on a controller is better.

    • getagrip

      HIGH FIVE for this dude

    • PRIMUS

      hahahahahaha that’s so 1998.