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Nintendo Explains Its Accessory Strategy

| 30 Jul 2008 14:02
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With many of the Wii's top software being sold alongside attachments, Nintendo has spoken on how it has succeeded with selling accessories with Wii games.

The Wii's best-sellers list is topped with Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Play, all of which came packed with a peripheral to enhance gameplay. At E3, Nintendo continued this trend with the announcement of Wii MotionPlus, a more accurate Wiimote, and the Wii Speak, a community microphone to be used online with Animal Crossing: City Folk.

Nintendo vice president of marketing Cammie Dunaway commented to VentureBeat that these accessories sell because they "provide unique interfaces that expand the definition of what a video game is."

"The Wii Balance Board, expanded by scales for Sumo wrestlers, is now being used as a snowboard in a Shaun White game and as a sled in a Rayman Rabbids game," commented Dunaway on the versatility of the add-ons. "It leads to unique and creative experiences. There are a lot of great accessories we have announced at the show. The microphone for Wii Speak will take the community experience inherent in Animal Crossing so that you have a room of people talking to another room of people."

Nintendo accurately decided that bundling the extra hardware with games in high demand.

"It's a great way to give them the whole experience. With Animal Crossing, we will sell the Wii Speak microphone separately," continued Dunaway. "You don't need it to have fun with the game. But it's an enhancement for people who really want to have this community experience.... There are times when we will bundle the accessory. The Wii MotionPlus will come free with Wii Sports Resort because it enables the full range of motion in activities like sword play and tossing a disk."

The technologies used for Nintendo's controllers might not be the most advanced, but Dunaway says ease of use is the company's strong point.

She said, "I'm sure there is a place for those kinds of technologies. But having simple and intuitive interfaces has been one of the secrets of the Wii and the DS."

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