Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime says the dearth of quality third-party software for the Wii is simply the result of game publishers’ failure to understand the system and its audience.
While Nintendo itself has met with tremendous success in developing games for the Wii, the results of third-party efforts on the system have been somewhat less than spectacular, particularly when compared with comparable development on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Speaking to Forbes recently, Fils-Aime laid the blame primarily on game publishers who have been hesitant to bring their top games to the Wii despite big interest in those titles among Wii owners.
“I will be able to say our licensees ‘get it’ when their very best content is on our platform,” he said. “And with very few exceptions today, that’s not the case.”
Unlike Sony and Microsoft, who rely heavily on third-party publishers to support their platforms, nearly all the top-selling Wii games are published by Nintendo, including hits like Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy and many others. But there have been signs recently that Nintendo is being taken more seriously by some external developers: Sega is currently at work on the violent action game MadWorld for the Wii, and if Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS is a success, it could help convince other studios to take a more serious approach to the Nintendo platforms.
And speaking of Wii Fit, if you want one for Christmas you’d better grab one while you can. Fils-Aime said that while he continues to believe Nintendo has a “good shot at meeting demand” for the Wii this year, that won’t be the case with the Wii Fit. “With Wii Fit, I know we’ll fall short,” he said. “That’s a product we have consumers lining up for each morning outside of our Nintendo World store.”