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Nintendo: Wii U Is Not A Tablet, Should Offset Losses From 3DS Launch

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Posted on September 15, 2012 AT 07:20pm

Nintendo has quite a bit banking on the success of the Wii U, and to be frank, the casual fan still might not be clear on what the new console actually does. Never fear, though—Reggie Fils-Aime is on the case.

In a recent interview with the New York Times (one of Nintendo’s favorite press outlets), the president of the company’s American branch cleared the air about some common misconceptions about the tablet:

NY Times: The Wii U is basically a tablet. Is that Nintendo’s answer to the competitive mobile market?

Reggie Fils-Aime: The Wii U is not a tablet. It’s a two-screen experience. And so you have this unique GamePad that gives you a different way to have a gaming experience. We’ve got a range of different examples that we can show you. It’s everything from the three of us can be playing the game, and I’m using the GamePad to maybe try and attack you with a space ship.

Back when images and information about the Wii U were first making their rounds, some people thought that the console was just a retrofitted Wii accompanied by a tablet device with customized software—and considering how similar the two can look to the casual eye, that’s not unreasonable.

However, the Wii U and WiiPad (an accessory that’s been referred to as the GamePad and Wii Tablet) are a single unit, and Nintendo is hoping that the 43 million Wiis they’ve sold so far is an indication of how well their newest console will sell. Especially since, as Reggie himself points out, his company has some financial losses to recoup:

Reggie Fils-Aime: The Nintendo 3DS for its launch time period didn’t present the consumer value that we needed it to, so we had to reduce the price, and we actually had to reduce the price below its cost.

So that’s why our earnings took a hit last year. As we look to the future, how are we going to build our business back? It’s Wii U, and now that we’re selling more 3DS devices, we’re now actually making money on that.

Nintendo’s admittance that they’ve lost some valuable ground in the market is actually a good sign, and something they frankly couldn’t ignore with forced budget cuts and sales dipping everywhere but Japan. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Wii U’s sales during the launch window, and how bright the Big N’s future looks.

Source: NY Times

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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