EA declares Wii a ‘legacy’ platform, hints strongly at successor

Tiger Woods PGA Tour Wii

Golf was originally one of the Wii's killer apps, but rival platforms are now able to replicate the full experience...in HD.

In an interview with IndustryGamers, Frank Gibeau of EA Games dropped a huge hint that Nintendo is hard at work on the Wii 2. There’s no way to know whether EA is truly in the know about the console this blog is dedicated to, or whether Gibeau is just speculating; but considering that Nintendo began to privately hand out Nintendo 3DS dev kits to third-parties around 2008, I certainly wouldn’t discount the possibility of the man knowing something we don’t.

When you look at Nintendo, for a while there, it was all about the Wii being the biggest entertainment platform ever and capturing the mass market, and it faded away. Now, they’re coming back with a second act. I think they know that. They’re very self-aware as an organization and a very powerful brand.

His words do carry lots of truth – Nintendo is a company that is famous for always knowing exactly what it’s doing, and the strength of their brand and first-party franchises like Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, and Metroid is practically unmatched in the gaming world. So I’m not surprised at the “news” that Nintendo’s cooking something special up to reclaim the throne of attention they enjoyed for almost four consecutive years after the Wii’s launch.

Curiously enough, Gibeau also went on to call the Wii a “legacy” console, and remarked on how its sales are slowly starting to give out to its HD brethren.

They understand the dynamics and the fact that HD consoles is a booming part of business right now. Legacy platforms like PS2 and the Wii have dropped off significantly. They’re not stupid. They’re going to figure something out. They’re going to come back at it.

True again. While the Wii is still selling relatively well, it’s definitely no longer the crazy phenomenon it was a couple of years ago. Particularly with Kinect and Move on the market, offering what some refer to as a premium “Wii HD” experience on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s market share in the home console market will undoubtedly begin to level off.

Seeing how they came out of seemingly nowhere with the 3DS, complete with a barrage of in-development titles for it from numerous studios, again, I’d expect them to be planning a fantastic comeback in the home console space as well.

Lastly, we get some thoughts on Nintendo’s stance towards third parties.

[Wii] is a tough market for a third party. When I look at a development dollar in terms of which teams do I invest in, and what platforms to go at, they’re not very competitive when you look at HD consoles, or free-to-play bets, or things like tablets and handsets. It’s something they need to think seriously about with their next gen – how serious is a third party development community for them on their next platform and their next bet? They can get to a certain level of success with their own IPs and their own internal development, but if they don’t have that developer ecosystem where it’s frankly easy to make money on the platform, they’re going to see there are too many opportunities in the world right now to go build games on other platforms in a very successful high quality, highly profitable way. They need to take note of that.

I’ll use the example of the 3DS again: Nintendo has already taken note of their relative ignorance towards third parties, giving them early access to dev kits and working together with them closely to prove that first-party games aren’t all that can thrive on Nintendo platforms. I think the perfect example of this may be the first North American 3DS trailer, which focuses majorly on Capcom’s Super Street Fighter IV 3D. Nintendo has a habit of always adapting what they do with their handheld to their next console, so I think a new focus on third-parties is definitely in for the Wii 2.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. wiibo101

    EA talks the shit yet again,, how is the fastest selling system ever and a system that sold over 7 million in 2010 a feat never before done this late in a systems life a legacy system and how is wii in the same bout as ps2 HUH…….

    its EA doing a wii fad bs statement yet again im sure EA lost billions over this gen as nintendo made billions what a crock of shit EA