SPOnG just managed to catch a quick 'sit down' with Nintendo's UK marketing boss, the ebullient Aussie, David Yarnton, who shared his thoughts with us about today's European Wii launch (which is still going on around us) as well as spilling a few interesting beans about his company's world domination plans for 2007.
We'll be sure to bring you the full interview as soon as possible, but here's a few tidbits for you to be going on with.
Firstly, we quizzed Yarnton about the fairly late-in-the day date and the slightly higher than expected price-point (8 Dec, £179) and he replied, "The date is in line with our plans and our production capacity and so on, so we just wanted to make sure that we can deliver what we promise to eager consumers on day one ... it's only nineteen days after the US and six days after Japan ... and as for the price, we feel that £179/249 Euros is a fair price point, especially as the consumer gets Wii Sports as part of the package. Obviously the gamers will want to buy one or two extra games on launch [he detailed the various options available to 'us gamers' at this point] ... but for those who don't necessarily want to rush out and buy Zelda or WarioWare or whatever, then they can play Wii Sports right out the box."
We then suggested that perhaps Nintendo might want to consider bringing Nintendo Stores to Europe, following on from yesterday's US press conference (which was also broadcast in the NYC Nintendo Store). Yarnton was cagey about any plans in this area, but certainly liked the idea. Although when we suggested that perhaps the old Gizmondo store on Regent St. was still available to lease, he seemed to go a little cold on the idea.
Yarnton went on to detail Nintendo's plans for lifestyle marketing - explaining how the company aims to target those non-traditional gamers it's gunning for - the elderly, women and so on. SPOnG will be bringing you details of a major Wii sampling tour in the coming weeks. He was also very careful to outline that the company is not 'forgetting' about its traditional customers, being careful to reiterate that both Nintendo and its publishing partners are heavily focused on making 'feature-length' proper games as well as the new, non-traditional Touch! Generations titles.
Unfortunately Yarnton could not confirm a date for WarioWare: Smooth Moves for us, so we can only presume that we are going to have to wait until next Spring for that one. Of course, we'll bring you confirmation on the date as soon as we get it. He was also not able to tell us if there were any plans to introduce different coloured Wii's in the future, although the smart money in the office is for a pink Wii in time for Christmas 2007.