In a recent interview†
, Perrin Kaplan
(Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Nintendo of America) talked around the subject of DVD for Wii and the competition; she finally admitted what all Nintendo fanboys know; and finally confirmed long-awaited death of the GameCube,
The passing of the unit was probably carried out in front of a thousand respectful Wii engineers in Kyoto but was confirmed by Kaplan’s simple statement: “Are we producing any more GameCubes? No”.
OK, so the bulk of the interview concerned the Wii. And one major point that arose was the fact that aside from, “the Pokemon††
game that has launched in Japan, and it definitely will come here” there was still no solid date for worldwide online Wii’ing.
It appears, however, that Ms Kaplan is growing a little tired of the hardcore gamer’s constant demands for more from the Wii, saying ,”…for people who are hardcore gamers nothing can ever come fast enough for them, ever. I mean even when we announced a mass market price… hardcore gamers even complained about that.”
She qualified this with a kinda-sorta complement before getting back on message with the mass-consumer appeal of the Wii – and the fact that additions have to be drip-fed to the non-hardcore, “And it's just because you (the hardcore) are all very educated about it and have a really huge appetite and want everything now. And having things at that pace is overwhelming for a lot of the other consumers, so we've tried to roll things out at a pace that makes sense... So online stuff will be coming soon and hopefully you all will be really pleased with it. And if you're really, really into online I can bet that you'd be playing it on all the systems.”
Now, what is it that all Nintendo fanboys know? Simple, Nintendo is not a game factory and a hardware innovator, it’s ‘an artist’. We know this because Kaplan explained about guidelines for third-party developers, saying: “We don't give guidelines; that's like one artist telling another what to do. What we do is act as a resource to help them through; if they have ideas, how to implement them, how to better it, things that they can adjust to make it happen. But the creative element... if you talk to different developers, they're so excited because there are things that they can do that they could never do before and that's been happening on the DS as well.”
And who would she say are the other artists? “I think EA has really embraced the Wii; they're very excited about what can be done with Tiger Woods' golf game. I think people finally really feel unleashed in terms of what they can do, and they can do it for not as much cost-wise. You can create something stupendous and have it be really successful without having put $40 million into it.” Ouch, eh, Sony, Microsoft?
On the subject of the competition, well, Perrin’s got ‘empathy’ for Sony, but a great line in damning with faint praise for Microsoft as this peach of a quote shows, ”Microsoft is probably the only company that could have survived in this business this long having lost as much money as they did. They're trying to do some creative and innovative things and we give them credit for that.”
As for Wii and DVD? “We've not yet come out with a firm date; we haven't talked about it too much. It's not the top thing on our list.”† Source: GamesDaily†† That’s Pokémon Battle Revolution, Perrin