Speaking in a new interview with the San Jose Mercury News
, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has claimed a major shift in games industry support for the Wii, following its success at last year’s E3 and subsequently at retail.
Indicating that E3 2006 was a turning point for industry perception of the Wii, Fils-Aime suggested that many developers and publishers had decided only relatively late in the console’s pre-production to support it. “Every publisher has either made the decision and stated it publicly or made the decision and not stated it publicly, but the amount of resource shift has been tremendous,” he said.
“The natural follow-up question is, ‘What's driving it?’ What's driving it is, they see the install base, they see the mix of established players ... with the potential for new gamers, and they see a business opportunity. Coupled with the lower development costs, it really is a no-brainer,” added Fils-Aime.
“The decisions started at E3 for a lot of publishers. We had been having conversations with certain publishers, obviously, well before that. Ubisoft, for example, had early access. EA had early access. But a lot of non-traditional Nintendo developers really made the decision as they watched the lines and saw for themselves what the reaction was.”
Answering a question about the Wii’s performance in Europe Fils-Aime suggested that in terms of competition from the Xbox 360, “360 is selling well only in one country: UK. Across the rest of Europe, it is not performing well. Wii, on the other hand, is selling exceptionally well all through Europe.”
With hardware sales data much harder to verify in Europe than North America or Japan, it is unknown how accurate these comments may be – although traditionally the original Xbox did prove notably more popular in the UK than the rest of Europe.