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 Reggie speaks to USA Today
With Nintendo's new console mere months away, Reggie Fils-Aime has been discussing his company's philosophy ahead of one of the most important periods in their history. Among the topics talked about, Reggie confirmed that Nintendo will NOT be charging for their online service like Xbox Live and instead will allow consumers to play compatible titles online for free.

Reggie also gives his views on 'Wii60'




Q: What made Nintendo try to do something dramatically different with the Wii?

A: Our focus is interactive game play, a whole new way to play, that puts fun back into this business. It allows everybody to pick up and play and isn't focused on the core gamer.

Q: The Wii seems to emphasize the controller, not heavy attention on graphics. Is that by design?

A: That is exactly by design. Our visuals for Wii will look fantastic, but in the end, prettier pictures will not bring new gamers and casual gamers into this industry. It has to be about the ability to pick up a controller, not be intimidated, and have fun immediately. The trick is being able to do that, not only with the new casual gamer, but do it in a way that the core gamer gets excited as well.

Q: Microsoft has made the comment that people can buy an Xbox 360 and Wii for about the same price as a PlayStation 3. Would you mind terribly if that happened?

A: I'd much rather have the consumer buy a Wii, some accessories, and a ton of games, vs. buying any of my competitor's products.

Q: A few years ago, Nintendo made a conscious decision to lie low when Microsoft introduced Xbox Live and began promoting its subscription online gaming service. In retrospect, does that look like a good decision?

A: I wasn't here. What I can tell you is the way we've approached online play now is really with a view to the masses. With Nintendo DS (a dual-screen handheld player), for example, we offer free Internet play in a wide-ranging series of games. Our focus is getting as many consumers to enjoy that online experience as possible. And we've done that.

Q: You're not pursuing a subscription model?

A: We view online gaming as essentially an enhanced way to enjoy the gaming experience and drive more sales of hardware and software.

Q: How do you extend your online strategy to Wii?

A: It's the same premise. We will offer online-enabled games that the consumers will not have to pay a subscription fee for. They'll be able to enjoy that right out of the box. The Wii console is going to be Wi-Fi enabled, so essentially, you'll be able to plug it in and go. It won't have hidden fees or costs.

Q: What is your plan for getting folks who aren't normally interested in video games to try the Wii?

A: We need to get the consumer to admire what we've done. We need them to say to themselves, "Wow, this new Wii console by Nintendo is really interesting!" And they need to try it. They need to get bought into the proposition.

Q: Can the Wii take Nintendo back to the top of the mountain?

A: Our goal is to have as many teens and young adults as we have 40-plus-year-olds excited about the platform. We're trying to expand this business here in the U.S in a way that it really hasn't been expanded ... for the health of this industry.



The full interview can be found here:


Buy Reggie speaks to USA Today now at Play.com
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