Nintendo: The most powerful console doesn't always win

Reggie Fils-Aime says success of the original Wii and PlayStation 2 proves you don't need the beefiest specs to come out on top.

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The most powerful console isn't always the most successful, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Forbes when discussing the Wii U's prospects this holiday against the more technically capable newcomers the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

"The interesting thing there is, if you look at the last two hardware cycles, it was not the most powerful machine that won, not in the case of the PS2, not in the case of the Wii," Fils-Aime said. "So, in the end, it's our responsibility to show consumers how much fun you can have, because in the end, this is an entertainment business, and we think we've got stellar entertainment to make the consumer smile."

Overall, Fils-Aime said the software lineup Nintendo has in place this holiday for Wii U and 3DS is compelling enough that he believes Nintendo's chances are "very good" against the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. "Software drives hardware, and we're having a stellar year," Fils-Aime said.

Some notable new releases for Wii U and 3DS this holiday include Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (December 6), and Pokemon X/Y.

Also in the interview, Fils-Aime acknowledged that when the Wii U launched last year, some people did not understand that it was an altogether new console. Such perception issues have been remedied, he said.

"That issue has been largely addressed," Fils-Aime said. "The consumer I believe now understands this is a brand new system with brand new capabilities."

Fils-Aime also explained that the Wii U will be a desirable platform this holiday against the PS4 and Xbox One because of the "differentiated experiences" that it can offer, including its lower price point. Others include the Wii U GamePad, which allows users to play some games entirely off the main screen, as well as its exclusive Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong franchises, all of which have new releases this holiday. Lastly, Fils-Aime said Nintendo TV is a "differentiated experience" that consumers won't find elsewhere.

"We believe those will drive our performance now and into the future," he said. "And differentiated experiences in this entertainment business win."

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