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Nintendo's New President Warned Wii U Was Too Similar to Wii

Tatsumi Kimishima also reveals he has only been elected for one year.


Nintendo's newly appointed president, Tatsumi Kimishima, predicted the Wii U would not be a success.

According to a report by Japanese publication Nikkei, as translated by analyst and games industry consultant Serkan Toto, Kimishima highlighted the console's similarities to its predecessor as problematic.

Following its release, the Wii U struggled to gain commercial traction. Market confusion arising from similarities between the console and the original Wii was cited as one of the contributing factors.

Before his passing, former president Satoru Iwata focused on marketing the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS' unique software lineup. This, over time, increased interest in the console and, in July 2015, Nintendo reported sales of the console surpassed 10 million units.

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Elsewhere in the interview, Kimishima indicated he had no intention to alter the course Iwata placed the company on, and will continue Nintendo's efforts to enter the mobile market.

According to the exec, Iwata did not provide any instructions on how to run the company in his absence. He also revealed he has been elected to the position for one year, and is unsure about what will happen beyond this period.

Kimishima indicated he wasn't against the idea of hiring someone from outside Nintendo to lead the company one day. If this were to come to pass, it would be a significant shift for the company, which had been headed up by members of the Yamauchi family, before promoting longtime developer Iwata.

Nintendo named Kimishima as the new president of Nintendo on September 14. His previous roles have included serving as chief financial officer of the Pokemon Company and director of Nintendo of America. He was also the company's managing director and head of human resources.

Pictured: Tatsumi Kimishima
Pictured: Tatsumi Kimishima

The company is currently gearing up to reveal its next gaming console, codenamed the NX. Although initially announced in mid-2015, Nintendo said it would not discuss the NX until 2016.

At the time, Iwata said the NX represented a "new concept," and added the company was not thinking of it as a "simple replacement for" the 3DS or the Wii U.

In March 2015, Nintendo announced it had signed a deal with the global mobile games publisher DeNA, which includes the creation of "new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which [both companies] will develop specifically for smart devices."

Nintendo is expecting to release its first mobile game before the end of 2015.

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