Nintendo Downplays Being First to Release Next-Gen Console
If you remember the release dates of the current generation of gaming consoles, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was first in line, beating out Sony Entertainment (NASDAQ:SNE) by a year. Industry insiders trace Microsoft’s success in the console wars to the fact that they released their Xbox 360 before the Sony PlayStation 3.
With that in mind, would Nintendo have a chance to rule the roost, given that they will likely be releasing the Wii U in Q4 2012?
Nintendo may be releasing the Wii U a year (or even two) ahead of its competitors, but according to the company’s president Satoru Iwata, being first doesn’t mean a thing. Iwata stressed that the main goal of the Nintendo Wii U is to be “important for the world,” even if being first does have its share of advantages.
Iwata went on to explain why the Wii U could be so “important” once it is eventually launched. First off, he mentioned tablet computers such as the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad – these tablets come with expensive price points, about $500 and above for high-end varieties.
With the Wii U, consumers would have another option. He added that consumers may not likely purchase a new high definition television until about five years from now, thus making the Wii U practical.
But can the Wii U revitalize Nintendo’s fortunes after reporting a loss for the first time in about 30 years?
Iwata believes that Nintendo being in the red would be a one-time thing, one caused by the lackluster sales of 3DS hardware. This, however, may change in due time, even as the 3DS continues to be unprofitable for Nintendo. And of course, there’s a good chance the Wii U would sell enough units to make Nintendo profitable again by next year, as Iwata is confident the device would be different enough to make an impact in the console market.