by Anton Shilov
12/18/2013 | 11:55 PM
Virtually all high-ranking executives of high-tech companies usually avoid talking about products made by direct rivals or even make jokes about them. This is not the case with Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS), who recently openly praised Nintendo Wii U and said that such devices are needed by the industry.
“The latest Mario game is really good, too. I think the Wii U is just getting started. […] People can get together and enjoy [the Wii U], it has got plenty of wonderful games. Nintendo helps raise and teaches the fun of games to people just starting out. I think that is a very important thing in this industry,” said Mr. Yoshida during a talk-show, reports Kotaku web-site.
Sales of Nintendo Wii U have been slow from the very start in November ’12 worldwide. Only recently shipments of the console started to increase thanks to wider choice of games, price-cut on premium version of the product and discontinuation of the basic flavor. The future of Wii U is hard to predict, though, now that it has to compete not against previous-generation consoles, but also new-generation Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.
The market in general does need inexpensive game consoles for novice gamers who do not want to spend $400 - $500 on a system. However, there are more affordable systems than Nintendo Wii U, e.g., Xbox 360 (Xbox 360 250GB + Kinect + three games cost $349, Xbox 360 250GB with two games cost $249) that provide rich choice of games, including titles for casual gamers. Therefore, Nintendo Wii U has to be more than an inexpensive game console to succeed.
The fact that the head of SCE WWS praises Wii U and claims that it does a great job in teaching novice gamers to play may mean that Sony itself does not put a lot of efforts into attracting new gamers and does not have such intentions. By contrast, SCE wants to concentrate on core gamers with high demands.