Reggie Fils-Aime layeth the Nintendo smack down (again)

nintendo, WiiIs it just me, or can Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime single-handedly get people pumped up using nothing more than a newspaper Q&A? I never really got professional wrestling, but I think I do understand why the parallel has been drawn between Reggie and that form of entertainment. Doubt it? The man invented Pizza Hut Bigfoot pizza. Nuff said.

With this interview from USA Today, I think Reggie deftly covers every question people might still have about the Wii, including price and launch date (I’ll let you guess how he responded to that one). That said, there are a few answers of note in the interview, including an exchange about how Wii will be marketed (considering its control scheme is unlike any console ever released in the past) and “taking back the top of the mountain” from Sony. (emphasis mine)

Q: Your background is in marketing. Without divulging competitive secrets, can you characterize your marketing plan?

A: It’s going to be massive amounts of hands-on activity, as well as showcasing exactly how Wii games are different. We’re going to create advocacy. We’re going to make it so that everyone who tries the Wii experience talks to their friends and neighbors. It’s going to be a really provocative sight to be seeing teens and 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds talking about how different this experience is.

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.

Q: Sounds like you’re more focused on new customers and not necessarily taking share from the other guys.

A: The interesting thing is if you do expand the market, you do both. You grow the category, but you’ll also dramatically increase your market share. As an example, Nintendo DS in Japan outsells all of our competitors by a factor of five to one. We are so far in advance of our handheld competitors that they’re not even on the map. That’s all based on a market expansion strategy. And that’s what we’re looking to do with home consoles.

Reggie adds that online play will not have any hidden fees or costs, unlike the car I just leased. And if that Nintendo marketing plan he mentions were to include, say, freebies for Infendo, I wouldn’t complain one bit.