Reggie Speaks: “Games Drive The Install Base”


In an interview with Forbes, Reggie was ready when the tough question about the Wii U’s lack of power, compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, was discussed.  In fact, he pointed out two very successful, yet underpowered, consoles from the past that dominated the marker…the PS2 and the Wii.  Why were they successful?  Simply put, it was the games.

“The processing power of the hardware really doesn’t matter. I say that with confidence looking at the most recent generation of home consoles where the Wii, which the broad industry looked at and said “boy, that seems to be underpowered” but sold 100 million units globally. And the consumer saw the innovation of the Wii Remote and the active gameplay we offered.  Even if you look at the generation before that, it was Sony’s product that was underpowered compared to the other two home consoles and yet they won that generation. In the end it comes down to the games. The games drive the install base, the games excite the consumer. We feel excited about the games not just from a first party perspective, But from third party as well.”

I love having similar conversations with those that feel power and specs make or break a console, and I am excited to hear that Reggie is on my side here.  I have said it many times, “power” is meaningless if the games are undesirable, poorly developed, or just plain non existent.  The PS2 had a ton of amazing games, as did the Wii.  Both had games that catered to the masses, and specifically their fan base.

If Power were the defining factor behind the success of a console, then why are the original Nintendo,  Sega, and Atari still so popular today?  It cannot be just retro gamers like me keeping them relevant, can it?  I think a friend of mine summed it up best, while trying to find a flat head screwdriver.  I pulled a swiss army knife from my pocket and he said, “Why struggle opening the flat head on that thing, when a simple butter knife will do?”  Until now, that little piece of advice from Junior high was forgotten and laughable, however it holds true to this day…even in the world of gaming

Do you agree with Reggie?  If not, why?

Essel Pratt has spent his life exploring his imagination and dreams. As a Husband and a Father, he doesn't have as much time to write as he would like. However, his mind is always plotting out his next story. Someday he hopes to quit the 9-5 grind and focus on writing full time. Currently, Essel has three published short stories and is working on a handful of novels. Essel focuses his writings on mostly Horror/Sci-Fi, however is known to add a dash of other genres into his writings as well. In his spare time, he can be found playing one of the 40+ video game consoles in his collection, especially his Wii U (NNID: EsselPratt). Click the links below to follow Essel's exploits in the writing world, and be sure to follow his blog at as well as his articles on


  1. Reggie doesn’t make a lot of sense here. Sony and MS will also have great games available, plus more powerful hardware. IMO Nintendo makes the best games, but there are plenty of great games available for those systems as well. As always, he comes off as arrogant.

    But if it is about games… where are they? How much time, effort and money was spent developing a game pad that no one wants instead of new Smash Bros, Metroid, Zelda, etc.?

    Yes, Nintendo makes great games, but their advantage is slipping. As an example, I enjoyed Skyward Sword but overall the graphics were a joke.

    I’d like to see Reggie and Iwata replaced. This doesn’t seem like the Nintendo I grew up with.

  2. @ Lou
    I find myself disagreeing with you a lot. Not intentionally, but I guess some people are just like that. For example, I don’t think Skyward Sword had bad graphics. I mean, you said you enjoyed it, yet you seemed to ONLY complain about the graphics… Why?? Do graphics make the game? Style can, but not how “good” the graphics are. Reggie never said “Microsoft and Sony don’t and won’t have great games”, he didn’t even insinuate that. He was just saying how people in general clearly liked Nintendo’s games last generation the most, and Sony’s games the generation prior. He’s also basically saying “Don’t prematurely judge the consoles based on power. Wait until there are GAMES to judge which console is better.”

  3. @Lou

    “How much time, effort and money was spent developing a game pad that no one wants”

    I dunno, I feel like the Gamepad is -really- awesome. Also, the people who make the hardware are not the same developers who make the game software.

  4. I agree, so if it is all about the gaems, then where are they for the Wii U, Reggie?

  5. Tell me , where are the games. ??!!

  6. Sony is going to totally crush Nintendo with PS4

  7. I agree with where are the games, but I also don’t think you need to have the most powerful hardware around.

  8. While I don’t own a Wii U, and won’t until at least Wind Waker HD is released, Reggie is correct not only about the last two generations, but all seven previous generations of gaming consoles going back to 1972. Each time, of the two or three console contenders, the best selling one was also the least powerful. Odyssey (didn’t even have a CPU), Atari 2600 (128 whole bytes of RAM!), NES (slower than Master System), SNES (slower than Genesis), PS1 (slower than N64 and Saturn), and then PS2 and Wii.

    Exclusive games aside, never discount the importance of being able to price aggressively. Nintendo squandered some of that with their white elephant of a tablet controller, but they’re still going to be the cheapest of the three, possibly for the entire generation. And as Sony discovered last time out, and Microsoft is about to learn, that really matters.

  9. Lord Lemmy – don’t worry I’m tough, I can take it. 🙂

    No, great graphics don’t guarantee a great game, but come on, it’s 2013 – there’s no excuse for subpar graphics at this point. Let’s compare Skyward Sword to either Super Mario Galaxy… there is no comparison.

    Or worse, compare it to almost any game on PS3 or XBox. My nephew – 11 yrs old – didn’t understand why my Skyward Sword didn’t look as good as his Lego Lord of the Rings on PS3. Let that sink in. And he’s right.

    So Nintendo has an entire generation of gamers who see them as underpowered.

    I was in college when Super Mario 64 came out. Everyone that was into gaming basically lost their minds. Very few in college are having that experience with Nintendo consoles now.

    I still struggle to see the point of the Wii U. The Wii was successful because it pulled in casual gamers with a simple interface. So Nintendo follows that up with basically the same console, except with a gamepad. That only one person can use. And isn’t as functional as “real” tablets like iPads. Just another massive misstep by Iwata and company.

  10. BornFlunky –

    Developers would have had to work on things like Nintendo Land, developing methods for games to interface with the second screen, development kits for third parties, having the gamepad interact with the OS, etc.

    That’s all time that could have been spent on an HD Super Smash Bros.

    So let’s say the next Wii had launched with HD graphics, no gamepad, a lower price (due to no gamepad) and titles like Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and let’s say a new Star Fox.

    You think that would have put up better numbers than the Wii U?

  11. @Lou

    “Developers would have had to work on things like Nintendo Land, developing methods for games to interface with the second screen, development kits for third parties, having the gamepad interact with the OS, etc.That’s all time that could have been spent on an HD Super Smash Bros.”

    Because those first few things weren’t important at all, right?

    Personally, I’m loving the Gamepad, and I think millions of others are, too. The Wii U is still the cheapest console out of this new generation.

    Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are on their way. It took the Wii about a year and a half or two years, respectively, to get its own Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart titles.

    The Wii U has been out for 7 months. So, the Wii U is getting those respective titles faster than the Wii itself did. That’s not half bad.

    You’re basically saying that the development teams that made the Wii U -what it is- could have spent more time working on one or two games. And you’re probably right.

    But I sure wouldn’t have wanted that. Nintendo Land is pretty awesome. I really like the Gamepad. And I also like Nintendo not over-saturating their market. When they DO over-saturate their market (like the New Super Mario Bros. series), it’s pretty terrible.

    When they take their time to make their products, hardware and software alike, truly unique? Magic happens.

  12. Think about it this way – the next Super Smash Brothers will not support the gamepad.

    So for arguably the most anticipated title on this system, the gamepad will serve no purpose.

    So what was the point?

    Look, if people wanted it, the system would sell. It’s not selling. Nintendo has wasted time with stupid peripherals before, and they just don’t seem to learn. Yes, it’s about games. So why this stupid, expensive peripheral that you won’t even use in one of the most popular franchises.

    They will eventually sell a version of the Wii U with no gamepad at a reduced price. That’s when I – and millions of others – will finally jump in. But not before.

  13. So, you don’t actually own it, but you’re chastising it as if you do. Got’cha.

    Smash Bros. has a very specific and sensible reason it’s not using Gamepad features. Pretty sure you can still play it on the Gamepad, though.

    And again, the Wii U is getting Smash Bros. faster than the Wii did. Is that just flying over everyone’s heads?

    “Expensive peripheral”

    Again, it’s the cheapest console. Hell, the deluxe version that comes with games is cheaper than just the PS4 or Xbox One alone!

    People thought the Wiimote was a peripheral that was a waste of time, and hey, look at it now.

    Look at Wii U sales, which literally jumped up nearly 900% in the UK back in May, just from a reveal.

    And look at the DS, which has proved that touch screens coupled with games can work really well.

    So, what was the point of the Gamepad, you ask? Probably not as much of one for Smash Bros, I’ll give you that. But there’s still the other dozens upon dozens of games, good games, that -do- use the Gamepad to great effect.

    So that’s the point.

  14. And yet with all those points you make, the console isn’t selling, third parties are jumping ship, investors are pissed, people are calling for Iwata to step down, the company is apologizing for yet another botched launch, game release dates keep getting pushed back, etc.

    So there’s what you want to be true, and then there’s reality. Look, the botched a console. What’s the big deal in admitting it and demanding they do better?

  15. I think the Wii U is toast unless they can pull out some marketing miracle.

  16. And yet with all those points you’ve made, Nintendo is firmly in the black, they’re selling the console below cost, sales are picking up, third parties are voicing support, and the games -are- coming.

    I’m not saying that “better” is wrong, but they’re already doing better. The two games you seem to care most about with a fiery passion — Smash Bros. and Mario Kart — are, again, coming to the Wii U faster than they did on the Wii. How is that not better?

  17. I think it’s far more interesting, and more desirable, to hear someone explain why they haven’t bought a product from a struggling company (and yes, Nintendo is struggling now; read Bloomberg for a few days around any quarter end if you don’t understand how being in the black doesn’t matter to investors when there’s less black than there used to be) than to hear from someone who has bought it and feels the need to defend his purchase. It’s nice to be gung-ho and all, but saying “no, man, they just need to keep doing what they’re doing” is simply not constructive. Neither is saying “Nintendo is doomed”.

    Personally, I’d like Nintendo-quality games with an Xbox 360 (pre-ad-ridden-dashboard) experience. No expensive gimmicks, no tying online purchases to a console, and I personally have no use for party games — of either the Nintendoland or Smash Bros. variety. No complex product like a video game console will fulfill one person’s needs completely, but the Wii U needs to have more than it does to get me to shell out $400 for the console and my first game. As I stated in my above post, Wind Waker HD and SM3DU will probably get it over that threshold. For people like Lou, they’ll need to do more.

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