C-Net Interviews Cammie Dunnaway
Dunaway on third party sales: I think people are still learning first how to make sure that they really use the capabilities of our platform in innovative ways. And secondly, people are still learning how to market to these new expanded audience consumers. And this industry has been one that’s thrived on kind of “launch and move on.” And we see that many titles for the Wii and DS have extremely long tails, and you need to continue to just create awareness and purchase intent and purchase consideration. And you need to deploy new types of marketing than what the industry has typically been doing.
Dunaway on motion control from the competition: Well, first, we feel flattered that motion control–which some people dismissed when it was first introduced by Wii back in 2003–is now becoming the industry standard. And it’s easy to see why when you see the record-breaking sales that we have enjoyed over the past several years. And what we are most pleased with is that going into this holiday season, our motion control and true one-to-one connection between what people are doing with the remote and what’s happening on the screen isn’t something that people have to wait for or is being just being talked about in a PowerPoint presentation. But it’s something that’s in stores today and that people are already enjoying.
Dunaway on Apple competition: Well, a couple of things. First, if history is any guide, you have seen numerous handheld manufacturers through the years say that they were going to take market share away from Nintendo, and it’s really never played out. And the reason for that is we have a unique combination of great interface and great games.
And it’s not about just the quantity of games; it’s about offering people immersive experiences that you really only get through a New Super Mario Bros. or a Mario Kart on DS, or the new Zelda. No one can match the quality of games and the breath of genres that Nintendo DS can. And I think what’s also important to note is what I mentioned earlier that even in this year when there’s been so much talk about handheld competition, Nintendo DS is selling 16 percent more units than it sold in 2008, which was a record setting year. So we’re on pace to have our best year ever, and I think that speaks to how consumers are continuing to see their needs met by our platform.
Dunaway on the Wii lifecycle, and untapped potential: Well, first Nintendo doesn’t follow traditional lifecycle thinking. We always ask ourselves first is there continued potential for this platform. Are there more consumers who are interested who haven’t yet purchased? And so the answer to that is, absolutely yes. For Wii, even breaking all records in the industry, with life-to-date sales of 22 million, if you compare that to the life-to-date of the PS2, they sold 44 million. So that would suggest that there are many opportunities to continue to sell Wii.
Also, we do research where we track the number of potential gamers who currently aren’t playing any of the consoles. And we see about 50 million potential gamers out there. So again, that continues to represent opportunity. And the other thing that we always look for is can we continue to create new compelling experiences for the Wii? And certainly New Super Mario Bros., which is the first time four people have been able to play a Mario game, represents that. As you heard from Mr. Iwata at E3 last year, the Vitality Sensor, which is something we’ll launch next year, represents that. So as long as there are potential people, as long as there are compelling experiences, we will continue to be selling and marketing the Wii.
Dunaway on graphics: For us, it’s not about the graphics. It’s about the experience of the game play. And even those hard core gamers will tell you that beautiful graphics can’t make up for poor quality game play. And so we focus on the experience. And as a matter of fact, with New Super Mario Bros., we got back to 2D. And as we’re demoing the product and showing it both to loyalists and new fans, they love the 2D graphics on the Super Mario Bros. But more than that, they love the experience of the game play. So that’s where our games will always focus.
Dunaway on Wii HD: I can tell you unequivocably that there will be no HD Wii. It just really isn’t what the Wii experience is about.
Dunaway on Netflix: We don’t have an announcement to make on that. But with 86 percent of Wiis sitting in the living room, and seeing that people are using Wiis outside of games, that continues to be an opportunity for us.