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Nintendo's Fils-Aime: Gamers are impossible to satisfy
Nintendo's Fils-Aime: Gamers are impossible to satisfy
June 25, 2012 | By Mike Rose

June 25, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    51 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is worried that the video game community is simply insatiable, and no matter what the publisher reveals in the future, gamers will never be fully satisfied.

Fils-Aime made his comments to Kotaku shortly after Nintendo's E3 conference earlier this month. When questioned about the lack of new Wii U announcements during the show, Fils-Aime admitted that he was troubled by the response he had received from gamers.

"One of the things that, on one hand, I love and, on the other hand, that troubles me tremendously about not only our fanbase but about the gaming community at large is that, whenever you share information, the perspective is, 'Thank you, but I want more.' 'Thank you, but give me more.' I mean, it is insatiable," he said.

He continued, "For years this community has been asking, 'Where's Pikmin?' 'Where's Pikmin?' 'Where's Pikmin?' We give them Pikmin. And then they say, 'What else?'"

He added that the same situation has arisen from Nintendo's inclusion of a Mario game at the launch of the Wii U, and with the announcement of Nintendo Land -- notes Fils-Aime, "they say, 'Ho-hum, give me more.' So it's an interesting challenge."

The key, he says, is for gamers to try the games before forming opinions. For example, he notes that while Wii Fit did not receive a great reaction when it was first announced, it then went on to sell 43 million copies worldwide.

He finishes, "I would argue that the gaming community actually is unable to differentiate between a phenomenon and something that is 'ho-hum.'... until they play it. Until they experience it. Until their friends and their non-gaming associates say, 'Hey, have you seen X?'"


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Comments


JB Vorderkunz
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Welcome to the World of Tomorrow, Reggie!

just sayin' =)

What did I want from the WiiU launch? Call it Metroid Omega - a FPS+Action/Adventure/Exploration game utilizing the amazing gamepad that allows players to create their own character to join Samus and other Hunters on a amazing journey into... [YES Reggie, I have a story treatment for this game - hit me up!]

Benjamin Quintero
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I kind of feel sorry for the guy. He's certainly not the same person who came out, beating his chest and saying, "I'm about kickin' ass and taking names."

I'm just as guilty as other fans, considering I recently laid into Nintendo for a sucktastic E3 presence. http://inlandstudios.com/en/?p=1666

Still, I get where he's coming from and I think it's definitely starting to weigh on him. I saw an interview with him on Gametrailers.com just after the E3 presser and you could see the frustration in his eyes as Geoff Keighley basically told him to his face on live TV that, with those titles shown on stage, WiiU has an uphill climb. I'm not generally a fan of Keighley but that was pretty ballsy.

More recently, I've started to see a trickle of good titles planned for this holiday season. It makes me wonder why none of this was mentioned at E3 but I am glad to see Nintendo starting to show a strong push for 3DS this holiday. The jury is still out on WiiU though.

Joe McGinn
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I agree, this is just embarrassing. He can't accept that gamers were simply underwhelmed by what Nintendo actually showed at e3. Now he's crying like a little kid who's upset that his drawing wasn't the best in the class.

Mike Rentas
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I'm surprised this is a surprise to him. The "gaming community" is made up of some very different segments. Did he expect, e.g. competitive Starcraft 2 players to lose their shit over Pikmin? *People who liked Pikmin* have been asking for a new one.

Announcing a console that will be underpowered for the impending generation of games is a disappointment. Doing a bad job of selling the screen controller for the Wii U is a disappointment. The absence of most of Nintendo's franchises is a disappointment. Continued focus on their already-lost market of casual gamers is a disappointment. These things are disappointing because we want them to knock it out of the park and are saddened when they don't, not because we're a homogenous blob of entitled jerks who don't know a good thing when they see it.

The sound you're hearing is the legion of fans who grew up with an NES or SNES and want you to return to those glory days.

I would argue that Mr. Fils-Aime is getting a bit burnt out, and maybe ought to step back and reassess what it is his company hopes to accomplish.

David Gonzales
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i have to agree with you there, when i saw the E3 stuff on nintendo they showed stuff we already knew about but before E3 they had a video explaining more on what the Wii U was which excited me because it has great innovations to communicate with other gamers and add 3rd party developers so now we dont have to worry about getting some games on the nintendo console but now all games though i am worried that hey barely upgraded the graphics to fit to par with current gen consoles it disappoints me that nintendos graphics cant stay upp to par with the other consoles because this would make it easier for developers to make their games for all 3 consoles instead of 1 for xbox and ps3 and a specially made one to accommodate the wii. regardless of that reggie needed to realize they were not showing us anything that was new or exciting to make us feel like nintendo was making a next step to the future other than some of the capabilities of the wii u.
i also have to agree on your comment about the super mario game i agree the last few mario games looked exactly the same i played the super mario wii and DS etc. they all look exactly the same i saw no real upgrade to the game i mean i love the classic mario 2D side scroll feel but change it up a bit nintendo :/
mario 3D land was a good example of change which i enjoyed.

but like i said most people thought E3 was a disappointment because almost nothing new was announced, sorry reggie but you should have shown the stuff we wanted to see instead of some stuff no one really cared about.

Kenneth Wesley
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I'm curious: is there a franchise every Nintendo 'fan' is supposed to go crazy for? Also, why do fans have to go crazy for an announcement? Can't they just appreciate and contemplate whether or not they want that item?

Ian Uniacke
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Yeah everyone says "bring back your old games nintendo!!!!" but then it's like "Kid Icarus" meh "Pikmin" meh "Luigi's Mansion" meh "2d mario" meh "Pilot Wings" meh. Umm please enlighten me which are the "amazing games that nintendo just needs to remember" that people are talking about???

Mike Murray
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Part of the problem is that they announced stuff that would've helped their conference, like the new 3DS Fire Emblem coming to North America. That's pretty big news, IMO.

I generally agree with what Reggie is saying, though. Look at the general reactions from people when the pro gamepad was revealed. Instead of being happy that we're getting a standard controller, people are pointing out that it looks a lot like the 360 controller, or that the right stick is in the "wrong" position. There are many cases where Nintendo is put into a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" situation, so I always take a wait-and-see approach to everything. If you write off something immediately, you might miss out on something great.

Eric Geer
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As a Long time Nintendo fan---I was extremely disappointed in this years E3---I haven't been this disappointed in announcements for a long time---

They even did overtime(ie Nintendo Direct) to show more of the same. Yes they brought Mario, but they were basically 2 of the same sidescrolling Mario games...yes they sell a lot...but I think people would have bene more interested in a new concept---like Galaxy blew my pants off when it came out....More sidescrolling...yeah...not so much.

The new Pikmin---it was an incredible addition to the conference, but becuase it's not a game that appeals to the masses, there needed to be more.

I think the big crapstain all over E3 Nintendo conference was Nintendoland---yes it looks like it could be fun for 5 minutes or maybe an hour in a group---but fuck---if you want to relive the Wiisports phenomenon---well it ain't gonna happen. Nintendoland just seems like a "throw-in" game that there isn't much special about it.

And I guess that's what E3 came down to in my mind---Nothing Special.
Yes, there were good games, but there were many games that we already knew about, there were games that are being ported, there are games that are just rehashed....Nintendo used to be the company, in my mind, that brought fresh thinking to the table...but I think they are losing steam in one way or another---maybe not in terms of software or hardware...but presentation was god awful.

David Gonzales
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i agree i still believe they can get great ideas but i feel they are trying to hard to be original with hardware and stuff, i mean come on nintendo its time to get with the times controllers have 2 analog sticks, we have wifi multiplayer, and its time to start getting your graphics to the same level as current gen graphics instead of always staying 1 generation behind. im not a graphics snob but i notice younger gamers are always going to judge on graphics so put your stuff to current gen graphics remember you are still competing against other companies like microsoft and sony.

dont get me wrong i love the ideas that wii u has to offer it does fix multiple problems like they said being able to switch from tv to the game pad is good for families that share a tv and one problem is when you are kicked off the tv so someone else can watch it, and you finaly included a web browser and flash player to play youtube videos and such thats good most people want web browsing. its nice to see the graphics improve dbut only to current gen graphics while the next xbox and playstation will leave you behind and can probably add the same features you just made later. :(

Joe McGinn
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Good call Eric. NintendoLand is a major mistep and obviously sucked up a lot of resources to provide things pretty much no one wants. It's like they looked at Playstation Home and were inspired by it!

Cody Kostiuk
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Gaming's appeal is growing. The market is much more diverse than it was 10 years ago. Personally, I really like the Wii U idea, but my gaming tastes are not Mario or Pikmin, no matter how well made they are.

Nintendo's been pushing out quality "Disney movies" for the whole family for quite some time now. Maybe some people are getting tired of it?

If I didn't have a young kid, Nintendo wouldn't look very attractive. One of the best games I played on the Wii was Cursed Mountain of all things. I'm about as diverse as you can get, I guess.

That said, I'm still pumped for the Wii U. Brilliant idea, but I can't get any more excited about it... no matter how many Pikmin they throw at me. ;-)

Ian Uniacke
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Let's hope for Nintendo's sake people don't stop having sex. $(

Eric Ruck
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If gamers were easy to satisfy, we'd all still be playing Genesis games.

Chris Hendricks
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The biggest mistake is assuming that gamers are a homogeneous group, all wanting the same thing. They are not. They weren't before the Wii came out, and when the Wii added a whole new group of gamers to the mix, they became even more diversified.

Joe Zachery
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Totally agree with Reggie on this. There are too many people pulling at your strings all wanting something. Your best bet is to target the audience that will spend the most money, and go all out. Who is that market? That's the question that every one is trying to figure out. This generation it has been the so called casual market, and FPS gamers.

Also we need use a little common sense. Something people on the internet never use. Zelda just came out last year. Nintendo is not Sony who can make 3 Uncharted games in 6 years. You get one new Zelda every 5 years. Hell it took 9 years to get 3 2D Mario games. So people really need to think before they start complaining about not having anything. Nintendo has a way they do things when it comes to releasing games. If Nintendo start bringing out games at the rate Sony does. All we would have would be games that under achieve at retail.

Carlo Delallana
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This makes me wonder if there's an opportunity for Nintendo to open up their IP to external talent. Blasphemy to some but an opportunity for developers who LOVED Nintendo games to do their own remix of things.

What could 5th Cell do with Zelda? What could ThatGameCompany do with Metroid?

Benjamin Quintero
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"What could ThatGameCompany do with Metroid?" Samus takes shape of the wind, collecting flowers and communicating with Zebes life-forms through pinging sounds; meanwhile, she abandons her weapons to make room for her Love and Peace rainbow beams... Errr... Maybe not such a good idea after all.

Carl Chavez
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@Carlo: Er, they already have let other developers use Nintendo properties. Team Ninja -> Metroid: Other M. Namco -> Starfox Assault & F-Zero AX (with Sega). Sega -> Mario & Sonic series. SquareEnix: Itadaki Street. Hudson -> Mario Party. What did gamers say? "Meh. We want something else."

Kenneth Wesley
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Or people could just buy Xenoblade Chronicles. That may be the best game to hit a Nintendo console in ages. Or buy Rhythm Heaven.

JB Vorderkunz
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Retro Studios did Metroid Prime 3: Corruption which was a great game...

A W
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@JB Retro did all of the Metroid Prime games.

Carl Chavez
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@Maciej & @Anthony: yeah, I wasn't saying whether the games were good or bad. I was simply pointing out to Carlo that Nintendo has allowed access to their IPs to third parties, and gamers still wanted something different. However, 'net gamer anger didn't stop most of those games from selling, as Maciej points out.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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Truer words were never spoken, Reggie.

Ben Hopper
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I thought Reggie came here to kick ass. Ass kickers don't whine, Reg.

Sean Kiley
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I think "ho hum" describes the the presentation of Pikmin. "Hello, we've been working on Pikmin 3. Now here's a three minute video on the WiiU controller."

No theatrics or climax or buildup, felt very corporate.

Ron Dippold
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If gamers were satiable, you'd be out of a job.

Jonathan Jou
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I get to be the cynic in this!!

Let's go over Nintendo's "competition," who we'll call "Apple" for the sake of argument. Apple is a company that spends minuscule amounts on R&D. It almost never brings a new feature that its competitors have not already tried to sell. And yet Apple's "existing technology, Apple logo" conferences never cease to attract praise from its fans.

What I'm seeing that Nintendo isn't offering has little to do with new products, and even less to do with innovation. Gamers and consumers will clamor insatiably as Reggie has noticed, because what they want isn't the truth, they want a *show*. It is a pity that we are fickle creatures who want stage and spectacle, and somehow our complaints against Nintendo are about substance. People went crazy over the horseback fighting in Twilight Princess, people could never shake their doubts of Skyward Sword's 1:1 control scheme, and no one was impressed but many, many people seem to have bought Wii Fit.

The first mistake in giving people what they want, frankly, is thinking they know what they want. And I respect Nintendo for listening closely, but also trusting its gut. I think they know what they're doing and I would rather behold their brilliance instead of stifle it with my misguided demands.

Kenneth Wesley
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Rhythm Heaven Fever is relatively new franchise that went virtually ignored. I think people want big showings from Nintendo's franchises ALL THE TIME and sometimes, it's the smaller things that Nintendo brings that goes ignored. Pushmo has some amazing design, the Art Style games push some really interesting concepts and I still get genuinely excited for 2D Mario games because they still feel fun to play after all these years. How many Nintendo fans can say they actually bought those games?

I understand why fans want specific things from Nintendo but catering to those whims just undermines their own creativity. That's why Zelda has been underwhelming at times: they keep trying to please people who only want to play Ocarina of Time again.

Jeremy Morhaime
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I think if he were to release Earthbound again, that would satisfy me.

A W
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I think he's right.

I also think Zelda is overdue for another 2D top down adventure.

But I'm just one gamer.

Nick Putnam
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Your not going to please everyone. Also where would the industry be, if people weren't always demanding more. You can't change your customer, you can only listen and adapt.

Michael Wenk
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Well, people in general are hard to please. But I think much of the problem comes from the people that Reggie hears from. The ones doing the talking the most are the hardcore gamers, press, and analysts that really represent a small portion of the spectrum.

If you went by these people, then the Wii should have tanked hard, the PS3 would be the best selling console in the world, and Microsoft would likely be out of the game business entirely by now.

Personally, I didn't like this years's E3, but it wasn't just Nintendo. It was the simple fact that there was nothing I learned or saw that really made me excited. However, that doesn't mean that the Wii U will succeed or fail really. Given behavior in the current generation, and previous generation, I think its hard to figure out right now. Both the PS2, and the Wii did incredibly well for a long time even being under powered for their generation.

I suspect that if Nintendo does fail this time around, it won't be because Sony or Microsoft succeeded, but because of other vendors coming out with new and more interesting stuff.

One last comment about people wanting new game types and play. I've been following games since the mid 80s, and in doing so it has been my experience that the company that generally does the best is not the one that comes out with a new thing, but the one that takes that new thing and improves upon it by merging it into the current mainstream. So saying that Nintendo/MS/Sony didn't come out with something new is silly. Those new things usually come out from startups/indies, and then get merged into the mainstream later.

David Gonzales
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your last statement is very true a lot of the most popular genres started from indie companies i mean minecraft was a great example of something simple thats super addictive.

kevin Koos
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They need a new IP not a new gimicky system. Reason platforms sell are games period. Fix the games the hardware sells. Sure Mario and Zelda are great franchises but you need to innovate with those franchises and you need to establish new franchises. Golden Eye 64 was one of my all time favorite games, Nintendo should have bought Rare back then and developed that game and games like it to broaden their appeal.

Kenneth Wesley
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Wii Sports and Wii Fit were new IP and they sold tremendously well. So you have a point. But hardcore.

And Rare games haven't done that well on the 360.

Kenneth Wesley
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I wonder what great work Rare has done post-Nintendo would convince anyone they can hit their high water mark on the N64.

Buck Hammerstein
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i want that new wii u controller for my wii console... it is going to be so cool.

seriously, reggie is in full whine mode. it's the insatiable appetite of game consumers that drives this business. if not, we'd all still be playing mario on nes for the billionth time.

if someone at nintendo believes pikman is a console seller well then good for them. i hope they clear up the popular notion that the wii u controller is not an add-on to the wii before launch.

Kenneth Wesley
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Another thought: people saying Nintendo fans want to be wowed with amazing stuff all the time is akin to going into a supermarket and only wanting to buy steak, ignoring all the tasty side dishes. It's okay to buy steak, but don't pretend those side dishes don't exist. If you only wanna buy a Nintendo game that's 'amazing', that's absolutely fine. But don't pretend there aren't other games you could gorge on from Nintendo. Instead of clamoring for a Zelda game that's gonna be so awesome, play Xenoblade Chronicles in the meantime.

Besides, Nintendo wasn't explicit in trying to bring in people who don't give two drops of urine about Earthbound and Mario. They wanted games that didn't just fill the charts for one month and disappear. (and yet, that's totally health for the industry?) They can't just cater to the 'core' gamers. It sure as hell didn't work for the Dreamcast and Sega.

Shava Nerad
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Gamer culture has just created an environment where it's cooler to creatively dis something than to enjoy it. Just about the lowest thing you can call someone is a fanboi -- to be enthusiastic about something is uncool. To ragequit is fashionable. To be blase' about the cool thing and find reasons it's not so great is awesome, and then to go on to the next new thing to learn it and be the first people to say why it's not so great is even better.

Essentially, game culture early adopters have created a culture of shredding the hand that feeds them to the bone, then moving on to the next piranha swarm.

I think what was said above is actually pretty mild.

Rob Lockhart
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I think this whole article was created to put that picture and that headline together ;) "My body is ready!"

Jorge Ramos
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The simple problem is that compared to the other presentations, it just feels like Nintendo only won "by default", because theirs was the only one that actually had a mindset of showing... well, games. The competitors' presentations seemed to all focus on media this and that, but nothing that would make me look forward to anything coming to their respective consoles.

I can't comment on Pikmin, because I never was able to make time to play or get into the game. But I am rather disappointed with the fact that the new Mario game for both 3DS and WiiU look exactly the same as the NewSMB on the original DS... and still using the same 3-second audio loop in the background for everything. Gameplay changed a bit, sure, but.. while we can't obviously tell without having gone to E3, first impressions do not show a game that has enough going for it to excite me.

And therein lies the rub. They showed a lot of stuff, but none of it was a "OH MY GOD I GOTTA HAVE IT!" going for it. I'm still upset that Saint's Row on 3DS got cancelled... and have still yet to see anything that absolutely made me want a system like that. ZombiU was about the best looking and interesting thing I could come away with from E3, but almost nothing shown from nintendo itself was enough to warrant a purchase right away.

Eric Geer
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Everyone's got it wrong....technically Ubisoft won E3...

Michael Rooney
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The problem is that Nintendo didn't announce too many new things. The majority of their conference was stuff we either knew was coming, could see coming from miles away, or stuff that just brings wii-u on par with other consoles.

Pikmin was probably the only thing that people might not have expected before hand. Announcing Netflix doesn't get me to say, "WOW" it gets me to say, "It's about time," same for the controller. Mario will probably be a good game, but I think, "yea... I'm sure it'll be good," not, "FINALLY A NEW MARIO!"

It was nice to see high quality ports of existing games, but there were no new ips to launch the wiiU with. "Our big announcement is... A COUPLE YEAR OLD GAMES!" falls flat too.

That's the much larger problem. All of their announcements fell flat. Nothing really generated any excitement. Even with a lot of the content being there to potentially pull off a good show it felt more like a, "Hey, we're finally on par with consoles that have been out for 6 years!" rather than, "Look at all this awesome stuff we have!"

Peter Matiss
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Yes. Gamers and wives.

Bob Johnson
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Reggie is right.

Jeremie Sinic
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"Gamers are impossible to satisfy"
The main problem is simply that one should not be focused on "satisfying" (funny that the Latin "satis fecit" means "doing enough") users, but rather should strive to "blow their mind", then they should be satisfied.
With the same games over and over, a slightly underpowered new console to come, it does seem like a company trying to do just enough.
I'd say aim a bit higher if you actually want to satisfy in the end.

Mike Murray
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This rant by Katsuhiro Harada, the producer of Tekken, illustrates the point that Reggie tried to make: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/i152f8

Ryan Creighton
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They *know* what they'd have to do do make everyone go crazay ... true online multiplayer games for their Pokémon and Animal Crossing franchises. Problem solved.

stephan maich
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"Gamers are impossible to satisfy"

AAA Game Companies are afraid to experiment/invent because we keep buying "generic first person shooter version XY"

Jeffrey Williams
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I always figured that the gaming community is self destructive.

I'll say it right now that I'm a Nintendo fan and I'll be getting the U, while ignoring any new consoles (I have a PS3 and I feel there's nothing else you can add to make me spend more money, Nintendo at least has an excuse for a new hardware).

Trying to please the hardcore gamer crowd, have proven not to be necessary. Nintendo became big by appealing to children. Those children have grown up. They can try to appeal to the adult, but they'll be safe being a toy company. For kids and teenagers, Mario will still be new and familiar and will lean to those, while allowing to keep up with the 360 and PS3.

I believe it's unfair to expect more from Nintendo, because they have never disappointed me. Every thing they bring out have a great amount of consideration. I can see it as them very effectively beating a dead horse, but it's still moving.

I think there is still more you can do with the wiimote and a the tv DS touch screen. They're going to try to focus on game mechanics, using familiar franchises, giving a new step for the people behind


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