Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has likened pessimistic Wii U responses to concerns expressed about the console's predecessor in 2006.
"For the Wii, before its launch and right after its announcement, the feedback was similar to that of the Wii U," he told shareholders. "In other words, when something unique comes up, it's difficult for people to understand it at the beginning. A lot of misunderstandings and pessimistic observations, like, 'Will a product like this really spread in the market?' prevail and then after some time, after being able to experience it, the atmosphere changes.
"In fact, when the Wii was showcased at E3 in 2006, there were a lot of news stories which reported the strong receptions of the Wii by the visitors to the show; however, the questions I was asked then and there were all tough questions. Almost every one of the reporters asked, 'How in the world are you going to compete with Sony or Microsoft with a product like this?' Everyone has forgotten what the real situation was."
Following Wii U's E3 showing last month, Nintendo shares declined for three days running. Iwata responded to questions about the decline by telling investors to trust in the company based on its past success with DS and Wii.
"I would like you to look back on what we have done so far. We said, 'We are going to sell the Nintendo DS in this way and expand the gaming population.' We did as we said we would. Did the share price rise at the time of our making this statement? No, it did not. It only rose once the Nintendo DS started to sell well.
"We also said, 'With the Wii, we are going to get people who have never played games to play games.' We achieved what we said we would. But the share price did not rise (at the time of announcing this vision) but it only did so after (the Wii started to sell well). In the end, it's all about results. Therefore, we believe what we need to do now is show results."