Nintendo's Fils-Aime defiant amid Wii U criticisms

Unpopular system update likely to remain mandatory into the first quarter of 2013

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has sought to play down the severity of several Wii U launch issues.


In response to a number of critics citing issues with the new console, Fils-Aime told Gamasutra that "reviews of a system or review of a game really come down to the quality and capability of the reviewer".

He claimed that the market itself was pleased and excited by the new system.

"There has been a range of comments and commentary. But when I go on Miiverse and see how consumers are reacting to games like ZombiU or ... Call of Duty, that tells me we're doing something very, very positive.

"Similarly, when I go on other consumer social networks and see other consumer reaction that is positive, I know we've done well."

One standout and unexpected criticism of the Wii U was centred on the 1GB system update that was mandatory for users who wanted to access online components of the system. On launch day, users complained of elongated download times and sporadic system outages.

Fils-Aime said the update was a necessary trade-off for the quality of service.

"Nintendo developers want to make sure that the very best product is available to consumers," he said.

"That creates a dynamic where our developers are working on elements until the very last point possible. That's why the system update was required on day one - and this is quite similar to what's happened with other consumer electronic products."

The also executive suggested that this key update will not be manufactured into the system's firmware until launch window units have shipped. The corporation previously said it expects to shift 5.5 million initial Wii U units into retail by April.

Last week Nintendo president Satoru Iwata apologised for the Wii U launch issues.

Fils-Aime added that launching a new console brings "significant challenges".

"There's everything from supply to making sure the new offering meet our expectations. In the digital, connected services area, much of what we're doing is groundbreaking, so we are having to learn as we go to make sure the consumer has the very best experience possible."