Wii U Launch: Nintendo President Promises Continuous Updates to New Console
Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime fills us in on what makes the Wii U unique.
Nov. 19, 2012 — -- At the Nintendo World Store in Manhattan at midnight Saturday, the line spanned three blocks as hundreds of fans waited to get their hands on the latest gaming console from the makers of the Mario Brothers -- the Wii U.
Mario and Luigi were on hand for the launch event as well as dozens of massive bobble-headed Mii-avatar characters from the system. One eager fan going by the name "Triforce" had even been waiting in line since October 23.
Among the fans and the characters was Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime. ABC News caught up with him to get the skinny on his favorite features and games for the system.
The Nintendo WiiU has the Gamepad, which offers a ton of new functionality. Of everything you can do on that pad, what's tops in your book?
Reggie Fils-Aime: Well, there's so many things to talk about, but to me what's wonderful is the ability to be playing a game, leveraging two screens and then when somebody wants to commandeer the TV, it's like "fine" I'll just play the game completely on the GamePad.
So, I'm taking a trip to (the game) "Nintendo Land," I've got three friends with me, what's the first attraction I have to visit?
Reggie: You have to do the Metriod attraction, Metriod Blast. I say that because it's a multiplayer experience, up to five people can play, and one person is going to be controlling the Samus ship, the other people are going to be on the ground. The guy in the ship is trying to shoot you, you're trying to shoot them, huge fun.
Along with "New Super Mario Bros Wii U" and "Nintendo Land" there are a number of third-party titles. Which of those games really utilize the new functionalities with the GamePad?
Reggie: You know this is a really tough question, it's like asking me which of my children do I love most, but I have to say "ZombiU." What they do with that game, I think is really special. You've got a zombie survival kit right there on the GamePad, you use it to scan different areas, you use it to select different items to use, they did a really bang up job in that game.
Along with the launch, we're missing a couple items of key functionality, there's no Nintendo TVii that streams Hulu/Netflix/Amazon and we're also missing the Virtual Console transfer. What's the timetable on when those will arrive?
Reggie: Sure, so one of the things about Wii U is, it's a living, breathing system. There's always new things coming. As an example, tonight, when you log-on and connect, you'll be able to get Netflix. So Netflix came on, just in the last couple of hours, it's ready.
So what I can tell you is that a number of the key video features are going to be ready over the next upcoming days and weeks, I can tell you that Nintendo TVii is coming in December, and, for us, it's all about making sure its perfect when it launches. We think Nintendo TVii is a huge idea, the ability to find, to search to watch TVii and then to be social about it all in a seamless way, we want to make sure it's right, and it will be right in December.
What would you say to parents that own a Wii who are on the fence for this holiday season, picking up a Wii U for their kids?
Reggie: First thing, all of those peripherals, the balance board, the Wii remotes, all backwardly compatible with the Wii U, so you don't need to go buy those again.
Second thing I would say is, you can play with your kids in whole new ways. You can now sit side-by-side and play "New Super Mario Bros. U" in wonderful HD. You can have a great family experience with some of the social features. You could sit down and utilize Nintendo TVii. So what I would say is, for moms and dads out there, this is a great way to spend time with your kids doing something hugely fun.