It would be an understatement to call the Wii a successful system. It was an international phenomenon, played and loved by millions all over the world. It broke the stigma associated with video games: that it was something only to be enjoyed by young boys and man-children. Thanks to the Wii, people of all ages were able to get up and play, regardless of whether they were male or female. Games like Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Sports and Just Dance took the world by storm and ushered in a new market that was almost nonexistent prior to the release of the system: the casual market. The system launched as a huge success. In fact, Nintendo had trouble keeping up the production of units due to the insanely high demand. It took quite a few months after launch for “Sold Out” signs to be put away.
The system’s mega success turned many folks who previously doubted Nintendo after the sub-par performance of the Gamecube into true believers. One of those people were none other than current Activision CEO, Bobby Kotick. He was recently featured on the Corner Office podcast where he discussed a wide-range of topics, and one of those topics were the Wii.
Kotick was invited to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto, Japan ahead of the Wii’s formal unveiling. There, he met with with a group of Nintendo employees, including late Nintendo president , Satoru Iwata and legendary game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto. The console was presented to him by means of him simply being handed the now famous Wii Remote. He was asked to try a short fishing demo. Despite its simple nature, it made him incredibly enthusiastic about the console, so much so that he declared: “this is going to completely transform video games.”
Here’s all that he had to say about the Wii:
“You see lots of experiences and have lots of experiences where you see something that is something beautiful or extraordinary or has great potential. This one, I was in Kyoto, and Mr. Iwata and Mr. Miyamoto – the two heads of Nintendo – said we want to show you something. And I went in this room, and this little table, and there was an old TV, a tube TV, and then there was a cardboard box and it had a little black box on it, and they had these two wands. He gave me one, he took one. And all I saw on the TV was a pond, just like a little pond with water. And he gave me the wand and said, ‘Go fishing’.
And it didn’t take any thought, I just went like this, and all the sudden I saw the “kurplop” of the lure and the water splash, and I held the wand, and as I was holding it, the force feedback started, and I could feel the fish, and I pulled the fish out, and I thought this is going to completely transform video games because the idea that you have a physical experience. You know, it’s a very visceral experience. And the controller is something that you do have this unusual visceral relationship to, but this was something really different. I remember walking away thinking, this is gonna open up whole new opportunities for games and who they are going to be appealing to.”
Kotick’s comments and enthusiasm about the Wii are similar to that of former Sony America CEO, Jack Tretton, who recently sat down on one of IGN’s shows. He also made some positive remarks about the Nintendo system.
It’s a shame that the Wii U didn’t enjoy the same industry-changing success that the Wii did before it.