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August 4, 2011 / Ryan Robba

Nintendo considers Wii U to be a “game console”, not a “home console”

The Wii U is not your traditional “home console” from Nintendo. Unlike what we’ve seen from them in the past, the system allows you to play an entire title directly on the controller. You also won’t be limited to the television.

For these reasons, Satoru Iwata doesn’t want people to label Wii U as a “home console”. Rather, he believes that it is more of a “game console”.

Speaking with investors last week, Iwata also discussed how he hopes the console can become “Nintendo’s new answer to the upcoming change of lifestyle.”

“…Also, I just mentioned ‘home console’ unwittingly, but although the Wii U was announced as the successor of the Wii, I believe it will be positioned slightly different than the past home consoles. In the past, there were two categories of gaming systems, handheld devices and home consoles, and there was thought to be a great wall in between those two categories; however, the Wii U will be connected to a home TV, but it is not a simple home console, meaning it is not something ‘playable only when facing the TV.’ This is because, the controller has its own screen, so even if you are not facing the TV or the TV is occupied for some other reason, you can still use the game system. Therefore, in our release, we have written ‘a new game console’ and not ‘a new home console.’ In English, both are translated as ‘console’ and therefore, this nuance will not be expressed but, in the Japanese releases, we would like to propose the Wii U without using the term ‘home console.’ For your information, for game systems that have been sold as handheld devices, many consumers do not actually use them outside of their homes. Given this fact, we proposed the idea of carrying the Nintendo 3DS outside by enhancing the communication functionality and challenging consumers to change their usual routine but, on the other hand, there is a very high demand for playing a game system inside the house without using the TV, and we would like to answer that demand with the Wii U. In other words, since our lifestyles are changing minute by minute, I think that a play style where a person plays only when the person sits in front of the TV and has to occupy the TV is becoming less and less fitting with the times. Therefore, I would like to make the Wii U Nintendo’s new answer to the upcoming change of lifestyle.”


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