As Nintendo's Fils-Aime touts 3DS, he sidesteps Wii U's woes

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime says in a recent interview that his company is a bit disappointed by the "pace of launches" of games for its console.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The Wii U seems to be something Nintendo doesn't want to talk much about.
The Wii U seems to be something Nintendo doesn't want to talk much about. Nintendo

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime was more than willing to talk about his company's mobile device, the 3DS, in a recent interview. But when it came to the Wii U, he was reportedly awfully quiet.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published Wednesday, Fils-Aime said that 3DS game sales in the U.S. have "surpass[ed] 20 million units" since the portable's launch in 2011. He was even more excited to point out that digital sales for the platform have accounted for 11 percent of all 3DS software sales.

"So far in 2013 -- through April 15 -- 3DS game sales are up 55 percent versus last year, counting both physical and digital," Fils-Aime told GamesIndustry.biz.

The 3DS was on the docket during CNET sister site GameSpot's interview yesterday with Nintendo Director of Product Marketing Bill Trinen. He told GameSpot that he believes the 3DS will "really take off" in 2013.

Lost amid that discussion and much of Fils-Aime's talk with GamesIndustry.biz was Nintendo's Wii U. That console is having an exceedingly difficult time on store shelves, selling just 57,000 units in January. Things were a bit better in February, jumping 40 percent, but that's not something to tout when a console has been on store shelves for just a few months. Historically, new consoles sell exceedingly well in their first year or two of availability, hitting hundreds of thousands of unit sales each month.

In his discussion with GamesIndustry.biz, Fils-Aime was described as "in the mood to talk more about the 3DS than the Wii U." Still, he did touch on Nintendo's latest console, saying that he had hoped for faster software launches.

"What I would say about Wii U -- and what Mr. [Nintendo President Satoru] Iwata has said -- is that the pace of launches has been slower than we hoped. But as we prepare for E3, the pace of launches for Wii U is going to dramatically increase," Fils-Aime said.

Perhaps there's a reason Fils-Aime had little to say about the Wii U. In addition to its poor sales since the beginning of this year, the company is expected to have a similarly disappointing showing later today when research firm NPD releases its March 2013 report on game industry sales. Earlier this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that he believes Nintendo sold only 55,000 Wii U units in the U.S. in March.