Nintendo Credits American Par-tay for Wii Success

Dennis Faas's picture

Not sure why the Nintendo Wii is Super Smashing its competition from Microsoft and Sony these days? In a recent interview with online game magazine Gamespot, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata attributed all that success -- in the good 'ol US of A, at least -- to an American penchant for the house party.

Last year, Nintendo sold a staggering six million units of its popular Wii console. Released in November of 2006, the tiny white machine has surpassed just about everyone's expectations; with simple, 'fun' games based on motion-sensitive technology, the console has appealed to 'casual' gamers that have in recent years been left behind by the hardcore stylings of Xbox 360 First Person Shooters and PlayStation auto hijackings.

Granted, games like Halo and Grand Theft Auto have been major successes; they've been lauded by both critics and it's shown on sales charts. However, neither game offers pick-up-and-play qualities, the kind absolutely necessary for a kick-arse party.

Iwata feels the same. In his interview with Gamespot, he said, "In retrospect, the U.S. culture of the house party played a major role in spreading the value of Wii to a bigger circle faster than we ever predicted. All of my American friends keep telling me 'Man, the Wii is the ultimate party machine!' [Laughs] But none of that was intentional on our part. All we did was ask ourselves how to pack the most smiles and surprises into the product as we developed it. Fortunately, we hit a sweet spot. As a result, interest in the Wii has spread across the U.S. surprisingly quickly." (Source:

With that said, Nintendo realizes that these party games are sometimes a little on the 'light' side. Few hardcore gamers are going to return on their own, solo time for the simplistic stylings of Wii Sports baseball or golf. When placed next to EA's MLB games or Tiger Woods' golf, they just don't match up.

"I'd like to increase the overall depth," Iwata said. "Not just in one specific genre, but all across the board. If there's anyone out there thinking, 'Nintendo probably wouldn't be open to a title like this,' I assure you, you're mistaken. We love fun games of all kinds. [Laughs]" (Source:

Until Nintendo takes that serious gamer population, well, seriously, the Wii will remain one heckuva popular party favour, and not quite the toast of the gaming world.

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