Wii U Launching In China? Nintendo Responds

By William Usher 2014-06-13 18:43:40 discussion comments
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We know that both Sony and Microsoft have light and aggressive plans to attack the Chinese market with their eighth generation home consoles. The only company who hasn't rolled out any sort of details about launching in China is Nintendo.

At this year's E3 the Seattle Times managed to get in word with the Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, where the obvious question about Nintendo's plans for launching the Wii U was put on the table.

Reggie kept it diplomatic but made it known that Nintendo is treading very carefully with their plans to put the Wii U anywhere near the great Republic of China, saying...
It certainly is a market we’re looking hard at. For me there are a lot of analogies to the business opportunities we have in Brazil. In order to be effective in these markets you need the government to have a posture that is encouraging of our form of entertainment, you need a value proposition that makes sense for the consumer base, and thirdly you need content that’s going to appeal to the consumer base.

When you see that we’ve got all three, we’ll be in a market like China, just like we’ve been in a market like Brazil.

So basically, China isn't ruled out, they just want to make sure they don't screw up the launch and have a good market base to work with? Sounds fair.

Also, the Wii U's launch in Brazil only came a year after the launch in North America and Japan, as noted by Player Essence. So it's not completely unlikely that we could see the Wii U as soon as they understand how they can market the Wii U in China and offer compelling enough software in a timely fashion to make it happen.

Remember, though, there are the 10 rules of Censorship that the console manufacturers have to abide by in order to launch their console in the mainland. Out of all three consoles, Nintendo's is likely the only one to offer the most software that fits within the rules of censorship since they don't always focus on the sort of content you might be embarrassed to play in front of your parents.

I'm actually a bit surprised that Nintendo wasn't quicker to the gate regarding launching in China.

As for the Wii U's current position on the market, the Seattle Times asked Reggie about the Wii U outselling the PS4 and Xbox One in total market share, as well as on a monthly basis and here's what Reggie had to say...
“The dirty little secret is if you look at life-to-date numbers, between Sony and Nintendo they’d be pretty close in terms of PS4 vs. Wii U, with Xbox coming in third place. I think it’s going to be a three-horse race for the balance of this cycle.

“You know, it’s going to be very interesting to see the NPD data [on U.S. sales] for June.”

It's been long rumored following the news about the Wii U's SKU sales surge that it would be likely to outsell the Xbox One in May and June, and post competitive numbers against the PS4 due to the combination of Mario Kart 8 and a very strong showing at E3.

We'll be able to tell what May numbers are like from the NPD in just a few days. Definitely exciting times during this stage of the console race.
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