Speaking to investors, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, said that Nintendo will market the Wii U as “slightly different” from a regular home console, due to its ability to have the controller itself substitute for a television set. In English press releases, Iwata says, the word “console” is required to help communicate the idea of the system. In Japan, however, the words “home console” will not be used at all.
This is so that Nintendo can communicate the idea of a changing lifestyle, where one no longer needs to sit in front of a television. in order to play a console game. Speaking further on the subject of televisions, Iwata elaborated: “In addition, I would like to use this occasion to talk about something I was hoping to talk about someday. That is, what is going to happen to the TV?”
In Japan, July 24th marked the end of analog television broadcasting after 58 years, switching over to terrestrial digital media broadcasting instead. What this means is that, everyone in Japan that owns an analog television will need to upgrade to digital televisions to watch T.V. The only areas exempt from this switch are those that were affected by the Tohoku earthquake. These areas won’t be required to make the switch to digital until next year.
As a result, several families in Japan have recently upgraded their televisions, and won’t be doing so again any time soon. However, Iwata says that he sees ads in electronics magazines that talk about new televisions with multiple screens or how they can interact with smartphones. For Japanese families, the appeal of the Wii U would be being able to turn their existing T.V. into a multi-screen display that works closely with the Internet.
“Please think that the Wii U is a product that is a combination of a proposal for a ‘new play style that is not restricted to the TV,’ a proposal for a ‘new kind of entertainment using multi-screens’ and also ‘the future of TV’,” Iwata told investors.
He emphasized: “The Wii U is not simply a Wii with a different user interface and we are not proposing to society a performance-enhanced Wii, rather we are proposing hardware with a totally different concept and vision.”