Nintendo is also pumping up its online store, the eShop, which Fils-Aime said has been appealing to both publishers and gamers because of the rise of downloadable content.
“We prioritized the eShop because we’re seeing that, first, there’s a segment of consumers that want their games digitally on the system and don’t want the hassle, potentially, of physical discs,” Fils-Aime said. “We’ve also seen the ongoing business opportunities with digital content. Continuous transactions with this content is something publishers especially view as critical to the ongoing monetization of their franchises.”
Nintendo’s ability to attract developers willing to create games optimized for its unique layout is critical as it tries to compete with Sony and Microsoft.
Developers, Fils-Aime said, have embraced the idea of a second screen.
“What I love is that developers are utilizing the second screen of the GamePad in completely different ways,” he said. In “ZombiU,” for example, the tablet houses the player’s inventory menu. In the Wii U version of “Batman: Arkham City,” it’s an extension of the world’s greatest detective’s utility belt. In Madden 2012, players can trace plays directly on the screen.
Fils-Aime said he was particularly impressed with how the tablet improved the multiplayer experience in “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” for the Wii U.
“Multiplayer in the same room has always been a challenge because of the split screen environment,” he said. “But [the Wii U] multiplayer allows two players to focus on individual screens. It’s a much more fun and robust experience.”
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