Wii Sports designer talks Wii U

By Steve Watts, Aug 08, 2011 9:00am PDT

The Nintendo Wii captured plenty of attention from the mass market and morning talk show circuit thanks to the elegant simplicity of Wii Sports, which highlighted the system's unique features. Now that game's producer, Katsuya Eguchi, is working on Wii U demos like Battle Mii and Chase Mii, and talking publicly about Nintendo's plans to face the challenges the new device.

Regarding Nintendo's stable of established intellectual property, Eguchi says the company is always open to creating new ones custom-made for their new hardware. "We'll continue to offer games based on those [established] characters," he told Edge. "But if there are opportunities for us to come up with new IPs that work well with this new system we'll jump on those as well."

Meanwhile, Nintendo's own franchises tend to make steep competition for third-parties, which is why developers should leverage their own popular franchises with technical support and ideas from Nintendo. "Each third party has their proven franchises - the franchises that have done really well for them - and I'm hoping they'll be open to hearing suggestions, ideas from Nintendo on how to really take advantage of the Wii U's features and offer the public maybe a different spin on those already proven franchises."

Eguchi says that testing the zapper with the screen-controller grafted to it was a key moment in the development, when they tested it with a first-person shooter. "It changed the way we were interacting with it and how much closer it felt," he said. "That was one of the moments that made us very happy and excited."

The Wii U generated plenty of discussion, and a bit of backlash, when it debuted at this year's E3. As the 3DS flounders in an increasingly competitive market, Nintendo's stocks have been hit. A 3DS price drop might gain back momentum, but Nintendo will still have challenges to face before the Wii U's planned 2012 launch.

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