Despite the sad commercial state of the Wii U, GameStop CEO Paul Raines remains optimistic about Nintendo’s hardware future. He discussed upcoming consoles, virtual and augmented reality platforms, and Nintendo’s mobile efforts in an interview with [a]list at a recent GameStop Investor Day.
When asked about NX’s prospects in the market and Nintendo on mobile, here’s what he had to say:
Are you seeing excitement through PowerUp Rewards members around the Nintendo NX?
There is some excitement around NX. Lately here, we’ve been hearing a lot more buzz than we have in the past. Nintendo is interesting in that they really are able to keep things as quiet as they can for a while. And then they just lost their leader, so they’ve gone through a mourning period and so forth. NX sounds exciting. We’re looking forward to it. They’re very innovative in everything that they do. I hope that they come out with something exciting and innovative. I think we’ll be dominant distributor of that platform.
Even though the Wii U didn’t repeat the Wii’s success?
Wii U was disappointing to everybody, including them. They made some bold bets, and maybe some of them didn’t work out. But they have a lot of creativity there. They’re a very innovative group of people, so we never count out Nintendo. Even now it’s incredible how strong some of their IP is—Pokémon, for example. We could have a Pokémon weekend this weekend at GameStop and we would break sales records just because every time they put out a new game they have a very loyal fan base. Super Mario, Zelda, all those IPs have a huge, loyal fan base.
That fan base is going to potentially get bigger with their mobile reach. Do you think Nintendo mobile games will get new fans interested in other Nintendo products?
Yeah, there are a lot of people who have never played a Super Mario game on a DS. A lot of the kids today have grown up only playing small games on their phones. As you introduce that exciting Nintendo IP and those characters, they’re going to want more of that. We think that will push them into our stores to see the big games. They’ll go, “Wow, there’s actually a game I can play for months and months instead of a few days.” That will be good for us. It will be very good for Nintendo, and we’re very positive on it.
It’s good to hear that the world’s largest video game retailer is ready to fully back the NX as a key distributor when it launches next March. Like anyone who’s been involved in the video games industry for some time, GameStop knows better than to ever discount Nintendo’s innovative ideas and IP power. Hopefully other key retailers will demonstrate a similar confidence in the future of Nintendo as we move closer to its next generation of hardware.