Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has just given an in-depth interview with Forbes’ Metagamer all about the Wii U, which makes very interesting reading indeed. *In the wide-ranging discussion, Reggie talks about the experience of playing a game on the Wii U in terms of a playing a first-person shooter, “where instead of constantly having to look at the screen, now I’ve got things happening all around me.” Reggie also hints at when the Wii U might be released in 2012, saying that it would be “after April 1st” (not exactly narrowing it down, but something is better than nothing!), adding that he didn’t think it would be too much of a problem for Nintendo to have both the Wii and the Wii U on sale at the same time, although, looking into the future, he said that at some point, the Wii U would be Nintendo’s “standalone” system, “especially given all the backward compatibility.”
Reggie also explained that the controller will not work if the console is not turned on, so can’t be used independently in tablet-like fashion. It’s not a tablet, right!
Reggie briefly mentioned Smash Brothers, saying that the game’s developer is imagining it being a “cross-platform” experience for both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS.
Regarding online services on the Wii U, Reggie said that Nintendo intends to create a “more flexible” system that will allow independent publishers to participate, “instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders.”