WiiWii U

Backward Compatibility Is “A Very Important Element” Says Nintendo President


Backward compatibility is an important feature to include when transitioning from an older game console to a newer one, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, believes. At a recent investor Q&A, Iwata provided his opinion on the subject.


“With regard to the backward compatibility with Wii, we think that product compatibility is a very important element during the transitional period from one platform to another,” Iwata told investors. “The software lineup for a new platform is not very rich during such a period and many consumers do not want to throw away the software they bought for the previous platform.”


Iwata believes that the amount of space taken up by videogame consoles plays an important role, too, when it comes to consumers settling on their purchases.


“As there is usually no space for many video game consoles on a TV stand, some even hate to buy a new one unless they can move the previous one to another location or store it in the closet,” Iwata shares. “Compatibility is of great significance in these respects.”


On the subject of the upcoming Wii U console being backward compatible with Wii software, Iwata adds: “There are many Wii software titles that are still enjoyable, and when you have never played a game, you can enjoy it as nothing but a newly released game. We would therefore like to take advantage of business opportunities to sell software for a previous console.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.