Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A lesson in 'PR speak,' courtesy of Nintendo

The folks at GameDaily BIZ probably thought they scored a bit of a coup when Nintendo VP Perrin Kaplan agreed to sit down for a chat about the company's past, present and future. Those feelings likely faded when the PR whiz opened her pretty mouth, though.

Although the interview with Kaplan spans four pages, almost no new information was revealed in the tête-à-tête.

For example, when the astute reporter queried Kaplan about the big N's "anemic" Q1 lineup, she replied: "Well, first of all, you're a hardcore gamer, and we're selling to the masses as well... There are millions of people who have yet to even experience Wii Sports."

(My follow-up questions would have gone something like this: Yes, I understand that, but what about the millions of people who have had their Wiis since November? Are you saying they need to sit tight until everyone else in the U.S. gets their system before buying a new game?)

When GameDaily's writer asked when the Metroid and Mario updates planned for the Wii would finally materialize, Kaplan answered, "I wish I could tell you. You will learn soon."

Later, when pressed about Nintendo's (some would call) stubborn use of awkward "friend codes," Kaplan said, "Some of that friend code stuff is really built for the mass consumer, not just the gaming world.

"At the time online comes [to the Wii] I think people will be pleased with it," she added later in the interview. "But for people who are hardcore gamers nothing can ever come fast enough."

None of this is meant to portray Kaplan in a negative light--she's doing her job, and she does it very well. I just wish Nintendo would open up a bit more, not hold their cards so close to their chests. Really, the only newsworthy information in the extensive interview, in my opinion, were Kaplan's comments about possible Wii revisions (a la the DS Lite) and the DVD-enabled Wii (which, to my knowledge, has previously been discussed as a Japan-only release).

Still, it's an interesting read if you're up for such things.

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