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EA Surprised by Wii; Nintendo Could be ”First Overall”

Electronic Arts, the largest publisher in the world, has a long history of neglecting Nintendo consoles in favor of the PlayStation brand. They did it ten years ago, they did it with the GameCube and the Nintendo DS is receiving GBA-caliber games while the PlayStation Portable is getting near-PS2 quality games. That might be changing with the Wii.

“One of the things that we noticed after E3 is we thought, you know, we’re going to support Nintendo, they’ve got an extraordinarily loyal base of consumers all over the world, and we had a number of games we planned to make for Nintendo Wii. That said, we were very surprised by the level of enthusiasm we saw at E3 and subsequently for the Wii,” EA’s corporate communications VP Jeff Brown told Eurogamer.

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He also said that “everybody’s saying that the Nintendo Wii is so unique that it’s going to be the second system people buy, meaning if you own a 360 or a PS3, you’ll probably also buy a Nintendo Wii.” Nintendo fans shouldn’t get too excited though, because “EA is most committed to the platform with the biggest installed base. We’ve always been very practical and open about the fact that this is a business; if you do well in business, you get to keep making more games, and you can hire more people to make more different kinds of games – as long as you remember that this is a business first.”

What does he think about the PS3 doomsday scenarios that Xbox fanboys dream of? “Everybody writes these big stories like ‘Oh my God, what will this mean? Will they stumble for the next for years, can they recover?’ When Sony first put out the PlayStation 2 there were hardware shortages, and some manufacturing glitches, and everybody was like ‘Can they recover?’.”