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Sega Exec Says Wii May be a Fad

In a recent interview, Scott Steinberg, vice president of marketing for Sega of America has raised concerns over Nintendo Wii’s viability beyond 2008. “I am a little concerned about the creative depth of the Wii pool,” he said. “I’m not sure if they will top out in 2008 or 2007 … The Wii will start to look really dated in a couple years when developers get more value from the 360 and learn more and more about the PlayStation 3,” Steinberg said. “How much value can developers and creative folks get out of this wrist motion two years from now, or 5 years from now, or 10 years from now?”

The comments are surprising. Sega has supported the Wii with one of the most well received 3D Sonic games ever, it is developing Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, the first game to feature the two stars together, and the only follow-up to the underground Sega Saturn hit NiGHTS into Dreams (Christmas NiGHTS not included). Even though the PS3 is being outsold in Japan 5-to-1 and the United States by an almost equal amount, Sega’s Steinberg is betting that the graphics and Blu-ray drive will go a long way. “We know the PS3 pool is pretty deep. There’s a lot to exploit there,” he said.

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Electronic Arts, a traditional skeptic of Nintendo systems, doesn’t seem to share the same concerns raised by Sega’s American leader. EA even opened a studio to develop specifically for the Wii. “They are expanding the market, expanding the demographic, expanding the reach. Their approach is, let’s make a game machine for the masses,” John Schappert, head of EA’s worldwide studios, told Reuters. “They’ve got a machine that’s covering all spectrums and it’s additive to our business,” Schappert said. Ubisoft is another company that is expanding its already large support of Wii.