Typically when people retire, they take that time to relax after their fulfilling careers. That hasn’t been the case with the former president of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé. Instead, he has taken the time to speak at events, have a stellar Twitter presence, and reveal juicy details about his ventures at Nintendo. And in an interview with the Present Value podcast at the end of last year, Reggie took the time to speak on various experiences he had with the company. It’s a fascinating listen, and among other things, it reveals that… Reggie had no GameCube when he interviewed at Nintendo.
Reggie: “At the time I was interviewing with Nintendo, I did not own a GameCube”
One particular section beginning at 12:15 has Reggie detailing the console market’s landscape as he was getting hired at Nintendo.
Interviewer: “You arrived at Nintendo in 2003. What did the company landscape look like, and what was the first thing you did?”
Reggie: So in 2003, the marketplace on the home console side was comprised of Nintendo’s GameCube, Xbox had just entered the market during that generation, and Sony had their PlayStation 2. And on a global marketplace, PlayStation 2 was dominating the market. GameCube and Microsoft Xbox (were) about the same stuff, so for a company used to dominating the home console space, Nintendo was in an uncomfortable position. …
I knew Nintendo; I knew its franchises. I owned not only a Super NES but a Nintendo 64. I’d owned a PlayStation 2; I owned an Xbox — they were all in my house. Interestingly, at the time I was interviewing with Nintendo, I did not own a GameCube. So, as a consumer, I could see issues and opportunities. I could have a sense of where the needs were not only from a sales and marketing perspective, which was the role I was being hired into, but just from an overall perspective.
In a way, I can see how this particular attribute may have been seen as valuable to Nintendo. After all, if he wasn’t personally sold on the GameCube, he would provide unique ideas for their marketing team.
Does this come as a shock to you? What other secrets do you think Reggie is hiding? Let us know in the comments!