When Tatsumi Kimishima was named as the new Nintendo president, one story that immediately began to spread was that he claimed that he had always known that Wii U would fail.
That had stemmed from an interview with Japan’s Nikkei, but Kimishima has since assured that the reporter had simply misunderstood his response to the posed question.
“The Nikkei reporter’s question to me was ‘The Wii U is not selling at this point in its lifetime as well as the Wii was at the same time. Why is that?'” Kimishima explained to TIME.
“And my answer was that the Wii at this point has sold over 100 million units worldwide, and even through there are people saying ‘Hey, since the Wii was so successful, Wii U is also going to be successful and it’s also going to sell like wildfire as well,’ I looked at that global install base and said that it might not sell as well. That was my response. Not that it wouldn’t sell, but that it would be more difficult because of the install base of the Wii itself.”
With the Wii having sold more than 101.59 million consoles worldwide, Kimishima believed that it would prove difficult to encourage owners satisfied with the system to buy Wii U. This has been a similar situation faced by Microsoft and Sony over the past few years, in transitioning their audience away from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
He continued, “The point that I was trying to get across was that Wii has sold so much and is being played by so many people, it’s not going to be easy to make them leave that and come to the next system. That was my only point, that it was a difficult task for us to bring those consumers from Wii to Wii U. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like my message got across clearly.”