Legendary video games designer Shigeru Miyamoto has told investors that he believes Nintendo has done an admirable job with the amount of first-party franchises on Wii U. Miyamoto cites games such as Nintendo Land, Super Mario 3D World, and Pikmin 3, as games that Nintendo has been able to bring out on the console during its first year.
With Nintendo’s three consecutive operating losses in the spotlight, I think Mr. Iwata is in a very difficult position, similar to the time he was tasked with rebuilding HAL Laboratory. I think Mr. Iwata could’ve chosen the easier option, which was to easily take responsibility by just resigning, but he didn’t choose that path. I would like Mr. Iwata to tell us his thoughts on this decision. I feel that the drop in the company’s performance was largely due to the fact that Nintendo was not able to communicate the value of Wii U well. Nintendo has consistently failed to release enough titles in the initial launch periods of both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and I would like Mr. Miyamoto to tell us what he intends to do about this problem in the future. In response to the drop in the company’s financial performance, people have also described Wii U’s technical specifications as low, and I would like to ask Mr. Takeda to tell us whether he intends to communicate more widely the ideas and philosophy behind the development of the Wii U hardware to dispel such myths. Finally, it appears that Nintendo is struggling to gain third-party support, a point which I would like Mr. Iwata to comment on.
Shigeru Miyamoto (Senior Managing Director)
I interpret the question as asking whether we are making the same mistake every time we launch a new hardware system. While we are always working on this, I think you are right in the sense that we have not been able to deliver results. When we launched Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS, we were unable to release any games from any of our main Nintendo franchises to coincide with their launches. With Wii U, however, we released, along with the hardware, “New Super Mario Bros. U,” as well as “Nintendo Land,” which was a very unique proposition. If you look beyond, we also released a new installment in the Pikmin series after a long interval, and we also had “Super Mario 3D World” at the end of last year. By the end of this year, we will have “Mario Kart 8,” as well as “Super Smash Bros.” Therefore, I feel that we have managed to overcome the challenge of releasing enough first-party franchises on Wii U. Also, despite their sales falling below our expectations so far, I do not think that these games were not well-received because they lacked appeal. We received a top score for “Super Mario 3D World” from Metacritic, a site which gives weighted average scores for games, at the end of last year, and our games are highly praised for their quality. The fact that they did not lead to generating wider consumer interest among the general public is, however, something that we have to take very seriously. If you look at just Japan, however, “Super Mario 3D World” was very well-received by children, with Cat Mario gaining ground. Consumers also seem very excited about “Mario Kart 8,” and I am confident that they will want to buy it once they have played it. Our biggest downfall last year was that we failed to communicate the true value of Wii U, failed to make children persuade their parents to buy our products for them, and failed to offer products that parents could not resist. What we can do about it from now on is our theme.