In Iwata’s latest Q & A session, he was asked if the release of 2DS equates to an admission by Nintendo that the company took a wrong turn by incorporating 3D effects into its handheld console, a move that takes it out of the hands of very young players. In true Iwata fashion, he defended Nintendo’s intentions by explaining that the 2DS had been in development for some time, in order to coincide with the new Pokemon release.
He also cited A Link Between Worlds as an example of a new game that specifically caters to 3DS users by taking full advantage of the 3D effect. Here is Iwata’s full transcript detailing the reasons why he believes the release 2DS was an intelligent move, and that 2DS and 3DS can exist side by side:
“Launching Nintendo 2DS at this point in time requires its development work to have begun a long time ago. Generally speaking, it takes approximately one and a half years before we can bring a new hardware system onto the market, and we already realized beforehand that it would be difficult to maximize the sales potential of Nintendo 3DS without an entry-level product ready in time for the release of a new Pokémon title. Because we already knew that the range of price options for Nintendo 3DS was not sufficient in light of the highly appreciated yen at the time, we had been preparing for this launch.”
“Incidentally the yen is now somewhat depreciated and we are able to offer Nintendo 2DS without facing profitability problems. This is very fortunate considering our business structure. We are offering such an option in order to further propel the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS platform in the overseas markets.
“Nintendo 2DS is, however, simply one of the options for consumers and we will continue to offer the existing Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL platforms in the overseas markets, and we are not saying that we will abandon 3D or cease to make new propositions in 3D. The Legend of Zelda title that we are going to release toward the end of the year is a superb showcase of the 3D effect, featuring a top-down style and offering a new form of gameplay by taking advantage of the 3D effect vertically.”
Nintendo has announced that Wii Sports Club may eventually become packaged software. Although the sports game will initially be distributed exclusively through the Nintendo eShop for Wii U, company president Satoru Iwata said in a recent briefing that he won’t rule out the possibility of a retail release. Bowling and tennis will launch in the eShop as standalone titles this Thursday, November 7th.
Iwata: I do not deny the possibility that “Wii Sports Club” may become packaged software in the future. However, for the future of Wii U, we have prioritized releasing tennis and bowling by the end of this year.
Nintendo has released Iwata’s Q & A transcript, in which the outspoken leader of Nintendo discusses everything from Nintendo’s holiday sales strategies to the Wii U Virtual Console. One of the more interesting topics of the transcripts in smartphones. Rather than putting Nintendo at odds with the devices, Iwata’s philosophy is one that accepts the devices as an alternative to dedicated gaming systems, and a means to connect with consumers. He cited Nintendo’s incorporation of Miiverse on smart devices as an example of a way in which Nintendo embraces the onslaught of new portable electronics that many are calling a threat to the home console market. Here are Iwata’s full comments on the subject:
“I think it is natural that many people feel that it is more convenient to use smart devices, as opposed to dedicated gaming systems, to play games to kill a bit of time. That is to say, there are some areas in which dedicated gaming systems were once used that now have greater potential on smart devices. On the other hand, dedicated gaming systems are developed by considering the software that is designed to run on the hardware, enabling us to make unique propositions.
“With that in mind, my view is that the gaming market will be segregated to a fair degree. However, this does not mean that smart devices will simply compete with dedicated gaming systems. Given their growth, I feel that we should make an effort to take advantage of their existence. For instance, we already made it possible to browse Wii U’s networking service called Miiverse on smart devices. Starting with this attempt, we are discussing among us how we can expand the use of smart devices to help drive the business of dedicated gaming systems.
“Smart devices have already played a central role in creating buzz among consumers above a certain age with respect to, for example, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” “Monster Hunter 4” or “Pokémon X/Pokémon Y.” Twitter timelines filled with tweets about Monster Hunter and Pokémon can certainly help create awareness for the products, and we also know that many watch Nintendo Direct on their smart devices. Rather than simply viewing smart devices as competitors, we should consider ways in which we can use them for our business.”
Nintendo is continuing to drive sales of the 3DS by targeting sales upwards of 5 million units in Japan this year. The company is continuing to gain momentum for its handheld console which has continued to be the best-selling system for a number of weeks in Japan. Satoru Iwata announced the sales goal earlier today and was quick to remind the media and shareholders alike that last year they sold 5.5 million 3DS handhelds from 13.95 million units globally, and are predicting 18 million units in global sales this fiscal year.
With Monster Hunter 4 launching September 14 for Japan, as well as the Pokemon X and Y games on October 12, followed by the rumoured special 3DS XL bundles, there’s no doubt Nintendo shall reach their 5 million goal. As reported by Bloomberg, Satoru Iwata said the following in support of the target:
“There are more and more media reports suggesting that things aren’t going very well for the dedicated gaming hardware business. But that’s not true, at least for the 3DS in Japan.”
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes that the Wii U pricing isn’t to blame for poor sales of the company’s latest home console. Iwata says that it’s the lack of software that’s attributed to the loss of Wii U sales momentum. He pointed towards Wii U Basic sales as proof that the pricing isn’t an issue, as consumers aren’t even purchasing that system.
“If the price is actually an issue [with Wii U], then there is some contradiction between the current sales balance between the Basic and Premium versions of the Wii U.”
“The basic version should have sold a lot, but the fact of the matter is that people are buying more of the premium version. So the issue is not there.”
“I understand that the real issue is the lack of software, and the only solution is to provide the mass-market with a number of quality software titles.”
Nintendo has just published their annual report for 2013, and includes a personal message from the current President Satoru Iwata. The report follows Nintendo’s quarterly financial results, which was published last week, and saw the Nintendo 3DS boosting profit margins across the board, while the Wii U struggled. Nintendo’s annual report for this year includes a wealth of figures for the clued-up financial whizz-kid, as well as some beautiful pictures recognising that the company grew up with you, as much as you grew up with their games. Iwata’s personal message contains many parts we already know about, like the integration of Miiverse and the Nintendo Web Framework – if you wish to read the full report you can do so here – but below we have chosen the most important parts of his statement.
“Since the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983, Nintendo has been offering the world unique and original entertainment products under the development concept of hardware and software integration. In the field of home entertainment, where there are few Japanese world-class industries, Nintendo has established a well-known brand truly representing video game culture throughout the world. Our basic strategy is the expansion of the gaming population, which is to encourage as many people in the world as possible, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience, to embrace and enjoy playing video games.
“Nintendo posted an operating loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. However, we strive to regain “Nintendo-like” profits for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 by providing many people with fascinating games and services. We continue to make brand-new and unique proposals, and make efforts for the growth of the home entertainment industry with a mission that is to pleasantly surprise people and put smiles on the faces of everyone Nintendo touches.”
Earlier this month, Nintendo’s president and CEO, Satoru Iwata, revealed he’s against laying off workers. Although reducing the number of employees in a company is better for the business in the short run, Iwata doesn’t want the morale of staff to decrease due to the fear that they may be laid off. Speaking with VentureBeat, the founder of Oddworld Inhabitants, Lorne Lanning, has praised Iwata’s stance on layoffs.
“When he said that, in my opinion, he was immortalized in the creative community? I would work with him in a second,” said Lanning. “When a man in that type of position, in a world where the golden rule is the rule and that’s what’s expected at public companies, he stood up and said, “That’s not what we’re about. We’re about building great stuff. We have great people to build great stuff. We’re gonna do that.”
Lanning has also praised Nintendo’s way of doing things. While he’s not entirely sure of whether Microsoft will subsist in 100 years, Lanning is confident Nintendo will be here after a century.
“When I look at the history of Nintendo, I say, “Nintendo is gonna be here in 100 years.” I have no doubt,” Lanning said.” I doubt Microsoft will be here in 100 years. I know Zynga won’t be here in 100 years. I’ve been here longer than Zynga. [Laughs] We’re not making headlines in the Wall Street Journal, but we’re still building what we set out to build. Now we have to be clever and smaller in how we think, but we’re more self-empowered than we’ve ever been.”
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata firmly believes that if Nintendo can shift enough Wii U units in the future then the public’s current perception of the company will change. Iwata has admitted that it has been challenging showing consumers then benefits of Wii U and that Nintendo Land hasn’t been the showcase game they initially thought it would have been. However, Iwata thinks that the upcoming software for Wii U will change things for the Kyoto based company.
“Yes, exactly, just as you said. In the case of the Wii, for example, just by bundling Wii Sports, it was easily conveyed to the consumers that the Wii was a very unique and different system. But in the case of the Wii U, we have not come to that stage yet. We hoped that Nintendo Land would have been able to execute that kind of responsibility, but for those people who have only seen how other people are playing with the Wii U and Nintendo Land, they could not know how uniquely different the Wii U is from the Wii. As a result, Wii U is a machine for which the evaluation differs greatly depending on whether you own it at home or not. So, what we really need to do now is to launch software titles for the Wii U that can take advantage of its unique aspects, one after the other. So much so that a great number of people are able to touch the Wii U and feel how unique it is. We need to expand the number of such people. And once the number of people has reached critical mass, I think the public view of Nintendo will be changed.”
Yesterday, July 15th, 2013, marked the 30th anniversary of the Famicom, known as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in regions outside Japan. Because Nintendo has been in the home video game console business for 30 years, company president Satoru Iwata says he thinks Nintendo isn’t suffering.
“Coming from thirty years in the home console business, I don’t think we’re suffering,” Iwata told Japanese newspaper Nikkei Shinbun.
Practically every company has its ups and downs, so Iwata’s comment is perfectly reasonable.
StreetPass Mii Plaza has recently came back into our lives with a bang on the 3DS. During E3, Nintendo sent out a series of special Mii’s to users across the world – President Satoru Iwata and Mario Kart designer Hideki Konno to name a couple. But the company also released new content for StreetPass Mii Plaza, which has included a series of mini-games as paid downloadable content. In a recent question and answer session during an investors meeting, Iwata revealed that the expansion of StreetPass Mii Plaza was the product of a year-long preparation. But even though the mini-games have only been available for just over two weeks, Iwata says they have surpassed over 200,000 downloads.
“As you pointed out, we only started distributing those new games a week ago, but already more than two hundred thousand consumers had purchased at least one out of those four games by last Sunday. We employed no mass-media advertising so we think we are off to a good start. I think that products like these ones will provide new business opportunities for Nintendo in the future. I take it that you are very satisfied with our new games, and we feel that if our consumers determine that the price of a particular game that we offer matches the content that it offers, then there will be more people who try our new propositions. We would certainly like to consider new possibilities for our future endeavors.” – Satoru Iwata