Giant Bomb News

70 Comments

Five Key Takeaways From Satoru Iwata's Q&A With Investors

Nintendo's president discusses all sorts of topics regarding Nintendo's future.

Satoru Iwata regularly speaks with investors, and we get a glimpse into the man's overall vision.

There are few executives in business, video game or otherwise, as frank and honest as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Who else would write such a seemingly heartfelt letter to customers feeling burned by an unexpected price cut?

After announcing the impending 3DS price cut, sluggish sales of the hardware and a loss for the quarter, Iwata spoke with investors about the company's recent moves, thoughts on the future of the business and Nintendo's role in it and what lessons could be learned as Nintendo turns towards Wii U, set for a release in 2012.

I've picked out five key responses from Iwata, but I'd really recommend recommend reading the entire exchange at Nintendo's website.

On the Influence of Smartphones, Rise of Social Networks and Embracing Digital Distribution

Iwata isn't buying into the notion smartphones are outright killing Nintendo's market.

"It has been said very often that Nintendo’s business is not as good as people had expected due to the influence of smartphones. We have repeatedly investigated whether social games, as well as smartphones, are actually affecting our business. We got the same results in our latest research that there are no causal correlations. Therefore, we will not touch on the details today as we have explained them several times before."

"On the other hand, it is the fact that a great variety of games are available at very low prices for smartphones. Naturally, consumers will choose more affordable ones if the video games we provide do not have much more value than those available for smartphones. However, no causal correlations have been confirmed because we think there are consumers who acknowledge that the value of what we offer does not equal to that of those available for smartphones and that what we offer holds unique value."

"Another trend which has captured people’s great interest today is the power of social networking, or its power to connect different people. The keyword 'social' has rapidly become very popular in these last two years and some say that Nintendo may be behind the social age. They might mean that Nintendo, uninterested in so-called social games from a business standpoint, fails to ride on the boom of social games. However, I have a totally opposite view - Nintendo has been a company attaching a high value to human relationships for a long time. We have our roots in the playthings connecting people as the company’s original business was playing cards. Therefore, we have always been aware of the human connections created by each of our products. It is true that on social networking services through the Internet you can make a relationship with those to which you could not connect with before. On the other hand, I think that there has been no best answer yet to the relationship between a real network and a virtual network. What we would like to realize is neither what the current social networking services provide nor what you can enjoy only with those in front of you, which Nintendo has provided before. The big theme for us is to provide new and fascinating human relationships composed of various networks, a real network with those close to you, a virtual network with those distant from you, and networks beyond description created by your experiences of sharing the same place with someone or of visiting certain places and specifically provided by SpotPass and StreetPass."

"Talking about whether there are other measures we can take other than the ones we are doing now to improve profitability, it is of course the same thing for the Wii U as for the Nintendo 3DS, but we think there are great new possibilities with what we can do in the digital business or, in other words, the digital distribution business. I am not going to go into detail about the business model today, but we have a strong determination to enlarge our digital business. This area is an area in which we have not been able to implement a good mechanism yet, or in which we have not been able to run our business well. We have made several attempts since we first made Wii Shop Channel for the Wii, but because we could not overcome some preconditions, the business hasn't grown to a satisfactory size yet. However, for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, we are strongly focusing on development of such functions, so I believe we will be able to make new proposals such as 'The ratio of packaged titles and digital titles will be like this in the future' or 'The business for packaged titles and the business for the digital titles can be combined in this way.' I think I will be able to tell more specific stories in the near future, so taking these facts into regard, we would like to make efforts to improve our profitability even more."

How Recent Actions Could Influence Nintendo's Decisions for Wii U

Nintendo's moves into digitally distributed games has seen mixed success on DS and Wii.

"With regard to the influence on the Wii U, what we have to take most seriously is that the price markdown could damage the trust of the consumers who bought the Nintendo 3DS just after the launch. I feel greatly accountable for it. Our decision of the price markdown this time has a side effect that, at the launch of the Wii U, people may feel that the price might drop in the near future if they wait. Nevertheless, we have decided to cut down the price of the Nintendo 3DS as we consider it as a necessary decision now. What we will be able to do to recover the consumers' trust before the launch of the Wii U is very important to us. Since the Wii U we showed you at the E3 show in June was still in the development phase without very specific proposals on the software titles, we are going to announce the release date and the price next year when we are able to explain the specific proposals. Anyway, the biggest influence is on our consumers' trust, I think."

The Challenge of Reproducing Surprise Hits Like Brain Age

Brain Age was an unexpected success, helping to usher in the dominance of the platform.

"Software such as Brain Age and Wii Fit have become such great hits that people often ask questions about the next unexpected big hits like Brain Age or Wii Fit. But even if I said something like, 'We have prepared the next revolutionary stuff like this,' it is usually a type of software that people think, 'How in the world would this sell?' However, the software which compels you to hold such a doubt, when it can become an explosive hit, can become a really great product. Therefore, there is no reality even if we say, 'We are developing something like this and it will sell just as Brain Age did.' It is not a game which looks like Brain Age, but we will be proposing something that consumers did not categorize as a video game in the past. It may be a Nintendo 3DS function, a new packaged software, software sold at the Nintendo eShop, software once sold at the Nintendo eShop then sold as a packaged game (like Art Academy for Nintendo DS) or something else, and out of those proposals we cannot tell exactly which one or ones of them will become big hits, so we are considering multiple proposals. Some of them will come out during this fiscal year and some are planned for next fiscal year. We hope, in the end, you will look back and say, 'that particular software further accelerated the penetration of the Nintendo 3DS.'"

Why Nintendo Could React So Quickly With a 3DS Price Cut

"Maybe the reason we were able to make the markdown decision is our lesson from Nintendo GameCube. Therefore, in that sense, it was slightly a personal decision, meaning that the current executives, who are the ones who make the decisions, all experienced, 'there was a chance for the Nintendo GameCube but we were not able to capitalize on it,' and I think that was a large factor, that the executive all shared this sense, not just myself. One other factor is our financial characteristics. I have repeatedly said, 'Please allow us to hold high liquidity of assets since this business has very high risks. We can have more options if we have high liquidity.' During those days, when the Wii and the Nintendo DS were in a continuous good cycle, we had cases where people asked us, 'Well, won't you be all right even without holding so much cash?' But it must be a factor to our ability to make decisions like these under situation like this, and along with this, proceed with the development of the Wii U and take on its business risks. We will put our best efforts to make this decision a good one."

Nintendo's Resistance to Microtransactions and Downloadable Content

"To the question, 'What will Nintendo do in the future regarding micro-transactions?' or 'How will Nintendo prepare micro-transactions for its platforms?' we are preparing a system for micro-transactions and so-called add-on content for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, and for the Nintendo 3DS we are targeting to release something this calendar year. This means that we will be able to give flexible options to software developers on our platform, but 'what to do with Nintendo's policy as a software developer' is a separate issue.

Nintendo has not shown must interest in DLC, but that may be changing with future games.

This is a good opportunity, so I would like to talk about what Nintendo is thinking as a software developer. Generally, it may be thought that Nintendo is reluctant toward micro-transactions, meaning that Nintendo is not interested in gaining profit through add-on content or micro-transactions. I have been discussing this topic with Mr. Miyamoto for a fairly long time. For example, let's say there is an occasion where a user says, 'I'm done playing this game but I would play it more if there were additional stages,' and we were able to focus the right amount of energy to develop additional stages and that way, by distributing the additional stages, we were able to extend the life-span of the game or stimulate social topics, or increase sales. Then, we would discuss whether we could sell the add-on content at a price where both Nintendo and consumers would be satisfied.

For example, in the future, I think it will be all right to have a situation where we prepare an additional stage and say to consumers, 'Can you pay some more to play this?' On the other hand, and I'd like to emphasize that this is only me talking from Nintendo's point of view of what we want Nintendo to do, and we do not intend to comment on whether another company is right or wrong, and I would like to avoid any misunderstandings on this point, but, I would also like to mention that, under Nintendo's set of values "charging money just for changing the parameters to unlock something or to allow some large advantage," is a totally different earnings structure that is not compensation for creative work and, while pursuing this may create short-term profits, Mr. Miyamoto and I discussed that we should not use this type of billing system since we think that we will not be able to make long-term relationships with our consumers."

Again, for more insightful comments, read the five-page question-and-answer on Nintendo's website.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
70 Comments
  • 70 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by patrickklepek
Satoru Iwata regularly speaks with investors, and we get a glimpse into the man's overall vision.

There are few executives in business, video game or otherwise, as frank and honest as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Who else would write such a seemingly heartfelt letter to customers feeling burned by an unexpected price cut?

After announcing the impending 3DS price cut, sluggish sales of the hardware and a loss for the quarter, Iwata spoke with investors about the company's recent moves, thoughts on the future of the business and Nintendo's role in it and what lessons could be learned as Nintendo turns towards Wii U, set for a release in 2012.

I've picked out five key responses from Iwata, but I'd really recommend recommend reading the entire exchange at Nintendo's website.

On the Influence of Smartphones, Rise of Social Networks and Embracing Digital Distribution

Iwata isn't buying into the notion smartphones are outright killing Nintendo's market.

"It has been said very often that Nintendo’s business is not as good as people had expected due to the influence of smartphones. We have repeatedly investigated whether social games, as well as smartphones, are actually affecting our business. We got the same results in our latest research that there are no causal correlations. Therefore, we will not touch on the details today as we have explained them several times before."

"On the other hand, it is the fact that a great variety of games are available at very low prices for smartphones. Naturally, consumers will choose more affordable ones if the video games we provide do not have much more value than those available for smartphones. However, no causal correlations have been confirmed because we think there are consumers who acknowledge that the value of what we offer does not equal to that of those available for smartphones and that what we offer holds unique value."

"Another trend which has captured people’s great interest today is the power of social networking, or its power to connect different people. The keyword 'social' has rapidly become very popular in these last two years and some say that Nintendo may be behind the social age. They might mean that Nintendo, uninterested in so-called social games from a business standpoint, fails to ride on the boom of social games. However, I have a totally opposite view - Nintendo has been a company attaching a high value to human relationships for a long time. We have our roots in the playthings connecting people as the company’s original business was playing cards. Therefore, we have always been aware of the human connections created by each of our products. It is true that on social networking services through the Internet you can make a relationship with those to which you could not connect with before. On the other hand, I think that there has been no best answer yet to the relationship between a real network and a virtual network. What we would like to realize is neither what the current social networking services provide nor what you can enjoy only with those in front of you, which Nintendo has provided before. The big theme for us is to provide new and fascinating human relationships composed of various networks, a real network with those close to you, a virtual network with those distant from you, and networks beyond description created by your experiences of sharing the same place with someone or of visiting certain places and specifically provided by SpotPass and StreetPass."

"Talking about whether there are other measures we can take other than the ones we are doing now to improve profitability, it is of course the same thing for the Wii U as for the Nintendo 3DS, but we think there are great new possibilities with what we can do in the digital business or, in other words, the digital distribution business. I am not going to go into detail about the business model today, but we have a strong determination to enlarge our digital business. This area is an area in which we have not been able to implement a good mechanism yet, or in which we have not been able to run our business well. We have made several attempts since we first made Wii Shop Channel for the Wii, but because we could not overcome some preconditions, the business hasn't grown to a satisfactory size yet. However, for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, we are strongly focusing on development of such functions, so I believe we will be able to make new proposals such as 'The ratio of packaged titles and digital titles will be like this in the future' or 'The business for packaged titles and the business for the digital titles can be combined in this way.' I think I will be able to tell more specific stories in the near future, so taking these facts into regard, we would like to make efforts to improve our profitability even more."

How Recent Actions Could Influence Nintendo's Decisions for Wii U

Nintendo's moves into digitally distributed games has seen mixed success on DS and Wii.

"With regard to the influence on the Wii U, what we have to take most seriously is that the price markdown could damage the trust of the consumers who bought the Nintendo 3DS just after the launch. I feel greatly accountable for it. Our decision of the price markdown this time has a side effect that, at the launch of the Wii U, people may feel that the price might drop in the near future if they wait. Nevertheless, we have decided to cut down the price of the Nintendo 3DS as we consider it as a necessary decision now. What we will be able to do to recover the consumers' trust before the launch of the Wii U is very important to us. Since the Wii U we showed you at the E3 show in June was still in the development phase without very specific proposals on the software titles, we are going to announce the release date and the price next year when we are able to explain the specific proposals. Anyway, the biggest influence is on our consumers' trust, I think."

The Challenge of Reproducing Surprise Hits Like Brain Age

Brain Age was an unexpected success, helping to usher in the dominance of the platform.

"Software such as Brain Age and Wii Fit have become such great hits that people often ask questions about the next unexpected big hits like Brain Age or Wii Fit. But even if I said something like, 'We have prepared the next revolutionary stuff like this,' it is usually a type of software that people think, 'How in the world would this sell?' However, the software which compels you to hold such a doubt, when it can become an explosive hit, can become a really great product. Therefore, there is no reality even if we say, 'We are developing something like this and it will sell just as Brain Age did.' It is not a game which looks like Brain Age, but we will be proposing something that consumers did not categorize as a video game in the past. It may be a Nintendo 3DS function, a new packaged software, software sold at the Nintendo eShop, software once sold at the Nintendo eShop then sold as a packaged game (like Art Academy for Nintendo DS) or something else, and out of those proposals we cannot tell exactly which one or ones of them will become big hits, so we are considering multiple proposals. Some of them will come out during this fiscal year and some are planned for next fiscal year. We hope, in the end, you will look back and say, 'that particular software further accelerated the penetration of the Nintendo 3DS.'"

Why Nintendo Could React So Quickly With a 3DS Price Cut

"Maybe the reason we were able to make the markdown decision is our lesson from Nintendo GameCube. Therefore, in that sense, it was slightly a personal decision, meaning that the current executives, who are the ones who make the decisions, all experienced, 'there was a chance for the Nintendo GameCube but we were not able to capitalize on it,' and I think that was a large factor, that the executive all shared this sense, not just myself. One other factor is our financial characteristics. I have repeatedly said, 'Please allow us to hold high liquidity of assets since this business has very high risks. We can have more options if we have high liquidity.' During those days, when the Wii and the Nintendo DS were in a continuous good cycle, we had cases where people asked us, 'Well, won't you be all right even without holding so much cash?' But it must be a factor to our ability to make decisions like these under situation like this, and along with this, proceed with the development of the Wii U and take on its business risks. We will put our best efforts to make this decision a good one."

Nintendo's Resistance to Microtransactions and Downloadable Content

"To the question, 'What will Nintendo do in the future regarding micro-transactions?' or 'How will Nintendo prepare micro-transactions for its platforms?' we are preparing a system for micro-transactions and so-called add-on content for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, and for the Nintendo 3DS we are targeting to release something this calendar year. This means that we will be able to give flexible options to software developers on our platform, but 'what to do with Nintendo's policy as a software developer' is a separate issue.

Nintendo has not shown must interest in DLC, but that may be changing with future games.

This is a good opportunity, so I would like to talk about what Nintendo is thinking as a software developer. Generally, it may be thought that Nintendo is reluctant toward micro-transactions, meaning that Nintendo is not interested in gaining profit through add-on content or micro-transactions. I have been discussing this topic with Mr. Miyamoto for a fairly long time. For example, let's say there is an occasion where a user says, 'I'm done playing this game but I would play it more if there were additional stages,' and we were able to focus the right amount of energy to develop additional stages and that way, by distributing the additional stages, we were able to extend the life-span of the game or stimulate social topics, or increase sales. Then, we would discuss whether we could sell the add-on content at a price where both Nintendo and consumers would be satisfied.

For example, in the future, I think it will be all right to have a situation where we prepare an additional stage and say to consumers, 'Can you pay some more to play this?' On the other hand, and I'd like to emphasize that this is only me talking from Nintendo's point of view of what we want Nintendo to do, and we do not intend to comment on whether another company is right or wrong, and I would like to avoid any misunderstandings on this point, but, I would also like to mention that, under Nintendo's set of values "charging money just for changing the parameters to unlock something or to allow some large advantage," is a totally different earnings structure that is not compensation for creative work and, while pursuing this may create short-term profits, Mr. Miyamoto and I discussed that we should not use this type of billing system since we think that we will not be able to make long-term relationships with our consumers."

Again, for more insightful comments, read the five-page question-and-answer on Nintendo's website.

Staff
Edited by big_jon

Stupid smart phones, it's a shame that the garbage games that come out on them are even considered to be in the ball park of a real hand held gaming system.

Posted by Pavlo

yeahhhhh

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

ssoc lclose

Posted by Mummenschanz

You didn't waste any time, big jon.

Posted by Kyle

Are there any pictures of Satoru Iwata not holding something up in the air?

Posted by patrickklepek

@Kyle said:

Are there any pictures of Satoru Iwata not holding something up in the air?

If there are, I don't want to see them.

Staff
Posted by The_Nubster
@Kyle said:
Are there any pictures of Satoru Iwata not holding something up in the air?
It'll be your head in the next one. Don't mess with the Big N.
Posted by RaikohBlade

Give the core fanbase the games they want and the sales will follow. The 3DS had poor launch titles, and look what happened to it. The best games on it are ports and remakes of older games. Top quality, original titles are what make a console great. Step it up, Nintendo.

Edited by Sinful

quickly fotoshoppe Iwata holding a iphone!

Posted by chrismafuchris
Posted by chickdigger802

@big_jon said:

Stupid smart phones, it's a shame that the garbage games that come out on them are even considered to be in the ball park of a real hand held gaming system.

funny enough, final fantasy tactics is coming out on ios tonight!

And groove coaster might just be the best portable game of this year.

Edited by Sinful

"Who else would write such a seemingly heartfelt letter to customers feeling burned by an unexpected prie cut?"
 
Not going to tell you this again Pat, but PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD and PROOFREAD!
and don't even bother giving one of your excuses in your bag. "Ohh up late last night playing "X "."

Posted by stalefishies

"Who else would write such a seemingly heartfelt letter to customers feeling burned by an unexpected prie cut?"
 
Minor typo in price, plus I first took that to mean that you thought the letter seemed heartfelt but actually wasn't, which I'm guessing is not what you're trying to say. Might want to chuck in a 'genuinely' somewhere in that sentence or something.
 
Otherwise, it's really interesting hearing how Nintendo justifies doing their crazy Nintendo way of doing things.

Posted by Dallas_Raines

@chickdigger802:

Don't forget stuff like GTA: Chinatown Wars and Phoenix Wright, which also hit iOS some time ago with massively reduced prices. Not to mention all the Tell Tale stuff.

Posted by DFSVegas

There is more value in a Nintendo made handheld game, the question is if enough people are interested in investing that much money on a handheld game anymore. Would I rather play Street Fighter 4 on my 3DS over Angry Birds on my phones? Sure, but I don't want to pay an extra $250 + $40, and carry around an extra (and relatively large) peice of equiptment.

Now, am I saying anything new? No, and that's the crazy thing. Why does the entire world see this except for companies like Nintendo and Sony? How do companies like this make so much goddamn money when they constantly prove to be this short-sighted? It's almost like any success these companies have found has been by complete accident.

Get with the frickin' program Nintendo. I'm have a GED, I shouldn't understand the consumer market better than you do.

Posted by Marokai

I'm still not buying into the notion that the iPhone is a Nintendo-killer.

Posted by patrickklepek

@Sinful said:

"Who else would write such a seemingly heartfelt letter to customers feeling burned by an unexpected prie cut?" Not going to tell you this again Pat, but PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD and PROOFREAD! and don't even bother giving one of your excuses in your bag. "Ohh up late last night playing "X "."

There's never an excuse. Typos have always been the thing that trips me up the most.

Staff
Posted by Quacktastic

Agree with him 100% about smartphones.  I'm glad they aren't buying into that.

Posted by Sinful
@patrickklepek: you know I'm doing this becuz I care for your well being and your hair.
Edited by Deathpooky

I don't care about facebook integration, but unless Nintendo figures out that the Internet is a thing and grasps the basics of how to use it, I think they'll be in trouble.

Posted by stonepawfox

iwata's last sentence is such a giant run-on mess, god damn

Posted by Foggen

Nice to hear that they're taking a customer-friendly approach to DLC: approach it carefully, and make sure you're really adding content.

Posted by stalefishies
@DFSVegas said:

There is more value in a Nintendo made handheld game, the question is if enough people are interested in investing that much money on a handheld game anymore. Would I rather play Street Fighter 4 on my 3DS over Angry Birds on my phones? Sure, but I don't want to pay an extra $250 + $40, and carry around an extra (and relatively large) peice of equiptment.

Now, am I saying anything new? No, and that's the crazy thing. Why does the entire world see this except for companies like Nintendo and Sony? How do companies like this make so much goddamn money when they constantly prove to be this short-sighted? It's almost like any success these companies have found has been by complete accident.

Get with the frickin' program Nintendo. I'm have a GED, I shouldn't understand the consumer market better than you do.

Except that the DS is still selling, so there's clearly still a market for it.
 
Just because you don't want to carry a DS or a PSP doesn't mean others don't.
Posted by redlitez76

nintendo has reached a point in its companies lifespan where they have to learn to adapt or they will wind up like sega.  Sega is still a profitable company but they are only a software company. Unless nintendo follows Sony's strategy that is the only way they can survive the coming tide of the future.

Posted by TadThuggish

iPhones aren't killing the 3DS, Nintendo is killing the 3DS with a lack of support. I'd rather shell out $40 (or $30, preferably) for a fantastic Nintendo product than give ninety-nine cents for BumbleFuck InformationStealer Social Media Ad-Supported Ninja 5000.

Posted by RE_Player1

@TadThuggish said:

iPhones aren't killing the 3DS, Nintendo is killing the 3DS with a lack of support. I'd rather shell out $40 (or $30, preferably) for a fantastic Nintendo product than give ninety-nine cents for BumbleFuck InformationStealer Social Media Ad-Supported Ninja 5000.

True.

Posted by swfcfan

"We think there are consumers who acknowledge that the value of what we offer does not equal to that of those available for smartphones and that what we offer holds unique value"

How many though? A lot of people seem happy with playing cheap simple games on the go.

Posted by DrRandle

I agree with the stance that Mobile Gaming is not being destroyed by the iphone and android markets. I've never been a fan of that argument. As somebody who has had a Nexus S for a while, It's not terribly often that I find a game that can hold my attention like a full-fledged product like Ocarina of Time or Strange Journey (regular DS game, but the point remains). I'm not saying there aren't good games on mobile. Fruit Ninja and Game Dev Story are amazing, but those aren't something I want to play for any sort of a stretch. I can definitely see some overlap, but I don't think that's what the 3DS's problem was. The problem was cost and software lineup. Right now it's kind of a weak lineup that, while it has games I'm interested in, doesn't have that Brain Age or Nintendogs type game that just blew everybody away. If they can get something out there soon enough, the 3DS will do just fine.

Posted by SpaceBoat

Release Pikmin 3 with the Wii U and I will show you at least one system sold on launch day no matter the price.

Posted by tourgen

Smart phone games allow better interconnection between online players with a better online experience than Nintendo's dedicated consoles and portables.  They need to address that.  There are also enough games that are Good Enough for < $5 to be a real drag on Nintendo's prices.  It is having a real effect.  They say they found no direct cause but I don't believe them.  They will have to produce their results and full data.
 
Brushing off the effect of smart phone gaming in front of your investors is not healthy.  These people are smart enough to see through that.

Posted by benu302000

TLDR

Posted by Mummenschanz
@patrickklepek: It's cool of you to admit your mistake, but let it be known that my take away from that exchange regards what an idiot that guy sounds like saying, "not going to tell you this again."
Posted by bretthancock

@DFSVegas: Because they aren't short sighted when it comes to predicting what people will spend money on, not what the vocal minority thinks. If they were that shortsighted, they wouldn't be in business still.

Posted by Wraxend

Nintendos problem in my eyes is they never inovate in IPs always relying on the same ones with Pikmin being the last popular one and that was back in 2001. I mean you complete one Mario/Zelda you've completed them all.

Posted by DFSVegas

@stalefishies said:

@DFSVegas said:

There is more value in a Nintendo made handheld game, the question is if enough people are interested in investing that much money on a handheld game anymore. Would I rather play Street Fighter 4 on my 3DS over Angry Birds on my phones? Sure, but I don't want to pay an extra $250 + $40, and carry around an extra (and relatively large) peice of equiptment.

Now, am I saying anything new? No, and that's the crazy thing. Why does the entire world see this except for companies like Nintendo and Sony? How do companies like this make so much goddamn money when they constantly prove to be this short-sighted? It's almost like any success these companies have found has been by complete accident.

Get with the frickin' program Nintendo. I'm have a GED, I shouldn't understand the consumer market better than you do.

Except that the DS is still selling, so there's clearly still a market for it. Just because you don't want to carry a DS or a PSP doesn't mean others don't.

That's because it's far cheaper, and has a large, established library. A library that was built when a DS was more viable. The formula to building a library for a dedicated handheld in 2011 is hard to know, but releasing your console at $250 probably isn't it. Ignoring the e-shop is probably also not the way. If they're not short sighted, they're extremely stubborn. It wasn't hard to see that the 3DS was going to struggle at that price point.

Also, I can flip that statement on you. Just because you want to carry a DS or PSP, doesn't mean other do. Also, when we talk about success for Nintendo, that means selling 50, 60, 70, 80 million units. In this market, that just seems impossible for a device like the 3DS. Especially not at $250, and probably not even at $169. The 3DS will easily top 30 mllion units, but by the standards of Nintendo Handhelds, that is a massive failure, and at this point, it's pretty questionable as to weather they'll go very far past that mark with out some changes in ideals at that company. It could happen, but I have my doubts.

Posted by huser
@SpaceBoat: I'd love that, though an ARG version of Pikmin on 3DS might make me totally geek out.
Posted by xbob42

The best part about typos are watching people with such depressingly pathetic lives get angry about them.

Posted by barinelg

I actually really like Mr. Iwata's comments on the DLC aspect of today's gaming. A lot of companies seem to have unlocks for content we technically already have. Others cost $15 for a few maps or some minor extra content that may not have taken too terribly long to make (though can be creative). I hope they are able to find a good, solid middle ground that third-parties, as well as Nintendo, can get behind.

Posted by AuthenticM

@Marokai said:

I'm still not buying into the notion that the iPhone is a Nintendo-killer.

Me too. People who buy games on their iPhones are not the same customers who buy real portable gaming systems. They are the people who bought a Wii because it looked cool, played it for a month, and shelved it away. Nintendo should simply concentrate on the core gamers and they'll do fine.

Online
Posted by NeoAthanasius

My nephews (both 10 years old) received ipod touches for Christmas and have not touched their DSi's for about six months. Instead choosing to play crappy free games and 99 cent junk from the app store. The sad thing about this is that they own over 20 games for the DS so losing customers like this is harmful to Nintendo. They enjoyed messing with my 3DS but seem to have no interest in getting one. As a Nintendo fan I think this is a serious issue. Most of their friends have iPod touches as well. I think Nintendo is losing a large portion of that age group to Apple. Maybe once the newness wears off they will return to their DS but I'm not hopeful. Kids are not the best judge of quality sometimes!

Posted by Stokes

The final picture's caption has a typo in it.  Must should be much.  Just FYI.

Posted by RobertOrri

Sounds like Iwata is specifically talking about Electronic Arts' method of selling downloadable in-game money and unlockable cars/guns/etc. in the last paragraph. Heh.

Edited by Tesla

What hurts Nintendo the most is how much they charge for games like OoT 3D that are three generations old. With cheap mobile games on smart phones and old school games available for 15 dollars or less on PSN and XBLA, they need to wise up and stop charging 40 bucks for their portable software.

Posted by GozerTC
@tourgen said:
Smart phone games allow better interconnection between online players with a better online experience than Nintendo's dedicated consoles and portables.  They need to address that.  There are also enough games that are Good Enough for < $5 to be a real drag on Nintendo's prices.  It is having a real effect.  They say they found no direct cause but I don't believe them.  They will have to produce their results and full data.  Brushing off the effect of smart phone gaming in front of your investors is not healthy.  These people are smart enough to see through that.
This right here is what I want to see as well.  I'd love to see their data that shows "no causal connection."  I once owned a DS and a PSP but I'll not buy this generation after buying an iPhone.  The iPhone does all the PSP was supposed to with video, music, and games, while not doing the games as well.  Then again the games I WANT to play would work just fine on the iPhone (Disgea, Final Fantasy Tactics, Advance Wars and the like) .   Now I'm an old guy (Over 30) so maybe I'm not the market they care about and see no "causal connection" about leaving.  Again I'd like to see the data but I'm a bit of a stat nerd. :)  
Posted by Gonmog

Does anyone here really use there phone for gaming playing? ...what if you need to make a phone call? Even the best phones out there will die in under 3 hours playing a realish game....

Posted by Thoseposers

i think there's a good group of people out there that will never see iPhone games really matching what Nintendo produces, myself included. Nintendo always has had a good grip on the casual market and really that's all i imagine them losing out to phones in the end and besides, phones are just the new thing eventually the casual market will move onto something else surely.

Posted by Raven10
@DFSVegas: I own Street Fighter 4 on my iPod. I paid like $5 for it and it all went to charity to help people in the Japan earthquake. Why would a pay an additional $40 for the exact same game just with 3D? The problem is that there are a lot of iOS games that are just as meaty as any handheld game, but they cost a fraction of the price.
Posted by ptys

Their next move has to be a sexier hardware design, especially when they are up against all these regularly refined smartphones.

  • 70 results
  • 1
  • 2