No Strategy Change, Says Iwata

Satoru Iwata has once again spoken to site Gamasutra about Nintendo’s philosophy as the release of the Wii U creeps ever closer.  In terms of how Nintendo intends to remain profitable with the new system, Iwata has stressed that Nintendo expects the losses of last year to be a one-time event, particularly because the 3DS will make a profit on all future units sold. With that in mind, Nintendo will price the Wii U with the existing market in mind, based around demand and competition.

In terms of the Wii U’s processing power, which is what many developers are talking about, Iwata has again affirmed that the system will be strong enough to give players the gaming experience they expect and which Nintendo has promised to deliver. He did mention that, while there were many naysayers concerning the Wii many years ago, Nintendo defied the odds and will do so again.

“Our intention is to return to profitability after just one year of losing money. I just cannot say that it’s a good thing for Nintendo at all to record an annual loss for two or more years in a row. … The [loss of the] past year is due to the 3DS hardware sales. We were selling hardware below the cost, so this year we are already recovering and improving the profitability of the 3DS.

The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched. The environment is different. Wii U is going to be launching in a different environment than when the Wii was launched. Also, the involvement surrounding [mobile and social] businesses is different than several years ago.

Even when we were going to launch the Wii system, there were a lot of voice[s] saying ‘Nintendo should stop making hardware’. The reasoning behind that was Nintendo would not have any chance against Microsoft and Sony. The fact of the matter was: I did not think Nintendo should compete against these companies with the same message and same entertainment options for people.

We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of ‘more beef’ console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013. Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than [others].”

Depending on whether you agree with this particular philosophy or not, this may be good news or something to worry about. Nintendo has always marched to its own beat, and it looks like they don’t plan to stop doing that anytime soon.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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