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Iwata Q&A: Wii Music

Does Iwata feel that Wii Music is a failure?


Here's a recap of another question from the Iwata Q&A at the Nintendo investor relations site.

One reporter's question began by praising Nintendo's "game population expansion" strategy as being the right one, noting that the company's warning that it would be difficult to expand the market using the method of the HD consoles was correct. The question concerned Wii Music. The reporter noted that Wii Music hasn't lived up to sales expectations and does not instantly grab people in the way that Wii Fit and Wii Sports (the Wii's two domestic three-million sellers) do. How does Iwata view the final result of Wii Music?

Iwata responded by first admitting that Wii Music has not at this time served its purpose.

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He noted that the game causes two distinct reactions, with people either rating it extremely high or extremely low. Usually, he said, if a game is rated highly by some people, the general opinion will be toward the positive side of the spectrum, and if a game is rated poorly by some people, the general opinion will be toward the low end.

It is extremely regrettable that the Nintendo was unable to quickly convey the charms of the game to people, he believes.

However, Iwata asked people to recall how long it took for Brain Age (known by its cute Japanese short form name as Nou Tore) to see a boom. Following the May release of the original, it wasn't until Brain Age 2 (Motto Nou Tore) came out at the end of the year that the title really took off.

Iwata believes that Nintendo hasn't fully been able to relay the charms of Wii Music to people who have the potential to accept the game. Nintendo does not want to simply say that Wii Music failed and give up. It's not right to look at first week's sales or even first month's sales and call it quits. Brain Age, for instance, sold just 45,000 units in its first week.

He does believe that Nintendo needs to reflect on one particular area, though. Nintendo in its current form was formed by the creation of products that expand through a word-of-mouth cycle where people experience a product, understanding it quickly, then explain it in simple terms to other people. Iwata believes that Nintendo needs to reflect upon the fact that Wii Music did not cross this hurdle.

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