Iwata says no to further 3DS Pricedrops and smartphone support
Nikkei interviews the shacho following yesterday's big press conference.
Nikkei was able to interview Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata following yesterday's 3DS press conference. There weren't any major revelations in the interview (registration required), but here's a summary.
3DS will get an unending steam of major titles from November through the first half of next year, Iwata said in response to Nikkei's remark that one of the problems the 3DS faced was a lack of major hit software.
Iwata referred to the system's former price point as a "hurdle," which they were able to clear through the price drop. He said that he's certain the system will expand its base greatly during the year end sales season.
Iwata says that he had no doubts about dropping the 3DS price, in the sense that they decided to drop the price after considering all possibilities. However, it's not totally clear today if the decision was the correct one. He personally does feel that dropping the price was the best decision, and it was a move that was realized after consulting and receiving a favorable response from the other management staff.
Nikkei asked if there will be another price drop. Nintendo intends for it to be the first and the last, replied Iwata.
Nikkei noted that with the spread of SNS and smartphone games, there's some doubts about the conventional console games business model. Iwata replied that he doesn't believe the business model used until now will suddenly go away. In fact, with the 3DS this holiday season, they intend to show that package game software business is still healthy. He added, however, that he's not saying that looking long range the package game software business will retain its current share endlessly. However, Nintendo intends to carry out its way of thought with confidence. The only way to combat those who say that Nintendo is behind the times is to show impressive numbers.
This question lead into the expected question about Nintendo releasing games for smartphones (poor Iwata...). "This is absolutely not under consideration," replied Iwata. "If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It's the duty of management to make use of those strengths. It's probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we'd make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short term profits, but to Nintendo's mid and long term competitive strength."
With the release of the Wii U next year, Nikkei noted that it will be important for Nintendo to keep the current Wii market active. The Wii had holes in its lineup earlier this year due to development delays associated with preparations for launching the 3DS, said Iwata. However, the upcoming Wii lineup will be more robust than it was last year. Iwata believes that if they have a strong software lineup, they can bring energy to the market.