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Iwata on 3DS Software Supply, Holiday Sales, and Developing Countries

CEO says system won't see post launch lull experienced by DS and Wii.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. (Photo from Nintendo's Iwata Asks series of columns.)

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper got the chance to quiz Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata about the 3DS yesterday (January 9). The paper's online edition posted a transcript of the interview (Registration required).

The most notable comment from the interview concerned software support for the system. "It's important that you be able to supply software with no pause," said Iwata. "With the DS and Wii, following the titles that were released at launch, the momentum dropped when there was a gap in software releases. We're making plans so that this type of thing won't happen."

Similar to a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Nikkei also asked Iwata about Nintendo's recent warnings regarding potential ill effects of the system on the vision of children. Iwata remarked that he hasn't really been saying anything special. Similar warnings are printed in most instruction manuals for 3D television sets. However, Nintendo believes that as a game machine is prone to being played for lengthy periods by kids, they should adequately convey the message before people make their purchase.

Nikkei also asked about a possible release for the 3DS in developing countries. Iwata responded that because the economies in developing countries are growing at a rapid pace, those markets will in the near future become extremely important for the game industry. However, because at present he can't say when Nintendo will be able to satisfy the needs of the North American, Japanese and European markets for the 3DS, he can't give a specific time frame for bringing the 3DS to other territories.

Moving away from the 3DS, the paper asked Iwata about Nintendo's performance over the holiday season. In North America, the Wii's performance was definitely not bad, said Iwata. The system sold over 2 million units in the holiday season, and crossed the 7 million mark in early sales. DS sold at level with 2009. The European market performed according to expectations.

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