Nintendo's corporate briefing: declassified!

Mario factory releases full transcript and video presentation of its recent management policy briefing that details its vision for the Wii.

Two weeks ago, Nintendo's top brass held a media briefing in Japan behind closed doors. This week, the company made a translated version of the meeting available to the public. The video and accompanying PowerPoint presentation can be viewed via Nintendo's investor-relations webcast partner, irwebcasting.com.

Unsurprisingly, the presentation focuses on the success of the Nintendo DS, which Nintendo now claims has greater market share than the PlayStation 2 in Japan. In one chart, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata displayed how the DS has sold 8.43 million units in just 18 months in Japan--outpacing the adoption rates of the both the PS2 and Nintendo's best-selling platform, the Game Boy Advance.

Iwata also talked up Touch Generations, the subbrand which targets nontraditional gamers such as seniors and women. The division has enjoyed phenomenal success in Japan, as Iwata illustrated with another graph showing off how Touch Generations' top title, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, has defied the usual downward postrelease sales trend.

On its own site, Nintendo also released the transcript of a Q&A session held after the event with Iwata and legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. When asked about the exact price and launch date of the Wii, Iwata said he "believe[d] we will need to announce the precise price and launch date of Wii in or before September this year." He also reiterated his belief that, unlike the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360, the Wii will not be sold at much below its manufacturing cost. "We do not intend to lose a great deal of money from the hardware sales," he said.

Iwata dodged questions about whether Nintendo intends to lower its software prices to promote adoption of the Wii. "Many in this industry once appeared to believe that marking down hardware prices or attaching free software was the only way to expand the installed base," he said. "What is notable today is, people are actively purchasing a 15,000 yen [$130.69] DS or a 16,800 yen [$146.37] Lite just because they want to play 2,800 yen [$24.39] software."

Iwata was then asked about how he expects Wii sales to stack up compared to the GameCube, whose third-place finish in the current-gen platform race has been considered a disappointment, given Nintendo's former console supremacy. The executive was blunt in his appraisal: "Wii will be a failure if it cannot sell far more than GameCube did," he said. "In fact, we shouldn't continue this business if our only target is to outsell GameCube. Naturally, we are making efforts so that Wii will show a far greater result than GameCube." Later on in the Q&A session, he would predict that Nintendo expects to ship 6 million Wii hardware units and 17 million Wii software units during its current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2007.

Iwata also tacitly admitted that the GameCube had not lived up to expectations. "When we launched GameCube, the initial sales were good, and all the hardware we manufactured at that time were sold through," he said. "However, after this period, we could not provide the market with strong software titles in a timely fashion. As a result, we could not leverage the initial launch time momentum and sales of GameCube slowed down."

Then it was Miyamoto's turn. A questioner asked the Legend of Zelda creator how he thought consumers would react to the Wii's dramatically different, motion-sensing control scheme. "We believe that we have already reached to the stage where we need to show the new vision for the whole entertainment," he said. "This is why we have decided to alter the game-control interface significantly, not just slightly." Displaying his trademark playfulness, Miyamoto added, "I have just been trying to make something fun."

Naturally, the subject of the Wii's name came up, and Iwata was quick to shoot down conspiracy theories that the moniker was some sort of elaborate hoax. "I am one of the people who have decided this final product name," he said. "Of course, I am not the only person to make this decision, but I have never thought that it was a mistake to name it 'Wii.' I understand that a great many people have already accepted this product name. When someone has some hesitation today, we'd like to make efforts so that they will come to like this name in the end."

Genyo Takeda, general manager of Nintendo's Integrated Research & Development division, also chimed in on the process of making the Wii. "Talking about the process on how we come up with new console ideas, Wii development was the hardest in my own experience," he said. "Nintendo has developed NES, Super NES, N64, and GameCube, and when we looked back, I felt that we were just rushing forward following Moore's Law, or just making new products in the linear extension line following the evolution of semiconductors. Now that we have broken away from the boundary, we are committing ourselves to see and exploit the technologies in order to extend the entertainment into any direction. I think we have reached the level that will allow us to do so."

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Discussion

169 comments
Konfusion
Konfusion

While the Wii is doing GREAT, Nintendo still needs to work real hard. They're absolutely NOT in a position where they can relax just yet... not that they don't deserve the success, but I want more from them as a consumer... because it's just a known fact that they can do much more.

skeletor0
skeletor0

Oh my sweet Satan! I get to play Splatterhouse again!

Gokusss2
Gokusss2

Well.. Wii won the E3 2006 festival so i think wii come winn all of those consoles but the question is: How long?

MacUser511
MacUser511

Their evil japanese magic makes us like them.

timewarp411
timewarp411

Can't wait for the Wii,Nintendo rules! DS is also the greatest hand held out there.

MrVOoO
MrVOoO

in console war: 1st=xbox 360 2nd=wii (if they can get third party support) 3rd=ps3

WalltoWall
WalltoWall

I bet none of you actually read the Q&A.

stillplaygbc
stillplaygbc

The only drawback is that there not making a new Game Boy System, since all this money on DS, they say its a separate pillar though, good I like DS better anyway. Wii will Outsell GCN

BostonMario
BostonMario

whoops i said halo 2, halo 3 excuse me

BostonMario
BostonMario

First off I'd like to say how Nintendo tried to be different with the GC and they obviously failed (even tho GC is still my faverite). But they didn't back down, they just tried harder and obviously stepped up their game. And some people say, 'well every first peron shooter having the controller as a gun will get boring'. Like the mato45 said, there are two traditional controllers you can use for things like fighting games. For example, Super Smash Bros. Brawl uses the gamecube controller. And two things made me mad. On the first page Fallout_red said that if microsoft gets motion sensor it'll own like it is now, because halo two with a motion censor would be cool. 1) it wouldnt do much of anything being attached to a big controller, and two Microsoft is doing horribly compared to what you would expect. Playstation and Nintendo are doing better with handhelds than MIcrosoft is with the 360. And anyone who buys a Ps3 because it has the best graphics, I'm sorry thats pathetic and your a dumb@$$ cuz when no one has the money to buy the damn thing and its sales are down, it won't get all that much third party support. And I've seen two poles, one just whats better wii or ps3 and ps3 got only 32% and wii 68%, and then another on gamespot where it went wii, then 360 and then ps3. Plus i did get a DS for my birthday a couple days ago, and its the first handheld i played that when my sister was using it, made me say, damn, i wish i could get off this console system to play ds. its great

mato45
mato45

I always wonder to myself why everyone seem to forget that the Wii can use a normal gamecube controller or that new one they made and continue to gripe about the remote and saying they like buttons well some games will use the "normal" controller...

sinceps1
sinceps1

"Far Cry for Wii on launch!" ^What? Oh, and just one thing. The Japanese get all the good Anime games!! The wii better have american versions for every Japanese one that comes out ! For one thing I want to get that Lunar Bleach game... If the Anime games come out for the wii then I think I will love the system, Cause kids... In japan the gamecube is NOT last...

juvinwo1
juvinwo1

Nintendo Rocks, you can't stop them!! hehehe

LionsGate
LionsGate

Seriously I know I am biased because I like Nintendo, but how obvious can you get that the Wii is going to be huge. I am not going to say it will sell more than the 360 or PS3, but it definately has a good chance. There is no way it will be a failure with all of the third party support it is now getting, and the low price point. IGN,Gamespot,1up,etc etc have all praised this system. These are for professionals who for the most part are unbiased and know what they are talking about. They aren't kidding when they say the Wii is fun to play, and I have no doubt in my mind that many people who originally thought that the Wii is stupid, will eventually own it. I can't wait to get Zelda and Far Cry for Wii on launch!

Wiifanboy_4life
Wiifanboy_4life

well, the fact that ms released 360 b4 wii wont rly matter too much bcuz most ppl that hav a 360 are going to buy a wii too. I would bet on it that at least 50% of xbox 360 users will be gettin a wii. As for neone that bashes the name, get over it. I dont see how the name will affect the way you play the games. Yes I am a nintendo fany boy, but i am not and ignorant one. I do have respect for sony and ms, as a matter of fact i own all three current gen consoles, though i got gc first, xbox second, ps2 last, and that is what i plan to do this console generation. I can sell my gc and get a wii, sell me xbox and get a 360, and sell my ps2 and maybe a kdney to get a ps3. neways i think nintendo and ms will be competing for third place UNLESS there are more sony fanboys than xbox360 users/nintendo fanboys/ neone that wants sumthing new. If nintendo can save the video game industry, they are deffinately capable of winning a console race. Go Nintendo!!!!!!

Dace67
Dace67

Nintendo has some worjk to do with MS having the 360 released already. I think Sony is pretty screwed.

Gigadragon2005
Gigadragon2005

Cheap and innovated game console Nintendo Wii + sexy new and improve Nintendo DS + several killer games = history may repeat itself They just currently are exciting everyone about it with their prototype and features. The future is for nintendo is quite uncertain.

phSychO_AtDawn
phSychO_AtDawn

"In fact, we shouldn't continue this business if our only target is to outsell GameCube. Naturally, we are making efforts so that Wii will show a far greater result than GameCube." so nintendo's backing down?,No all they're saying is that they want to do better than the Gcube' and if they dont then...well lets just say it's not gonna happen,not in this generation.

darkdaej
darkdaej

Wii will outsell PS3, if only because of the price difference will attract ppl more to 360 and the women and older people which will join the gaming ring at Nintendo. I can't say if Xbox will outsell Wii or not, but I'm sure Sony loses this round. They're pushing with costly hardware, and its a known fact that people given a choice of similar products always go to the cheaper one(anyone remember betamax? I still have a working one, and the things i taped 10 years ago sound better than a 6 month vhs recording) My predictions for console cycle is simply that sony will lose...the first place is up for grabs

Dakotz
Dakotz

nintendo has done the best thing they could have done this nextgen. the wii's motion sensing cannot be copied by either system becase the system it's self is built around the tech. so listen to my predictions- 1. Wii- why? cheap, fun and has the wii-mote 2. PS3- why? street cred, most powerful, Final Fantasy 13 3. Xbox 360- why? crappy hardware, sytem always crashs, but will have Halo 3

johndogg47
johndogg47

woot i can finally post comments, anyways, way to go nintendo!

Shingo
Shingo

SEE! Unlike some companies *cough* SONY *cough*, the big N has enough self pride to admit sometimes things didn't happen right

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

I can't wait til I get a Wii. As far back as I can remember, I've played games the same way; buttons, and a thumb stick/controller pad. Now, for the first time in ages, I'll get to use something different.

goku2000
goku2000

aramitz: No offense, but you live in the U.K. The higher prices might be because of import taxes in the U.K.

chrisvenn
chrisvenn

Cant wait for the Wii really hope nintendo come out on top like they used to be. Ive got a DS at the mo and love it so much im getting the DS lite 2moro when its out in the UK :)

charlesq_70
charlesq_70

All this 'Touch Generations' stuff isn't really about turning adults on to gaming, it's about KEEPING the 20/30-something gamers who might be getting tired of their consoles. Oddly enough you seem to enter your second gaming childhood quite early

millrboyz
millrboyz

nintendo is doing great, but i still dont like the name "wii" (im still getting one though....)

DSplayer50
DSplayer50

I dont blame them wanting to keep it secret for now I bet they just want to see what Sony is going to do first.

rbarahona
rbarahona

Interesting comments from Iwata and Miyamoto. The Wii is indeed a great concept and the Nintendo DS has proved that the ideas behind Nintendo's philosophy are succesful; let's hope that they can translate this mantra to the console and that it could sell more units than the GCN.

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

we're well up for it Nintendo, but don't let us down this time software-wise. DS proves you are back on top again with genius hardware housing superb games. so stay there on top where you belong!!!

kopakanui
kopakanui

I believe the Wii will be the stepping stone to a whole gaming generation for the future. Oh yeah and regarding about what Fallout_red has said about MS liking the motion sensor tech and how they want to incorporate it to the 360, I read on wikipedia with a link to MTV that MS did not like the idea of the motion sensor tech and criticize about the technology and now he wants to use the tech! so here is the man who criticized about the Wii remote and know wants to use that tech. Is it me or does that sound stupid. Anyway the Wii puns are just being very childish so the puns should stop.

Shiroi_Ookami
Shiroi_Ookami

What's also cool is that Nintendo hinted that the DS and the Wii might have some sort of connectivity (a la GBA & GCN). That would awesome to play games like Crystal Chronicles and Four Swords over Worldwide Wi-Fi.

phillytim
phillytim

I'm one of the people that Nintendo is targeting, as I've been looking for a great, new, innovative game experience. I've been playing games for most of my life, and am really getting bored with them. I've been thinking about a handheld for awhile now, weighing the DS and the PSP; and the DS, with the touch screen, gives something new to the market. After considering the DS for a couple years now, the Lite remake (and games like Brain Age) sealed the deal for me to purchase one...and I've been enjoying it, hours at a time, each day since buying it last week. And I've been watching, with baited breath, for everything Nintendo does with the Wii...and I'm eagerly anticipating the Wii launch this fall. I bought into the Xbox, and got relatively bored with hit; I play a friend's PS2 from time to time, and get bored with it...but Nintendo truly are attempting to give us something new and different. And I most certainly am buying into that!

Goombaloo
Goombaloo

I'm not to sure about wanting to be so "active" when I play video games...It's a good idea for the youngins, but for us older folk, I like to come home after a long day of work, grab a brew, kick up my heels, and relax, not twirl around the living room like a top.... Long live the thumb sticks!

Kwiksilva
Kwiksilva

The wii will do great as long they keep pumping out titles like they are doing for the DS.

Shiroi_Ookami
Shiroi_Ookami

NIntendo should actually do very well in the generation of console wars. With an estimated price point of $249.99 (half of the low end PS3) with games estmated to sell for $40- $50 dollars (or even less potentially) the Wii will be the most pocket-book friendly of the new systems. Aside from pirce however you have to take into consideration what Iwata said during E3 - that the Wii is not just a next generation system - it is the start of a new generation of systems. While Sony and Microsoft essentially making upgraded versions of their old systems Nintendo is making an all new system. Nintendo may finally reclaim its crown at the top of the gaming world!

Gailen_1
Gailen_1

I think the Wii will sweep the console wars this generation. The PS3 will only be bought by brainless fanboys until the price comes below $300, the 360 is just now starting to show it's mettle, but it's more of the same. If you look at the polls on gamefaqs' front page every day, you'd have seen the one on June 2nd: Would you buy a Wii at launch for $250? 69% of the over 71,000 people that voted said, "probably", "definitely", or "already... preordered". If you look at the figures for the other two consoles, nothing stands a chance.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I like the part about breaking away from Moore's law. A nagging voice in my head kept saying "I would have been content with my XBOX for another few years" even after I had gotten an XBOX 360. But knowing that support was going to be pulled for the older system, I pressed forward just for technology's sake. One of the ironies of this console transition is hearing the Sony fans proclaim how much more powerful the PS3 will be over the XBOX 360 and the Wii. Those same fans spent the last five years crowing "It's all about the games" while they played the least powerful console on the planet (the PS2). Now it's all about seven synergistic processing units...heh. Nintendo has taken the gameplay as king mantra to heart. We'll see whether they can turn that into a profitable business strategy in the coming year.

burtlo
burtlo

Based on Megamanxzero35: -- a MS motion controller would not be new or innovative since nintendo did it first. their whole system is based around this new controller and appealing to more then just 13-35 year old males in gaming. sony is making a motion sensitive controller AFTER hearing about nintendos and all the hype. MS is working on a motion controller AFTER hearing about nintendos and all the hype. so what i see here, sony and MS feel that this new controller has the ability to take over gaming. otherwise why copy? its like cheating off the kid who you know has the wrong answers. if you are going to copy/cheat copy off the smart kid. -- The MS Controller could still be asked to do innovate things by the designers. The hardware wouldn't be new, but the way the hardware is used is still the battle that is shaping up to take place. From what I've heard, Sony did have plans for motion sensor controller patents and such on the books before the announcement of the Wii. Not to say their move wasn't inspired by the Wii. It's still shaping up to be a fight. It isn't well known if the Wii and the Wii input system will ultimately change gaming. But no game company is going to pass on the oppurtunity to provide the experience if they see that it is a big deal. Consider it, the companies hedging their bets. Playing it safe. And remember a real test of measure isn't being their first, it's doing it best.

Sonic43090
Sonic43090

I think Nintendo will do better but not come out the winner in this next-gen race. I dunno aobut your parents, but mine won't buy a game console, regardless of what games are on it or how to play it, no matter how simple. I feel as though hardcore gamers as well, who already seem to like the controllers with the 20 or so buttons on it will go towards the "real" next-gen consoles for their gaming pleasure. I suspect Nintendo will go up a notch to the number 2 spot. PS3 at the bottom due to high price and not enough good titles becuase the third parties will turn their backs on it from high production costs. Xbox 360 looks to be the winner in this with an "in the middle" price and some good games on the way.

aramitz
aramitz

It's a shame that the UK price of DS games in most cases aren't any cheaper than new release prices for PS2 games. My conclusion to why the DS doesn't have such a hold here that it does everywhere else in the world (not to mention why people are still buying PSPs). If Nintendo recognise the fact that cheaper games are a selling point why don't they implement it!.