Nintendo president Satoru Iwata concerned 3DS price drop could damage early adopter trust, explains approach to microtransactions, mobile gaming, and more.
Last week, Nintendo announced that it would badly miss its profit guidance and would be dropping the price of the 3DS by one-third less than half a year after the system's launch. Understandably, shareholders had some questions in hand for the company's postearnings investors Q&A session with president Satoru Iwata.
While Iwata played the company's specific plans close to the vest, he did tell investors not to expect news of a Wii U release date or price for some time yet.
"Since the Wii U we showed you at the E3 show in June was still in the development phase without very specific proposals on the software titles, we are going to announce the release date and the price next year when we are able to explain the specific proposals," Iwata said.
Iwata offered that bit of information in an explanation of how the 3DS price drop would impact plans for the Wii U. Specifically, he was concerned with how it impacted the trust early adopters had placed in Nintendo.
"What we have to take most seriously is that the price markdown could damage the trust of the consumers who bought the Nintendo 3DS just after the launch," Iwata said. "I feel greatly accountable for it. Our decision of the price markdown this time has a side effect that, at the launch of the Wii U, people may feel that the price might drop in the near future if they wait."
Iwata also fielded investors' questions about a pair of emerging markets Nintendo has not been hasty to embrace: smartphones and microtransactions. He began by explaining Nintendo's focus on its own portable systems instead of the latest and greatest cell phone platforms.
"In the past, when games were becoming available with Java technology on cell phones, before smartphones appeared on the scene, we were often told that no one would buy handheld game systems once people could play games on their cell phones," Iwata said. "As a result, however, I believe that we have gone above the limits with Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS by continuing to try new things which games for cell phones cannot realize and to offer unique software in connection with hardware. Therefore, we are willing to do the same things in the future--we think that we can keep the high significance of our own platforms' existence by creating and offering software which cannot be realized on the other common platforms and by receiving the consumers' appreciation of them."
As for microtransaction-based games, Iwata stated that the free-to-play model doesn't fit with Nintendo's vision of the value in its games, but he said it's entirely possible the company would offer additional stages to games for a small fee. He also noted that regardless of Nintendo's own microtransaction plans, the 3DS and Wii U will support downloadable content for games should third parties decide they want to implement it.
"I'd like to emphasize that this is only me talking from Nintendo's point of view of what we want Nintendo to do," Iwata said, "and we do not intend to comment on whether another company is right or wrong, and I would like to avoid any misunderstandings on this point, but I would also like to mention that, under Nintendo's set of values, 'charging money just for changing the parameters to unlock something or to allow some large advantage' is a totally different earnings structure that is not compensation for creative work and, while pursuing this may create short-term profits, Mr. Miyamoto and I discussed that we should not use this type of billing system since we think that we will not be able to make long-term relationships with our consumers."
Won't consider the Wii U unless its at low price. As for the 3ds its very much on my mind from a not buying to maybe will see.
The only thing Nintendo need to do is ditch the circle pads and trigger buttons in favor of analogue sticks and pressure sensitve triggers much like an Xbox pad!
It amazes me how mad everyone is about the 3DS price drop. Have you not been paying attention to any console sale in history? When the 3DS was released I decided to wait because the line up didn't look great and the cost was too much for me and, though no-one told me it doesn?t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the price would drop. You purchase something at launch you should expect to pay top dollar and it?s been like that for every electronic item in history. I?ll admit I am surprised it only took 6 months for it to decrease but oh well, stuff happens. As for this article I have never bought anything at launch and I will not start now. The Wii U needs a great line up before I will consider it but the graphics are getting me interested. Also I see a lot of comments about the 3DS failure and Nintendo losing consumer confidence. 3DS has only been out for a short time in which many of the promised games have not been released yet. That point has been annoying for me but I would reserve judgement on the overall success until those games are released. Though I?ll admit I was dubious about buying the 3DS but now that I own it (bought at cheaper price on weekend) I am glad to say I was wrong. All the things I thought were dumb gimmicks can be very entertaining and I am sure that I will be playing it more than the PSP that I own.
I'd think the Wii's reputation as a shovelware-friendly, casual console would hurt early adopters' trust more than any perceived price drop. I know I bought a Wii near launch (January 2007) because I knew Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, and Metroid would eventually make appearances. Admittedly, this was correct, but a poor idea. The Wii was an eye-opener. Four and a half years later my Wii library consists of less than 20 games, a few of which I could admittedly part with if the trade-in value wasn't worthless and/or someone actually wanted them. In contrast, I received my Ps3 as a Christmas gift in 2008, and have a collection of 39 games and counting. If they want the Wii U to launch successfully, it looks like their going to have to provide some worthwhile software. The sales of the 3DS thus far have proven that hard and brand awareness don't cut it anymore. I am pleased, however, with their stance on portable gaming. With everyone seemingly throwing their lot in with smartphones, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who prefers to play games on dedicated gaming hardware. And for the record...I don't own, nor will I likely ever own, a smartphone. I don't need the internet on the go, and if I want to play games on the road, I'll take either my DS or PSP (or both). Even if you get one of these smartphones at a reduced price with a contract...$70-120 a month just to be able to fully utilize all its features? No thank you.
@jambubby74: I appreciate your non-insulting manner, it's a refreshing change to what I'm used to. But to simplify my point, I'd say that as long as the full meaning of a comment is conveyed, it matters little how well written it was. As for self-improvement, though it's true that a comments section doesn't offer much in ways of criticism from others, just reading others comments teaches those that are willing to learn rudimentary English. I have friends here that have improved greatly by just being on the site. As for Iwata, the price was decided on the ground of the cost of development plus the additional publishing price and etc. that leads to profit. It was high, but it was moderately justifiable in terms of what the tech is worth. It was still higher than what one would expect, but now that the price is down by a third, it's selling less than its production cost. Ergo why I say what he's done to compensate for any customer's annoyance is beyond what I'd expect of a head of a company.
@jambubby74 Woah long comment much... Bet you thumbed them up yourself as well lol. Anyway, I think you take this issue a tad to seriously. You're not going to get punctual grammar over the internet, that's just how freedom of opinionated expression works. It crosses language barriers regardless of how maturely and formally an opinion is expressed. calvinsora 's message to you was that issues like grammar mean very little as long as the message is clear. So why does this mean little over the internet? Simple.... It gives virtually 0 reward, you gain NOTHING in return unless the person you are commenting to is on the same wave length as you. Metacritic comments have better grammar? Good, best you go there, I'm sure you'll find your kind there. By the way, comments mean NOTHING to a site's reputation! This is a game info site, not a forum. Unless you're writing an essay for a university class, proper English is a choice not an obligation.
(Part 1 of 2) @calvinsora. I commend you on a well thought out and written rebuttal to my original point. It is obvious that you are not one of the contributors two whom my original "complaint" was directed at. I appreciate that you take issue with my comment, as it is often disagreement that leads to good conversation. That being said, I want to make it clear that nowhere in my comment did I make any assumptions about peoples? lack of native English. I recently returned from a 2 1/2 month trip to India where, despite having been colonized by the British against their will for what seemed like forever, the people have embraced their own version of "English" in speaking and writing. It is charming as hell too. Your comment regarding this does not address my issue with writing poorly though. I don't spend time commenting on sites that are written in languages I don?t understand. There are plenty of applications on any platform that can help with translation if that is the issue, but translation is not what I was referring to. Someone practicing poor English in a forum where they can?t get feedback such as a comments section on a website is not likely to improve it at all anyway. Learning a language demands active participation and conversing and writing, all of which need both positive and negative reinforcement. What I was referring to was simply laziness. It is possible to write a well thought out comment at different language skill levels.
(Part 2 of 2) I don?t really understand the desire to defend Iwata. It was a mistake to price the 3DS where they did. He is the president and the onus falls on him despite whatever department (marketing as you point out) came up with the idea to begin with. I don?t read YouTube comments for the same reason you pointed out, and that was a very good example. I think that comments sections speak to the maturity of the site?s audience for the most part, and the less effort and thought that is put into them only contributes to a degradation in the quality and legitimacy of a given sites reputation. I think a better example to a gaming site is either IMDB or Metacritic where user comments are generally at a higher level. I want game sites to have a degree of respect that poorly written comments aren?t likely to help them garner. YouTube is its own animal for sure. Thanks for your input. Much appreciated, and I look forward to reading your comments in the future.
bwt if nintendo ever flops totally (which i doubt ever will happen) - then the game industry is gonna be a very different place that is NOT good they take risks and come up with stuff, game industry NEED that besides there are 3 main systems out there 2 are alike and one is nintendo most people like myself would go with nintendo and one of the other /cause they complete each other meaning if sony or microsoft ever fails and is out of the gaming industry the other one of them will pick up - while none are like nintendo and can pick up that
if its back compatiable with wii games and regionfree (which i highly doubt...just learn to not region code nintendo and ull sell more...) then i might be interested indeed... however there is no reason to buy a console until 1 or 2 years when the games starts showing up and a pricedrop but backcompatiable ofcourse u can buy right away and play ur old games while waiting for new
I'm not buying this on launch or even in the first year after I got burned from waiting to get the Wii at launch. I need to know there are GAMES for my GAME System. The 3DS is off to a poor start which isn't a good sign for the Wii-U. I would like something more than the next installment of their big names. I want something new.
Nintendo should be worried about trust. I may never buy another console from them again after getting stuck. Many would say I didn't get stuck however, since Walmart and others are now offering the 3ds at the discount AND one gets the free games, this de-values the whole benifit of giving them free and early in the first place. So I/we did get screwed. Especially if you play nintendo but not mario specificially, since most of the free games are mario and Kirby. As for long term relationships? Pfft (facepalm)
No need to launch the Wii U early in 2012 when all the good games aren't ready yet. I expect the launch to be around the holiday season of next year at the latest cuz early 2012, Wii gamers like myself are gonna be busy playing Skyward Sword, Kirby Wii, and Dragon Quest X (if it's even release) and won't have the time to go out and check on the launching of the new system let alone buying it.
@jambubby74: So that's why every early adopter is getting 20 actually good games for absolutely nothing? Of course Iwata is concerned with investors and the financial side of things, but him taking a personal price cut to reflect the lack of sales of the 3DS is not something a person concerned with only financial and outward appearance would do. As for the price, it was only a mistake in the marketing compartment. Now with the price cut, it's selling at a loss. Meaning that the price cut was made to be more appealing to the consumers and just that. If that's not caring at least a bit for the consumer, I don't know what is. And as for the writing part, it may shock you, but not everyone here speaks English as a first language. They don't necessarily have to write in such good English as long as their meaning comes across, IMO, and many have actually improved their English by just commenting here very often. If you think this comments section is bad, you've never been to Youtube.
it looks ok but why didn't NINTENDO make this instead of the WII. I am not interested in buying a THIS GEN+1 Console. I would rather wait for the NEXT GEN XBOX.
It is incredible how many of the people posting comments on this site cannot even write properly. You are embarrassing yourselves. Take some writing classes for God's sake. If you can't get your skills together enough to leave a legitimate, well thought out and considered comment, then don't even bother. Poor writing skills do not make for a compelling argument. They just make it look like you don't even care enough to figure it out. Read comments on other websites. They are not nearly as bad. Why is that? Nintendo did screw up with the pricing of the 3DS. This is not opinion. It is a fact, the results of which we are seeing now in the current sudden price drop. You think Iwata cares about consumers well being? Wrong. Iwata was not thinking about consumers when Nintendo priced the 3DS at $250, and he isn't thinking about consumers well-being now. He is concerned about consumers, don't get me wrong, he truly is. He is concerned about what consumers now think about Nintendo after some major P.R. follies.
I think I may wait to get a Wii U. As much as I love nintendo and all, I want to fully know all the features and capabilities of the system. I made that mistake with the 3DS, not knowing really what to expect, just getting the system because all of the first party games to be released. In the end, I am really glad I have the 3DS now, but it's a risk I don't want to make in the future, regardless of what console I get next.
@renzorxfx I think you're GREATLY over exaggerating the profit loss of the ps3. It had an extremely rocky start but by no means a "failure" as you described. It was a temporary deficit, Sony knew that. All it needed was a good price drop and some decent games. True console success is not determined by how many units are sold or how much profit it made. A console's success is determined by the PLC (product life cycle) in accordance to how quickly consoles reach saturation point. Sony was never in any REAL danger because PS3 had only begun PLC. Meanwhile, Wii's PLC was off charts. Marketing 101 renzor, what happens when the vast majority of your target audience has now purchased your product? That is called product saturation. Wii had hit saturation FAR before both the ps3 and 360. Sweet, so what's the problem? Unless support products are launched as a sort of rebound point, PLC will take a huge nose dive after a product has hit saturation. Wii has long since hit saturation and is now at a declining point. Naturally they took the right response by releasing more games but they faulted by releasing support products that were massively in favour of casual service. Core gamers are the rebound point. Stocks are declining, Nintendo has lost a ton of investors and they have lost consumer trust. The Wii has now become a bigger commercial failure than the PS3 did at launch. That's why they are in such a rush to release the Wii U.
I think Nintendo is handling all of this quite well. Iwata is a great CEO, and one of the few I feel genuinely cares about his consumers. As for the 3DS, I bought one a while ago and don't regret it. 20 free games is my reward, most of which I haven't played. I still fully support the company and in terms of development, they've got some of the greatest minds in the industry. Nintendo EAD Tokyo are even IMO the best devs out there.
Its funny how we tend to forget the true course of History... all say Nintendo this.. nintendo that.. failing failing ect ect... Wii being worst of all 3 consoles... nintendo falling behind... but wasnt the PS3 the biggest FAILURE in gaming when in was released? 600$ of powerhouse hardware just getting dust in shelves no one would buy it and Sony lost quite alot of money there while wii sold... and sold... and sold... and sold... yea it wasnt focused on hardcore gamers (not focused but still had some titles for us) but it didnt make it a failure or a downfall for nintendo, while Sony pretty much had to put money from their pockets giving them away just to not completely die... if sony was a gaming company and not a TV- Sound and all the things it does it wouldnt have made it tru that so smoothly, same goes with the DS... absurdly successful... where is the downhill part? Sony Playstation is just "looking good" now to even a bit the huge loss it was at the start not to forget the not so long ago hackers issue they had. All in all the only reason Sony didnt "lost" the so called gaming console race back there was because they sell so many other things that they can affoard to have the Playstation having losess and still carry it tru. Oh and lets not forget how THEN they started to mimic the nintendo control with that Play3 move stuff... nintendo on "downhill" and Playstation copying its "unsucessfull gimmic" controllers cmon... just to be fair Nintendo did screw up squeezing the DS releasing an upgraded version every year therefore killing our trust, i didnt buy a 3ds precisely because i said id wait for the upgraded version... SHAME ON YOU NINTENDO but with this price drop and new games... i barely can resist... also i dont think they will make the same mistake as many times as with the DS.... or.. will they? XD
@bigcrusha @WolfGrey Same here. I feel the Wii doesn't cater to those of us who grew up in the 80s/90s on Nintendo 'power' systems, if you know what I mean. I'm sure the 20-year-old with the little kid inside wants more than DKCR and Mario Galaxy on his plate.
@WolfGrey I agree totally, they forgot the 20 year old with the little kid inside that grew up on these games. Instead, they gave us an abundance of mediocrity such as Wii fit, Wii play, Wii play Motion, Wii sports, Wii sports resort, Wii music, Wii fit, Wii fit plus, Wii chess and Wii party. OH! Lets all run to the third party developers, I'm sure they've got real games!! What did we get? "Wii" got watered down less than mediocre ports, EA Sports Active, lego starwars and worst of all....DISNEY games
@da_chub I have no respect for Nintendo because of their blatant disregard for the core gamers.Not to mention the wii helped fuel the current casual gaming craze.It use to be a small fire but its quite a big flame now.Many like me contribute it to them. As for the Wii itself, its all up to taste.It had 3 games of interest to a core gamer like me and most people i know agree with me that the Wii was more of a waste of time.I dislike kiddie games,casual games, and party games quite abit.I also have been waiting too long for any worthwhile new IPs from Nintendo(i do not support their current IPs that havent changed largely over way too many years) and honestly i dont see it happening anytime soon. Not trying to be mean or offensive but to most core gamers that have been around since video gaming got its start, the Wii is a waste of a system.
@da_chub Hate is such a strong word, I'd prefer the word "annoyed" or "displeased". The harsh critisism Nintendo has recieved recently has little to do with them failing to follow the same business model that Sony and Microsoft did, rather its more what they failed to do within this generation that gaffled them. They got so clouded by the success of the Wii's casual appeal that they've all out forgotten the mature audience core gamer market. Secondly, they broke away from tradition by giving the 3DS a 250$ price tag. They claimed it was due to the massly positive reception of the 3DS unveiling. They made mistakes and now they are paying the price, simple.
Nintendo is right to worry this much, They broke away from their traditions and ended up putting the wallet before the brain. As for the Wii U, while it's needed, I feel it's being rushed. They need all the time in the world to make this console the killer app they need it to be. As for the handheld argument. Nintendo has a point, they've been told for years that mobile phone gaming would make dedicated handhelds obsolete yet from gameboy to DS, these handhelds just chew up that notion altogether. Although, I feel mobile phones never got a grip of the market due to the fact that the quality of mobile games never came close to matching that of a dedicated handheld. With the launch of the iphone, ipad and other smartphones, I don't know if its the right move for Iwata to not worry even a bit that these smartphones might bring the 3DS to ruin.
Sorta crazy how Nintendo has jumped through all these hoops to make the "ultimate entertainment machine"......yet the Wii U wont even be able to play a simple DVD movie. Satoru Iwata said it "costs too much" to get the licensing/patents/technology for it. Lame.
i dont konw why everyone hates nintendo. they make a great consoles. they make awesome games for their consoles. they lead in innovation. but because they dont do something that ps or xbox does, like boost graphics with motion 6 years ago...but that would have been an $800console at launch(ps3 was like $600 remember). i have enjoyed my Wii more them my ps3. i have more games for it. as much as i love UC2, and cant wait for UC3...Skyward Sword will be purchased at the same time. why??? they are both great games. and isnt that what its all about?
Wii U looks cool, but I'm gettin 360 first. (Yeah I suck, I dnt own 360, but I've been playin PC for a while). I'm just sayin, Nintendo is great, but for the last decade, has struggled to remain a contender in the primary console market. While Wii and Gamecube were awesome, they were outdated. Gamecube had no online (six games doesn't count), and small disc memory/no multimedia, but multimedia isn't important for a console, so it was pretty much up to par. Wii has last generation graphics, a mix of last and modern generation online services, and last generation memory capabilities. How do I know Wii U's gonna b any different? Unless it gets most of the notable 3rd party games 360/PS3 r getting this year/next year, has next gen power, and a substantial online service, 360 will come first. 720 will probably be out in 2014, so I'll buy 360, and have 3-4 years with it, a solid amt of time. Still love Nintendo, just cnt rely on them being my "primary" anymore.
im alright with the drop nintendo , dont feel bad one bit that i paid 250 , ill gladly pay 300-350 for a wii u , because you know what, itll be the next nintendo console thats what, and i want to play my goldeneye on it , and i also want mariokart 8 so ya , count me in as long as it isnt 600 -caugh ps3 or 400-500 ----360 with hardware failure caugh ill gladly pay up
@ djmadeira : sorry but how are my numbers skewed? Not angry or anything but didn't think I gave any numbers...anyways about wii-u....this console (appears) to have a considerable amount of 3rd party support and quite a few intriguing 1st party titles,not to mention (supposedly) better online and THE BEST graphics a nintendo system (or any for that matter)has ever had (even if the 360 and ps3 successors have ''better'' graphics it more than likely won't be by much and when you reach 1080p better graphics than that don't even matter) and a ton of other new features,and a pricetag that will more than likely still be cheaper than the 360 or ps3's launch prices and for sure cheaper than their successor pricetags more than likely.The only thing that would keep the wii-u's success from sky-rocketing would be gamer response,with that part aside the wii-u has few if any limits in its success.
@moviequest14: I agree that nintendo sells the best stuff, but your numbers are skewed. The PS1 came out in 1994. Nintendo has been making games since 1975. So they've just plain made them LONGER than anyone else. FYI.
@crownedge yes, you will buy it. I have no doubt of that. But will the average gamer with a budget and a sense of when to quit buy it? Before the other consoles of the generation come out? I doubt it. They'll wait until the PS4 and the XboxDIZZY to come out. I love nintendo, and I'm trying to be optimistic. If the wii U launched with a full line-up of 3rd party support, strong 1st-party support and decent graphics, who knows? I think people would go for it like a shot. But given their reputation, I would say that's not gonna happen.
@Wormkid_64 Maybe a video game would cheer her up? She must have had a depraved childhood. No Super Mario Bros. 3, no Donkey Kong Country, nothing.
@Wormkid_64 Yes, so true. If we were neighbors, I'd probably borrow your old Nintendo game systems just to replay the classics.
@ dawnofhero Of course. You see Nintendo has had 3 weak points: 1. 3rd party support. 2. Online capabilities. 3. Remaining a step behind in the graphics department. Now these have never impeded my gaming. I've owned,and still own,an iteration every Nintendo console ever made excluding the Game and Watch series. I've had a blast and can still go back and have a blast on any of them. Some of the games are 3rd party titles,but yes for the most part they are first party. That's why I like what Nintendo is doing with the 3DS and Wii U.The least important thing,the graphics,are being pushed to new limits that presumably even the PS3 and 360 can't match.No doubt they'll pass the Wii U with their next console,but Nintendo made the first step to the next level. The online capabilities are being spoken of as more XBL like,though details are still scarce. But things are looking up. 3rd parties are ling up quite nicely behind the 2 systems,now it's just a matter of them staying on board. So it looks like we're going to get everthing Nintendo has always offered,plus what Sony and MS have always offered.If it goes down that way,it'll be Ultimate.
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