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Iwata: Still room for growth for Wii U, Smartphone games on 3DS (Nikkei Interview)

1st Course

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Aug 10, 2012
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Not a very long interview. If someone can find the Japanese article maybe it has more stuff

Q: Why have sales of the Wii U remained flat?

A: I believe the Wii U business still has considerable room for growth, as a number of software titles that are compatible with the console are slated for release in 2015.

The way Japanese gamers enjoy video games is different from their counterparts in the West. More and more Japanese gamers play on smartphones and 3DS hand-held devices. On the other hand, a majority of gamers in Europe and the U.S. still connect their consoles to TVs and play them on a bigger screen. In the global video game market, game titles for consoles are still dominant, and that market is much larger.

Q: What are you doing to shore up your console business?

A: Newer consoles are equipped with a function to process micropayments using Suica electronic money cards [in Japan]. Our service that allows people to purchase games online using those cards is popular.

It is also possible to turn smartphone games from other software makers into 3DS-compatible games and offer them for relatively low prices. We intend to pursue a variety of options. Only those products and services that receive strong support from customers will survive.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Revised-profit-target-within-reach-says-president

In the interview he also say a smartphone app that "allows users to use Mii characters as icons on social media" is in development and will be announced soon.
 

Oregano

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Mar 13, 2013
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So Nintendo is actively trying to get more stuff like P&DZ/Mario? That's interesting and encouraging for the future.
 

kmax

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Feb 25, 2013
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Yeah, when it comes to Iwata, I'm with Pachter on this.

He's out of touch. With that said, it's going to be interesting to see what Nintendo will do from here, now that VR's looming in the background.
 

NewGame

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May 26, 2013
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Seems like he's talking about the Japanese mobile market, not the western mobile market. Does not bode well...
 
Jan 18, 2013
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Yeah, when it comes to Iwata, I'm with Pachter on this.

He's out of touch. With that said, it's going to be interesting to see what Nintendo will do from here, now that VR's looming in the background.

It's not like he can say "The wii u is a complete failure and we are giving up on it", now can he?
 

kmax

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Feb 25, 2013
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It's not like he can say "The wii u is a complete failure and we are giving up on it", now can he?

I'm not talking about what he's saying (as any corporate hot shot would spin it like it's hot), but it's his overall strategy ever since the Wii that's been shoddy. Nintendo's a fantastic brand, so it's sad to see.
 

JoeM86

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Yeah, when it comes to Iwata, I'm with Pachter on this.

He's out of touch. With that said, it's going to be interesting to see what Nintendo will do from here, now that VR's looming in the background.

I doubt VR is suddenly going to change everything.

I also don't believe he's out of touch either. What many people fail to realise is that while smartphone games are lucrative, a very small portion of the developers make a very large amount of money. The games are big hits, then people move on, and these hits are few and far between. It's very unlikely Nintendo would make "Nintendo like profits" on smartphones. Hell, isn't the smartphone game industry like $22bn. For Nintendo to continue with their current annual revenue, Nintendo would have to take about 20% of the entire current smartphone gaming industry just to themselves.

People are thinking "oh Smartphones are cool and in", and they're right, but for developers...not as much as you'd think.

Seems like he's talking about the Japanese mobile market, not the western mobile market. Does not bode well...

Good. It means more games akin to Puzzles & Dragons and less like Flappy Birds.
 

zeromcd73

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Mar 21, 2014
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A: I believe the Wii U business still has considerable room for growth, as a number of software titles that are compatible with the console are slated for release in 2015.
Iwata plz.
 

Oregano

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Mar 13, 2013
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Seems like he's talking about the Japanese mobile market, not the western mobile market. Does not bode well...

The Japanese mobile market is more mature and publishers are generally putting more money/effort into their mobile titles. Pursuing those is important, especially for the 3DS' successor.

EDIT:
Iwata plz.

He's talking in technical truths. Wii U will sell a positive integer therefore there is room for growth.:p
 

Mpl90

Two copies sold? That's not a bomb guys, stop trolling!!!
Mar 10, 2011
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Q: The market for smartphone games continues to expand. What are your plans for this category?

A: In the past, I have opposed making smartphone and tablet versions of Nintendo titles. Prices for content aimed at smartphones and tablets are falling quickly. I am still wary of the category. We intend to develop products that will allow customers to identify with Nintendo products and make people pay attention to Nintendo games.

For example, some Nintendo game consoles incorporate Mii, which creates a digital avatar to represent players. It would be fun for players to use their Mii characters as icons on social media. We are currently developing an application that will allow users to do that. The app will be announced around the time our full-year results are released.

So, April-May for the Mii app.
 

efyu_lemonardo

May I have a cookie?
Jun 19, 2011
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Gotta appreciate the humor in mobile phone games coming to 3DS after investors have been clamoring for the exact opposite :)
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
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Sort of a side note, but Gamestop here (my local branch anyway) quietly removed the Wii U entirely from its shelves after Christmas.
 
I can't smartphone games on the 3ds being at all successful. I'd love to be wrong, as I'll always being in Nintendo's corner but...
Smartphone games are mostly shitty, at least to me - I only play them from time to time due to it being so convenient. Putting them on the 3ds erases that convenience.
 

dragonfart28

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Jun 12, 2009
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Yeah, when it comes to Iwata, I'm with Pachter on this.

He's out of touch. With that said, it's going to be interesting to see what Nintendo will do from here, now that VR's looming in the background.

VR?

Like Oculus Rift?

That is gonna bomba harder than Ouya.
 

ArchedThunder

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May 12, 2012
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His comment about smartphone games on 3DS reaffirms my belief that they will make it easy to bring mobile games to their next handheld to boost the system's library and support.
 

cacildo

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Oct 19, 2009
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The Japanese mobile market is more mature and publishers are generally putting more money/effort into their mobile titles. Pursuing those is important, especially for the 3DS' successor.

Nintendo 4Ds phone!

Phone screen on the cover.

Open up, two DS screens same as it ever was - except with more power this time
 

AmyS

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Aug 22, 2012
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Q: Why have sales of the Wii U remained flat?

A: I believe the Wii U business still has considerable room for growth, as a number of software titles that are compatible with the console are slated for release in 2015.

Says under his breath: "If only you knew what we are working on for the console market for a few years down the road, please understand,,,"
 

NewGame

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May 26, 2013
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The Japanese mobile market is more mature and publishers are generally putting more money/effort into their mobile titles. Pursuing those is important, especially for the 3DS' successor.

I really can't speak for Japanese games on the mobile markets because I haven't tried anything with a language barrier,but if they're anything like that final fantasy game or the 50 billion licenced card collecting games I am disgusted beyond all reason.
 

RubberJohnny

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Mar 4, 2007
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I really can't speak for Japanese games on the mobile markets because I haven't tried anything with a language barrier,but if they're anything like that final fantasy game or the 50 billion licenced card collecting games I am disgusted beyond all reason.

A lot of 3DS games are multiplatform with iOS, and there are a bunch of new exclusives like Final Fantasy Mevius.

The "New 3DS" hardware improvements seem an attempt to string out multiplatform ports to 3DS for longer and stall everything going smartphone exclusive.
 

McHuj

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Why would I want to play a smartphone game on the 3DS when I can play it on my smartphone and don't need to buy another device.?
 

ArchedThunder

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Agreeing with you on that.
It's a super smart idea too. Over the past few years many Japanese devs have moved to mobile and we are seeing lots more games with effort put into them as well as ports of old console games. If Nintendo makes it cheap and easy to port mobile games to the next handheld they've pretty much solved their support problem. Not only that but a lot of games would get more exposure to people who don't like playing games with just a touch screen. If it's affordable that could also help it in the west too, parents buy tablets for their kids all the time so if a Nintendo system plays most of the same games PLUS your Marios and your Pokémons for a low price it could be a huge hit.
 

Oregano

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I can't smartphone games on the 3ds being at all successful. I'd love to be wrong, as I'll always being in Nintendo's corner but...
Smartphone games are mostly shitty, at least to me - I only play them from time to time due to it being so convenient. Putting them on the 3ds erases that convenience.

Puzzle and Dragons already sold over a million in Japan on 3DS and Nintendo is teaming it up with Mario overseas.

There's also smaller stuff like Million Arthur and Tales of Reve Unitia which seem to have done okay.

Nintendo 4Ds phone!

Phone screen on the cover.

Open up, two DS screens same as it ever was - except with more power this time

It's more about supporting the business models and technology. Unity support is very important.

I really can't speak for Japanese games on the mobile markets because I haven't tried anything with a language barrier,but if they're anything like that final fantasy game or the 50 billion licenced card collecting games I am disgusted beyond all reason.

There's actually a ton of handheld level stuff on the Japanese mobile market, including quite a lot of RPGs. I think Nirolak pointed out a game called White Cat Project as the type of game that would have been on portables a few years ago.
 
Q

qizah

Unconfirmed Member
Why would I want to play a smartphone game on the 3DS when I can play it on my smartphone and don't need to buy another device.?
They're trying to create more value, and with Nintendo specific stuff like with P&D Nintendo'a strategy might pay off.
 

Stilton Disco

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So the WiiU will improve because games less popular than MK and Smash are coming out, and they're combatting mobiles stranglehold on the handheld market by porting mobile games to the 3DS, where they won't have the same convenience, low cost, high resolution graphics, or super easy to use interfaces, as well as needing separate, dedicated hardware.

Well that sounds like all their problems are solved!
 

Sir TapTap

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Please get Monster Strike port with way less IAP...
Also many iOS games are shared with 3DS games like Ace Attorney.
...mostly because lots of DS games were ported to iOS, not vice-versa. Mostly the only good games the (3)DS and iOS share are games that were on the handheld first, so this is pretty disappointing news to me. In fact the Wii U news is the only good news here to me, since that's about games I'll actually possibly like.
 

Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
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Some incredibly conservative non-answers there. Even suggesting an automatic payment system has any bearing on anything would probably have been met with an "Okay, so you're just wasting my time today" glare from most journos. Then its in the off-season for any big forward plan announcements. Would have expected QoL to be further along though.

I doubt VR is suddenly going to change everything.

I'd doubt Nintendo 100 times before I doubt the next technological revolution that has already started and will be changing the entertainment landscape like smartphones before it. First person to invoke "but 3DTV's though" again wins the 'special prize'.

VR (and AR to a lesser extent) was probably Nintendo's last chance to ride the beginning of something back to more mainstream relevance actually. But due to their opposition of developing cutting edge technology they would never have been in the right place for the screens, mobile silicon and so on compared to all other tech companies. It'll be another area they'll be 10-15 years too late to all while other companies enjoy a monopoly on peoples eyes wholesale rather than a device in their hands.
 

Tobor

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Why would I want to play a smartphone game on the 3DS when I can play it on my smartphone and don't need to buy another device.?

You wouldn't. Outside of a few games in Japan, this will be yet another dud strategy.
 

Raide

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Oct 29, 2007
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So Nintendo are going to focus the majority of their time on the Japanese Mobile market and the rest of the world will just have to "Please Understand" as they try and figure out what to do for them.

Nintendo were always stronger on the handheld/mobile market, so its makes sense for them to push in that direction. They home market is certainly not doing them any favours.
 

Zalman

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He obviously knows the Wii U isn't going to be a smash hit at this point. They're trying to buy time while they work on the next thing.
 

Stilton Disco

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I'd doubt Nintendo 100 times before I doubt the next technological revolution that has already started and will be changing the entertainment landscape like smartphones before it. First person to invoke "but 3DTV's though" again wins the 'special prize'.

VR (and AR to a lesser extent) was probably Nintendo's last chance to ride the beginning of something back to more mainstream relevance actually. But due to their opposition of developing cutting edge technology they would never have been in the right place for the screens, mobile silicon and so on compared to all other tech companies. It'll be another area they'll be 10-15 years too late to all while other companies enjoy a monopoly on peoples eyes wholesale rather than a device in their hands.

If VR ended up just being OR, Morpheus and the knock offs, it would have been another flash in the pan, motion control/Kinect fad, before going away again.

The moment mobile firms figured out a way to make it work with smart phones though, that's when any doubt went away, including my own. VR is going to be fucking huge. Also mostly a bit shitty, but the cheap mobile stuff and VR porn will provide the base the higher end enthusiast devices will need to stay relevant and popular.

Anyone still comparing it to 3D needs to go check out the sales and reaction to Samsungs Gear VR. This shit is going to be huge.
 

Pancakes R Us

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Aug 24, 2007
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So Nintendo is actively trying to get more stuff like P&DZ/Mario? That's interesting and encouraging for the future.
I wouldn't read too much into it. He's probably making the comments off the back of P&D, doesn't necessarily mean there are going to be a bunch of smartphone games coming over.
 
Mar 16, 2014
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Yeah, when it comes to Iwata, I'm with Pachter on this.

He's out of touch. With that said, it's going to be interesting to see what Nintendo will do from here, now that VR's looming in the background.

i don't see vr having an impact on Nintendo's business at all

VR?

Like Oculus Rift?

That is gonna bomba harder than Ouya.

this post is bad and you should feel just terrible about it
 

jfoul

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Just seems like Nintendo will dabble lightly in different areas, and weather the storm with the Wii U until it's successor. I hope the next console and handheld are completely integrated with each other. I would like to see their next handheld offer off screen/remote play, with the ability to use it as a additional controller.
 

JoeM86

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I'd doubt Nintendo 100 times before I doubt the next technological revolution that has already started and will be changing the entertainment landscape like smartphones before it. First person to invoke "but 3DTV's though" again wins the 'special prize'.

VR (and AR to a lesser extent) was probably Nintendo's last chance to ride the beginning of something back to more mainstream relevance actually. But due to their opposition of developing cutting edge technology they would never have been in the right place for the screens, mobile silicon and so on compared to all other tech companies. It'll be another area they'll be 10-15 years too late to all while other companies enjoy a monopoly on peoples eyes wholesale rather than a device in their hands.

I never said VR isn't going to big. I just don't believe everything will suddenly be VR. It's something that will go alongside traditional platforms, not replace.

I do think you're highly over-estimating how well VR will do.
 

Cheerilee

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Q: Why have sales of the Wii U remained flat?

A: I believe the Wii U business still has considerable room for growth
Terrible answer. But I guess he just didn't want to answer that question, and saying "next question" would have been rude.

as a number of software titles that are compatible with the console are slated for release in 2015.
Terrible reasoning behind that answer. Wii U has had great games since launch, with plenty of them getting crossed off the chalkboard after having little-to-no lasting effect. And it's an even worse answer than just that, because Iwata skipped the opportunity to say "great games", choosing instead to boast "software titles that are compatible with the console".


I think Pachter is wrong (referring to his recent comments). I don't think Nintendo is in denial about the position of the Wii U, I think they're just required to say positive things about it, no matter how hard they have to spin to do it, and this question shows Iwata losing his willpower to keep spinning on the positives of Wii U. But then again, it's just one question.
 

Mysterious

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Oct 18, 2012
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We already have Doodle Jump, Angry Birds and some other game for $40. Fuck off, no more smartphone games.
 

Nicktendo86

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Seems very Japanese oriented, not surprising as it was an interview with a Japanese publication, buy Iwata does generally seem to forget that there is a market outside the far east.

The Japanese console market is, for all intents and purposes, dead, so surely it makes sense to concentrate on software for western audiences? I dunno. The lineup for 2015 looks godly though.
 

Raide

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Seems very Japanese oriented, not surprising as it was an interview with a Japanese publication, buy Iwata does generally seem to forget that there is a market outside the far east.

The Japanese console market is, for all intents and purposes, dead, so surely it makes sense to concentrate on software for western audiences? I dunno. The lineup for 2015 looks godly though.

To a Japanese company are focused as Nintendo is, they will focus on Japan at the expense of the rest of the world. Its almost like they have no idea which direction to go, so they just look at the one closest to them, which is the mobile market in Japan. Hell, it might be the best move for them but certainly not the move fans want.