A beginner’s guide to Iwata’s plans to save Nintendo

Nintendo president Saturo Iwata this morning outlined his vision for the saving of Nintendo.

It’s not a short document, In fact, it’s an incredibly long one that touches on a huge number of subjects, some of which are predictable and some of which are surprising.

Here MCV highlights the key points and summarises exactly what they mean:

* Iwata on snubbing the naysayers:

Nintendo will not change. We do not hold a pessimistic view of the future of dedicated video game platforms. We therefore believe that dedicated video game platforms which integrate hardware and software will remain our core business. Naturally, we are moving ahead with research and development efforts for future hardware as we have done before and we are not planning to give up our own hardware systems and shift our axis toward other platforms.”

Translated: We’re not going multiplatform. We’ve got more hardware on the way. And no, we’re not doing a Sega. Do one.

*Iwata on Nintendo’s history of evolution:

Nintendo has always flexibly innovated itself in line with the times. After Nintendo started the manufacture and sale of traditional Japanese playing cards 125 years ago, it has innovated itself from a playing card company to a toy company, a toy company to an electronic toy company and an electronic toy company to a company running video game platforms. What has remained the same, however, was we always tried to create something new from materials and technologies available at that time and to position entertainment as our core business.”

Translated: We’ve been around for over a century and you reckon we can’t survive an iffy console launch? Yeah right! We used to make playing cards, then we made arcade machine, now we make consoles. Who knows what we’ll make tomorrow. Metal gorillas? Interactive doormats? Calcium powered haiku generators? Time will tell. But we’re going nowhere, son.

* Iwata on Nintendo’s limited manpower:

Nintendo is not a resource-rich company, with only a little more than 5,000 employees. We have often received advice on overcoming our weaknesses in comparison with other companies and have been questioned about why Nintendo doesn’t follow suit when something is already booming. From a medium to long-term standpoint, however, we don’t believe that following trends will lead to a positive outcome for Nintendo as an entertainment company. Instead, we should continue to make our best efforts to seek a blue ocean with no rivals and create a new market with innovative offerings as a medium- to long-term goal.”

Translated: Releasing a new console that offers 4k graphics and runs four SLI GeForce Titans just to try and ‘beat’ PS4 and Xbox One ain’t our thing. Sony and Microsoft have their thing, we’ll have ours thanks very much.

Iwata on Wii U not being doomed:

As a platform in its second year, Wii U is currently in a very difficult position. Obviously, under the current situation where the company has to report an operating loss, simply executing a price reduction as a way to defuse the situation is not an option. Unfortunately, as the current situation of Wii U shows, we have not been able to fully communicate the value of the GamePad. What’s even worse is that there even appear to be not a small number of consumers who think the GamePad is one of the accessories for the previous platform, Wii. Therefore, we intend to take on this challenge, and I would like to have this solved before the year-end sales season.”

Translated: Have you seen our financials? And you want me to CUT the price of Wii U? Are you mental? Look, our adverts have been rubbish and if we can just advertise the thing better folk are bound to buy it, right? Because it’s a brilliant console isn’t it? ISN’T IT?

Iwata on NFC being a thing people care about:

The GamePad is the only video game platform with an NFC reader/writer function. Pokmon Rumble U has already taken advantage of this, but aside from this title, Wii U has failed to make use of the full potential of this function so far. This year, we will make full use of this function by preparing multiple proposals, including the implementation of NFC payments with JR East’s Suica, which we announced on a previous occasion. We will showcase our detailed propositions for utilizing the NFC functionality at E3 in Los Angeles in June.”

Translated: Name me one other console that lets you stand plastic figures on the controller? Go on, just one. You can’t, can you? Wii U may lag behind in the graphics and third party software stakes but it’s the world’s No.1 console when it comes to standing plastic figures on the controller. And we’re gonna go BIG with that, baby.

Iwata on being impatient with technology:

After starting up Wii U, there is a wait of over 20 seconds before we can select a video game title, and hence it is not an ideal situation for users now. To solve this problem, a quick start menu for the GamePad will become a reality after a future system update planned for early summer. We think that this function will make you feel that the time to start up a Wii U software title is cut by more than 50 per cent, and that it will also lead to more Wii U users understanding the appealing nature of the GamePad.”

Translated: Thinking about it, the big problem with Wii U has got to be the amount of time it takes to load up and boot a game, right? Well we can sort that out real easy. Maybe then you’ll all FINALLY understand.

Iwata on the forgotten success of 3DS:

The situation for Nintendo 3DS is very different from Wii U. Even though we weren’t able to achieve explosive growth in the overseas markets during the year-end sales season, the fact remains that Nintendo 3DS was the top-selling game device around the world last year.”

Translated: OK, OK, folk might not ‘get’ the Wii U just yet. But we’ve sold nearly 43m of these bad boys. Count ‘em. What have you sold 43m of?

Iwata on allowing users to transfer their accounts across devices:

On Wii U, we launched Nintendo Network IDs. This is the first step of our efforts to transform customer relationship management from device-based to account-based. Our future platform will connect with our consumers based on accounts, not devices. Of course, when we do launch new hardware in the future, rather than re-creating an installed base from scratch as we did in the past, we wish to build on our existing connections with our consumers through NNIDs and continue to maintain them.”

Translated: See, we’re leading the way once again. Now if you buy games from us you WON’T have to pay again if someone steals your console. What, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Google and every other tech company in existence already does this? Bullshit! You’re kidding?

Iwata on smartphones:

Given that the competition for consumers’ time and attention has become fierce, I feel that how we will take advantage of smart devices is an extremely important question to answer. However, in order to be absolutely clear, let me emphasize that this does not mean simply supplying Nintendo games on smart devices. Taking advantage of smart devices means connecting with all consumers, including those who do not own Nintendo’s video game systems, through smart devices and communicating the value of our entertainment

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