INTERVIEW: Satoru Iwata part one

Iwata on price cuts:

We have not made our financial forecast with the premise of a hardware price cut. Also, we are not foreseeing the necessity for us to do a price cut in this fiscal year. If it is predetermined that the hardware price shall gradually decrease, then that model reiterates the notion that early purchasers will suffer a loss, which I do not believe is the right business model. I believe that something must be wrong if we conduct our business with the premise that we will need to cut prices of our hardware as time goes on.”

Iwata on Wii sales and stock:

About a year ago today, I know that many people were talking about how the Wii’s great momentum few months after its launch would soon fade. Now that a year has passed, there must be different opinions even among these same people as to whether the Wii’s momentum will pass or whether the Wii has just begun its great cycle where quality software are developed one after another.

Nintendo is increasing Wii’s manufacturing capability for this summer in order to meet global demands. We are challenging ourselves to sell hardware at a level where Nintendo has never sold before, and for that matter, where no other video game home console has ever sold in a record one-year period.”

Iwata on DS sales:

We should not conclude that the Japanese sales of DS have peaked. In our business, one single software can change the entire picture completely. For example, there was a time when people thought the Game Boy platform was virtually over.

However, a software called Pokmon single handedly changed the situation and expanded the platform’s lifespan by several years. Just as we were able to do so with Nintendogs and Brain Training, if we are able to provide customers with an unexpected product, the situation can drastically change.”

Iwata on console lifecycles:

I said earlier today that the (past) product cycle cannot be applied today, but I did not mean that the notion of product cycle will disappear. What I was trying to say was that, thinking such as since the past generation’s product cycle was four years or five years, this generation’s cycle must be four years or five years too” or as the past generation hardware followed this path so will the current generation” will not hold as cycle length and patterns will differ with different environment and customers.

I have to wonder if it is all right to think that this current generation of hardware will have a 4-year lifespan just because the past generation’s lifespan was 4 years. I believe a different time cycle must be considered.

Now that they have kindly purchased hardware, it is desirable for us if they can enjoy the machine as long as possible. We would like to offer new proposals one after another as long as that hardware can still provide fresh and pleasant surprises. If such efforts can be resulted in the prolonged lifespan of a hardware, that is good to us.”

– Iwata’s comments are taken from an feature with Nintendo’s investors – full transcript here.

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