Iwata: things “not looking good” for Nintendo, but hints at big things to come this year

Thursday, 25th April 2013 12:01 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has addressed investors following release of the company’s financial report yesterday. He agrees that things aren’t looking good at the moment, but that the company will pick up real momentum across 3DS and Wii U this year, bolsteres by some strong IP on the horizon.

If you missed the Nintendo report yesterday, I’d suggest checking it out first as Iwata reflected on it in his address.

MCV reports that Iwata said in his address, “In the US and in Europe we were unable to create sufficient momentum of the Nintendo 3DS system during the holiday season, and so the situation was not looking good at the beginning of the year.

“However, Fire Emblem Awakening was launched in February in the US and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was launched in March in the US and in Europe, both of which were well received by our consumers. An overseas edition of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was also launched in March. Recently, with the launch of titles like these, we are seeing that the Nintendo 3DS sales are gradually gaining momentum.”

Iwata then went on to lay down Nintendo’s strategy to boost 3DS and Wii U sales, as well as backing up both formats with a strong library of games. “Currently, the overseas sales of Nintendo 3DS are still at a stage where the changes in the market are starting to emerge”, he continued. “We are aiming to make the momentum of Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets more visible before summer this year.

“As for Wii U, it took off smoothly in the holiday season, but due to the lack of new software titles, we were unable to maintain the momentum this year. We initially hoped that Wii U would be showing more of a presence in the market by now, but the current situation shows that we need to spend more time on and put much effort into recreating the momentum.

“The release intervals of first-party key titles have been so much longer than we expected at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January that we have not successfully maintained the momentum of the platform. In addition, we have not been able to solidly communicate the product value of Wii U to our consumers yet, which has been a grand challenge for us.”

Iwata also took time to address the misconception that Wii U is simply a standard Wii with a new control method, and stated that Nintendo feels responsible for not having communicated the console’s strengths clearly enough.

“Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product,” he added.

“Wii U might still have no such captivating game title as Wii Sports for Wii, with which people immediately comprehended its product value, but it surely has a lot of factors appreciated by users. We would like to take time to work thoroughly for its penetration, by making various efforts to have many people understand its product value as well as enriching the software lineup.

“Wii U has lost momentum due to the release pace of first-party titles which has not lived up to consumers’ expectations. Starting with Pikmin 3 scheduled for release in the upcoming July, however, we will intensively launch our key titles to give sales momentum to the platform.”

Finally, Iwata laid out Nintendo’s stall for E3 2013, following news that it would not host a pre-show conference this year. “As a decisive factor in buying a console is that you cannot play a much-anticipated title without the hardware,” he explained, “we will do our best to have you feel from this summer to the end of this year that there are plenty of great games for Wii U.

“We have many titles whose release dates are yet to be announced. At E3, we will disclose more specific information about the titles for the rest of this year and early next year.”

What do you feel regarding Nintendo’s current standing in the market? What needs to be done to boost sales of 3DS and Wii U? Let us know below.




    #1 2 years ago

    Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product,

    Interesting that they have acknowledged this. Maybe showing the actual console at E3 last year would have helped, or even much more distinctive branding.

    The pad is their problem. It was a huge mistake, because people aren’t all that interested in it, but the games should really be built around it.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Logion

    I think they need to change their marketing drastically.

    The main problem I see with Nintendo’s consumers is that they don’t buy that many games that will boost Nintendo’s sales. Major titles like Pikmin and Zelda will boost their sales it but it will not hold because there are not that many other games that their consumers wants to buy.

    Add this to their lacking third-party support and I can understand why their sales are hurting.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ps3fanboy

    i told you so… and here they admit it, what more proof do you need???. it will be sad to see nintendo go but they will live on in software only. they may be able to keep the 3ds in japan, but that is it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Belmont

    I mean no offense, but it is quite natural. Ninty has always relied on a niche of fans and solely its own games to do business and drive its consoles. Wii U is also feeling a lot like Wii HD and little more.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. CyberMarco

    @4 Cut it off already…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Cobra951

    Iwata: “As for Wii U, it took off smoothly in the holiday season, but due to the lack of new software titles, we were unable to maintain the momentum this year.”

    Gee, ya think? At least it has sunk in where it counts finally.

    Iwata: “Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product.”

    No, we get it. We understand. (I do anyway.) We just don’t care. There is too much lacking for the system to take off, period. Come out with the killer game, like the new Zelda for the 3DS is looking, and people will buy the Wii U, outdated tech and all. Fail to do that, the system fails. It’s that simple. Indoctrination about the tablet controller won’t matter much either way.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    Nice to see a company listen, lets just see if there is positive action out of this.

    I can’t imagine MS ever owning up to the Kinect 1 360 beta or Sony owning up to 3DTV’s being shit for gaming on the PS3.

    So, lets see what they do with this.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    So they will probably announce a new game this year, which is not going to help.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. fearmonkey

    Once momentum is lost, can it really be regained?

    PS3′s issues were mainly cost at launch, once the costs were brought down, sales accelerated, but it was never able to catch up to the 360 in US sales.

    Is there an example of a console (not a handheld)in a crowded market losing momentum and then taking off again? N is in a interesting position, they are going against the hype, hopes and dreams of the upcoming next gen consoles. Will they be able to regain the momentum this year, or will it have to wait till next year when there is a lull in next gen releaees as their usually is.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. theevilaires

    ^ I say they won’t and the Wii U won’t pass 50 million sold worldwide. The PS4 is the future and this holiday season SONY is going to crush Nintendo so bad.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Clupula

    Honestly, if it were just Sony they had to content with, I think Nintendo could take a comfortable second place, but not only are they going to be trampled by Sony, but Microsoft, as well. Nintendo’s backing out of E3 was the absolute worst move they could have done. They need to show the world they are still a contender. They are not doing that. These Nintendo Direct addresses are just them putting their hands over their ears and saying, “Everything is fine! Everything is fine! We’re not listening to you!”

    And these big things to come are no doubt more of the same franchises they’ve brought out every gen. But those games will give the Wii U brief spurts of growth, but will not sustain it in the long term. Once the PS4 and whatever the Next Box is called come out, it is over for them as a console contender.

    The 3DS is all that they’re holding on with, and even that is selling less than they thought. They really need to cut their losses and announce themselves as “platform agnostic” very soon if they want to turn their fortunes around. I am willing to bet a multiplatform Mario title or a multiplatform Smash Brothers title would actually sell in the millions on the Sony and Microsoft systems, if only for the nostalgia factor alone. Maybe not Call of Duty numbers, but definitely enough to make Nintendo one of the major third party publishers.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. nutnick84

    yes it is possible to get momentum back for wii-u, they dont really have to worrie about sony coz the ps3 was so bad i cant see the ps4 being much better and as far as microsoft gose well the 360 kept breaking and getting hacked plus they have made alot of bad choices with the next one in order to rush it out, he is right alot of people do think that the wii-u is just a pad that you can get for the wii (Ive met quite a few), wii-u is infact a next gen console. all i have to say to Iwata is dont give up cos all problems can be fixed and its not over till its over

    #13 2 years ago
  14. NightCrawler1970

    So Wii is DOOMED?? folded?? DONE???

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Ljink

    Quit writin’ huge paragraphs. Nintendo will be fine.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. PC_PlayBoy

    Not one bit surprised Nintendo is in the shit. This is a company that fucked over the Europe for years with shit ports and bad release dates, treated US customers like shit just because they wanted Xenoblade, etc (Project Rainfall anyone) and yet they continue to do stupid things like region lock the 3DS, don’t supply the 3DS XL with a AC adapter as standard, release a new console i.e. Wii U with very little games and tie their digital content to hardware, still. They learn absolutely nothing and can only blame themselves for the shit they are in.

    They are nothing more than a bunch of cheap backward cunts. Seriously, how can anyone still support this firm? If they disappeared tomorrow i wouldn’t miss them one bit.

    I’ve got over 200 games on Steam to play & over 20 games on GOG. That’s how fucking irrelevant Nintendo/MS/Sony have become to me.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. monkeygourmet


    Cool story bro!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. dreamcastnews

    @16 fair enough.

    Nintendo are quite like a self-harm victim aren’t they! Always putting themselves down, I’ve got faith in them – I have faith in all three companies that we’ll be seeing some quality shizz this year, I think actually they will be fine. Nintendo have a strange way of bouncing back off the ropes, they don’t need to beat MS or Sony, they just need to keep marching to their own drum and turn a profit – something they can do.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Clupula

    @16 – So irrelevant that you have to come on every thread about them and tell us how little you care about them.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Clupula

    @13 – You couldn’t possibly have been born in 1984.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Sini

    As dead as vita, neither should exist. Nintendo GTFO out of console space, you don’t deserve to be there. Focus on handheld before apple takes that away from you.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. ManuOtaku

    I think the WiiU is a great console, but it needs two things well three in reality but is mixed in one, first cut the price and add a pro controller in every wiiU box for free, that way hardcore games wont need to shell more money for the console, and 2 get more games, i think the games will come and for that they will bounce back, i think they will make good numbers between 50 and 75 million units at the end of its lifecycle, even more if they play they cards right.

    #22 2 years ago

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