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

Thursday, 25 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.