Nintendo NX will have better launch than Wii U and 3DS – Iwata
Nintendo held its 75th Annual General Meeting last week, now the notes from the meeting have been translated from Japanese and we can have an official look at what was said.
During the post meeting Q&A Iwata was asked about the NX and just what Nintendo in store to avoid the console having a bit of a rubbish launch. Before he addressed that he reflected on the Wii U and 3DS admitting that “For Wii U in particular, it cannot be said that it had a successful launch. As for Nintendo 3DS, in Japan there was a temporary slowdown but we managed to make a recovery by offering a number of initiatives collectively. On the other hand, Wii U has not been able to recover at this point in time.”
Iwata continued “Because of this, the size of the installed base compared to the Nintendo DS or Wii eras appears not to be as solid and this is reflected in the company’s profitability. But taking a look back, it was not the case that Nintendo DS sold with huge momentum from the beginning. When it first started to lose momentum, we offered a number of titles from a new genre, such as “nintendogs” or “Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day,” and these titles were widely accepted even by those who had never played video games in the past. This sequence of events led to a very large business.”
Mr Iwata’s point is that, except for the Wii no console has had a perfect launch – even the DS started out slow. So what are Nintendo doing make sure that the NX gets off to a better start, and why hide it in amongst the DeNA announcement?
“When Nintendo announced the collaboration with DeNA on March 17 of this year, I mentioned that Nintendo is currently developing a new dedicated video game system codenamed “NX.” The reason I mentioned this was, at that time, there were more than a certain number of people that thought that Nintendo would give up on the dedicated game system business and concentrate on smart device application development, or that Nintendo should take that path. In addition, such tone could be seen frequently through the media. I felt it was necessary to communicate that Nintendo is not pessimistic about the future of the dedicated game system business but rather more and more eager to continue it”
However while Nintendo felt it necessary to announce they were working on the NX they didn’t want to announce anything further to keep the surprise.
“This is because the entertainment business has an aspect where there is value in surprising consumers. It is not convincing enough to the consumer if we describe how the magic works before actually showing it to them and then expecting them to be surprised or delighted. Having the element of surprise or doing the unexpected is the premise for introducing new ideas and having them welcomed with surprise. That is why I have been repeatedly saying that the next news on NX will not be announced during 2015 but will be announced in 2016. Nevertheless, since NX has news value, when I am interviewed on various occasions, I am asked about it almost every time.”
So after all that, just how does Iwata think Nintendo will avoid the issues both the Wii U and 3DS have had?
I will not share details on NX today but with regard to the launch of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U not necessarily having progressed well and not acquiring sufficient support from software publishers, we intend to offer NX through a Nintendo-like solution.
Third parties have also been a big problem with the Wii U, Iwata was quizzed on this also saying that
At E3, which was held in the U.S. and is the largest trade show in the video game industry, we received many proposals for joint initiatives. In addition, Japanese software publishers have close relationships with our licensing department on a regular basis. As for collaborations with software publishers or their games, please consider that there are various ongoing projects below the surface.
A lot of this we have heard before from Iwata, better launches, better third party support – can they do it this time? It’ll be a long wait for NX information.