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Iwata: "We don't care about what other companies are doing"

Nintendo is focused on creating unique experiences for Wii U

Nintendo's Satoru Iwata has expressed a lack of concern for the strategies of the Wii U's apparent competitors.

Speaking to CNN, Nintendo's president admitted that the company hasn't yet established what makes its new console unique. However, Iwata regards the company's strategy as fundamentally different to that of Sony or Microsoft.

"We just don't care too much about what other companies are doing or are trying to do," he said. "Our primary focus is to think about and actually carry out something which [another] company's hardware can never realise.

"We are trying to provide consumers gaming experiences that can only be available on Nintendo platforms."

Iwata's comments follow a Nintendo Direct presentation that paid little attention to the Wii U's integrated tablet controller - effectively its unique selling point. Nevertheless, Iwata believes that the games Nintendo showed reinforce the idea that, "software sells hardware."

"The number of hardware selling and the number of people who can experience the unique attractions of the Wii U are going to increase, and thereby the knowledge and the understanding about the Wii U system shall naturally expand.

"Starting from this summer, Nintendo is preparing for a very strong first-party software line-up that people really want to try out. By selling the software, we'd like to expand the hardware sales of the Wii U system. That's our message."

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Latest comments (14)

Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
As long as they do what the customers and fans want, that's fair enough.

Though I'd say a little bit of 'care' wouldn't go a miss. We can learn so much from our rivals and use those inspirations or techniques to make our own prospects and ideas better.
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Jason Avent VP, Studio Head, NaturalMotion3 years ago
I really can't wait for something cool to come out on Wii U. I really can't.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 3 years ago
I totally agree with Iwata in terms of working on unique offerings for Nintendo platforms but I just wish they'd get on and do it. I'd assume that there is nothing more to reveal that will becoming out by the end of Q2 2014 now because frankly if there is, they should have shown it at the Nintendo Direct. And by that note, that means that since launch the first party games feature 1 game (Nintendo Land) where asymetrical play is used properly. I haven't seen anything about a western release for the Pokemon NFC games, which again has the use of some unique feature.

They really need to start using the controller properly to justify the cost to the consumer. Apart from the Wii U being a "Nintendo IP" machine that spits out very similar renditions of the same old same old, the value judgement for the consumer is ridiculous. 50 more and you will be able to get a PS4 which tramples the Wii U in almost all arenas from both a technical and a services point of view.

And this:
"Nintendo's president admitted that the company hasn't yet established what makes its new console unique."
Frankly worrying. This concept should have been sorted out before launch not a year after it has been released. I'm finding it hard to understand what Nintendo have been doing with their time whilst they let the Wii die in it's final years.
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Show all comments (14)
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
They have a few games down the line that are system sellers. I can mention 10 games that have already been announced that would justify buying a WiiU. The new generation of consoles has just started. I cant see the big games coming out before 2014. And even with the Xbox and PS4 many of the big games like Metal Gear Solid 5, Destiny, Mirrors Edge 2, Quantum Break wont be out till alot later. So I dont think they are so behind compared to the other consoles. So lets not count them out. They have pretty amazing stuff on the way.
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 3 years ago
I just wish these "platform sellers" came out sooner than a year since the platform actually launched.
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As long as it's not TOO expensive most people are happy to have a Nintendo console and one of the other two. Personally I'll probably get a Wii U when the next Mario Kart comes out.

Nintendo are in competition with themselves, if their software is good enough people will buy their consoles. Even 3rd party support isn't THAT important. Iwata is right although it might not be what the money men on Wall Street want to hear.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
One of the key things every business school drums into their students' heads is the key importance of Porter's 5 forces when running a business.
Perhaps someone should tell Iwata.
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I would buy nintendo games if they go on every other platform. I find it hard to be knobbled by a singular platform when most of the other games are to be held on every other device. I appreciate its nintendos USP but still...hard to justify another console
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
Bruce, I'm pretty sure they still pay attention to competitive rivalry. Didn't we see Shigeru Miyamoto walking through the Sony Vita section at E3?

Besides one of the main components of the competitive rivalry aspect of Porter's 5 is innovation. You can't innovate if you don't know what the competition is doing.

What Iwata is trying to say is that they are not a 'me-too' company. They do their own thing. They stay competitive by being innovative and offering exclusive content. Exclusive content is a huge aspect of competitive rivalry in itself.

But this has always been how Nintendo operates as a video game company...on both the software and hardware side.
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Jim Perry Programmer, head geek of indie studio Mach X Games 3 years ago
"We are trying to provide consumers gaming experiences that can only be available on Nintendo platforms."

I wonder when they're going to start doing that? Are they even looking at what Sony and MS are doing? It doesn't seem like it.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus3 years ago
What's notable about this is the intersection between the consumer and the business.

The consumer in me LOVES hearing things like this. It's what I love about Nintendo.

The business analyst in me cringes, because it goes against anything shareholders want to hear. Pachter's gonna have a field day.
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Asif A. Khan, CPA Financial Reporter 3 years ago
It isn't that they don't care. It is that what Sony and Microsoft are doing has no influence on the decisions being made at Nintendo. This is why many people are frustrated by Iwata and his team. Nintendo will miss some killer titles like MGS and Destiny, but they do have their own IP exclusively coming out for Wii U. Planned obsolescence, incremental innovation, and a proprietary intertwining of their ecosystem is frustrating to consumers, but enough about Apple... Seriously though, Nintendo has some compelling software coming (albeit next year) and Iwata has to meet his earnings projections or the financial analysts will call for his head. If they cut the price of the Wii U, the units will sell but at what cost to their earnings? This puts Nintendo is in a very difficult position, but I maintain they are the best pure play gaming investment out there. The stock agrees today, up almost 9% on the trading day.

One more thing. If the late Steve Jobs had said that "We don't care about what other companies are doing," would it have even been a headline? I am not saying Iwata is anything like Jobs, just showing you that CEOs that think like this are few and far between.

Full Disclosure

Long Apple
Long Nintendo
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
As much as I love Nintendo, I still have to question the idea that after all this time, not figuring out that while YES, your fans will buy what you make when it comes out... not having at least ONE major "wow" game at launch or in that window wouldn't make some wonder about the strategy of "we'll get it out, trust us!" when yeas, looking around at others shows that they can use your own current library against you as to why one shouldn't take the Wii U plunge.

It's clear that one reason the Wii U isn't flying off store shelves is some folks are waiting for that game until they do buy and they don't just want an HD reboot of WIndwaker or games still in the "coming soon!" stage. Even if they were to chop up a Zelda or Metroid into chapter form, release it it by bit and later, stick the game onto a disc, that would be more acceptable to "we're working on it.. so please keep waiting. Meanwhile, buy a 3DS - it has much better games we also make!"

Well, the payoff is generally spectacular when Nintendo's gambles succeed, but for me, it's all about those third party games on the way more than it is another Donkey Kong, Smash Bros. or new Mario Kart...
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
The "Wow" game for me was X (Xenoblade 2?). That game blew me away and it will be the reason I pick up a WiiU. However I bet the "Wow" game Nintendo was gonna present was Super Smash Bros. Seeing Mega Man in his oldschool megaman design was awsome. However since they already announced Super Smash Bros. before, it lost its "WoW" factor. Nonetheless Im pretty hyped by a few games they have coming down the pipeline. As things stand, they have given me more than one reason to pick up a WiiU, things can only get better from here.

I really wish they announced a 3DS with dual analog sticks and extra shoulder buttons (ZL and ZR). This would make it the perfect portable gaming machine. If they did this I would pick one up right away.
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