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Iwata: Being first with next-gen "not important"

But Nintendo global president says pricing of the Wii U will be vital

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's global president, has addressed some of the biggest issues, pricing, power and release window, surrounding the company's new console the Wii U.

"Being first in the next generation race is not important at all," he told Gamasutra.

"One of the reasons we believe this is the time for Nintendo to launch the Wii U is it's going to be important for the world."

He believes the Wii U can offer the dual screen experience without the high cost associated with owning an Apple iPad. What matters more than the release date, he said, was the price tag.

"The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched. The environment is different. Wii U is going to be launching in a different environment than when the Wii was launched. Also, the involvement surrounding [mobile and social] businesses is different than several years ago."

He also refused to see Microsoft and Sony and their consoles as competition, arguing that Nintendo wanted to offer something innovative rather than just something powerful.

"We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of 'more beef' console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013. Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than [others]."

And while he admitted that the 3DS handheld is actually still losing money, despite impressive sales, he added that the company expected to return to profitability "in the near future."

"Our intention is to return to profitability after just one year of losing money. I just cannot say that it's a good thing for Nintendo at all to record an annual loss for two or more years in a row.

The Wii U is due for release by the end of this year.

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Latest comments (7)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Everything he said made sense.
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Tony Johns8 years ago
I just hope for Nintendo's sake that they can start producing profit, because I would hate to see them go out like SEGA did 10 years ago.

At least they have got good strategies in order to think that power and being first to release a console is not the be all and end all, but it does have allot to do about good timing and well placed marketing.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Tony, Nintendo has $13 billion in liquid funds and a further $60 billion in total assets. It would take 43 years of $300 million per year losses before they run out of liquid funds and several lifetimes before they have to go the way of Sega. Sega was in a situation were in 1 or 2 more years they would reduce all operating income they've ever made to 0.

Nintendo is in a better liquid asset situation than all of Sony is. And Sony has taken billions of losses for several years in a row. Funny how you never see anyone wonder about Sony going 3rd party but they ask about Nintendo going 3rd party every year...profit or not.
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Show all comments (7)
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
Agree entirely with Jim Webb.

I don't see why everyone spells the death of the most successful video games company of all time.

If they were to even touch 3rd party platforms - I'm sure Mario for iOS would become one of the biggest selling games of all time and rule the world :p

Its hard to see how Nintendo can ever fail (though it is possible in an outside chance sort of way). They have the forward thinking and they have incredible IP virtually unmatched by other companies in the industry.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
As long as nintendo doesnt become arrogant, and continue to entertain. they will be ok. I think great IP, is worth more than a high spec machine. And they have enough proprietary IP to cater towards gamers of all ages, types and demographic ranges.

Nintendo makes money to make games. SONY and Microsoft make games to make money. Nintendo is a game making entertainment company first. To SONY and MICROSOFT its just a business opportunity, and it wouldnt suprise me, if one of them pulls out from making games entirely.

I do think the business model for the games industry is wrong, and costs have got to come down. Specifically console games. I think the whole thing with hardware cycles should end with each platform holder focusing on creating standards for their product so the whole development eco system doesnt have to change, just because a new piece of hardware with higher specs is coming out. I mean does it really have to cost so much to put out a machine with more RAM or better graphics processor?
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd8 years ago
IMO Nintendo is doing fine about moving with the market, aside from their online systems. They really need to impress with the new Nintendo Network, and they need to get it running on the 3DS ASAP, not just the Wii U.
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange8 years ago
From hereon with the Wii U just make everything backwards compatible. Make everything we have purchased run from the last generation to the next and onwards. Release new peripherals but make previous ones still compatible with future iterations. I still like to see the hardware evolve but not at the cost of making things difficult for the developers and consumers.
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