Iwata Meets the Press
Promises increased Wii shipments and lots of new Wii and DS games.
by Anoop Gantayat
i bolded some stuff i thought people would like to hear...Enjoy!
April 27, 2007 - You've probably heard by now the story of how Nintendo kicked serious ass and took many names in 2006 with record sales and profit figures. Today in Tokyo, company president Satoru Iwata met with the press to discuss the numbers and shed some light on the company's future plans for the Wii and DS.
First off, to alleviate any worries on the matter, Nintendo has no plans on stopping development of games for the Wii and DS. As mentioned in an earlier report here at IGNWii, Iwata revealed at the press conference that Nintendo is currently developing 45 Wii titles and 79 DS titles.
The president clarified that he's not sure if all these games will necessarily see release. However, the number does include some of the big Wii games that are set for release between the end of summer and fall, including Super Mario Galaxy and Smash Bros. Iwata hinted that these are real gamer games, rather than the casual stuff that we're seeing a lot of on the DS.
Despite the lack of killer Wii software, the system doesn't appear to be having trouble at retail. In fact, like the DS, there's been much concern over supply issues. Iwata noted that Nintendo has already increased production of the Wii. He expects the effects of this increase to be felt starting next month.
As for the DS, the company is producing 2.5 million systems per month. Noted Iwata, "In the past, we produced 2.3 million Game Boy Advance units in a month just once. However, the DS has crossed that and continues with 2.5 million units."
Nintendo's goal isn't just expanding hardware sales, though. In one of his more interesting comments, Iwata noted, "We're asked about our targets for hardware shipments, but selling hardware isn't our goal. Users purchase hardware in order to enjoy games. Our purpose in expanding hardware is to add life to our software business. As a mid to long term final goal, we've set out to sell enough hardware to sell 300,000,000 pieces of software."
This large software figure, Impress Watch later reported, includes software from both Nintendo and third parties.
Iwata also touched upon a few other points of interest for Nintendo. Noting the success of the Wii in international markets, he discussed the use of the Wiimote and nunchuck as a controller for first person shooters. "Metroid Prime is not out yet, so this is just the opinion of testers, but it's being rated close to the keyboard and mouse control that's the standard for PC games," Iwata disclosed. He went on to suggest that perhaps Electronic Arts will be able to use the Wiimote in new ways for its sports games.
Nintendo hasn't been too forthcoming with figures form its online Virtual Console service, but today Iwata at last revealed just how well the service is performing. 3.3 million games have been downloaded worldwide through the service thus far. Sadly, he did not provide breakdowns for titles and virtual platforms.
Iwata was asked if Nintendo plans on offering software for cell phones and other platforms. "About five years ago," responded Iwata, "there was talk that portable game machines would be wiped out by cell phones. However, looking at the state of things now, that's not the case." As expected, Nintendo plans on continuing to make software for its own hardware. "One of our strengths is that hardware development and software development take place in the same building, and we can have close communication. We develop both together in order to create surprising products. By offering software to other companies, we could probably do good in terms of short term sales, but we'd lose Nintendo's strong point."
Iwata also made a slight reference to future Nintendo hardware. "It's possible that the market will suddenly change. This is why our hardware development team is considring a variety of things."