CSR Report > Archive 2012 > President's Message

CSR Report

President's Message Spreading Smiles Around the World

Nintendo now has more than 200 million consumers worldwide.
Many people are working with us to make our consumers smile.
Our growth depends on whether we can connect the smiles of all people involved with Nintendo.

"Smile Value Chain" - Conscious Business Improvements

President, Nintendo Co., Ltd. - Satoru IwataIn fiscal year 2011 (April 2011 through March 2012), Nintendo's consolidated financial results posted an operating loss for the first time. We must use this adverse situation as a trigger to share risk awareness and promote various ways to improve our business.

It is natural that assumptions can change as time goes on. However, when we stay fixed in one place for an extended period, we tend to believe that things will never change. This tendency also can be observed in business settings: Employees carry out their jobs with enthusiasm to make consumers happy, but their efforts may not be in alignment or, inadvertently, ineffective practices may be allowed to prevail.

We have established a project team to combat the problems that arise when a business expands, or appear between departments or between a parent company and its subsidiaries. Many younger employees are also active members on this team as part of their professional development training.

With the belief that strengthening relationships and fostering mutual understanding between employees are the most important factors in improving customer satisfaction, since fiscal year 2009, we have carried out the "Smile-Spreading Project," which includes many measures to promote internal communication. The "Delivery Seminar," a seminar that involves an employee visiting other departments to describe his/her own department's role, is one of them. Because of these measures, each employee has gained a solid understanding of how his or her efforts are tied to others' efforts in the company, and how these efforts ultimately contribute to delivering smiles to consumers. This new project is going well, and I have a firm belief that our involvement in this initiative will lead to even greater growth for us as an organization.

New Value of Video Games

In Japan, the Nintendo 3DS has achieved sales of over five million units, which makes it the fastest-selling video game system in Japanese history. When it was first released, we encountered challenges in conveying its features to our consumers, and it was not immediately accepted in the market. However, at the end of 2011, our efforts to generate new value were finally fulfilled, and our proposals that we delivered to consumers were well-received.

Since April 2012, the Nintendo 3DS has been used in the Louvre Museum, France, as an official digital audio guide. With this new audio guide system, visitors can view exhibitions in 3D or their location in the museum appears on the screens, creating an exciting and more enjoyable experience of the museum.

We are co-developing a new software title for the Nintendo 3DS, tentatively entitled Onitore, with Tohoku University's Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, the supervisor of the Brain Age (North American title) series for the Nintendo DS. With this software, we have taken on yet another exciting challenge to generate a new type of value in video games. "Train your brain" was the concept for the previous series; the concept for this new software is to train your working memory*1 and concentration in order to unlock your brain's potential. I hope it will be a unique contribution to our information-overloaded world.

More Effective Communication

I am the kind of person who likes to actively collect information about various things, including consumers' reactions, and I am well aware that what people want to know differs significantly from person to person.

Nintendo Direct is a new communication method for our consumers that we have started through a trial-and-error process. This is a service in which I, as president of Nintendo, personally introduce information about new software or services through the Internet. We started this service because we realized that now we have a tool to directly provide our consumers with accurate information. The feedback we received was much better than expected, and I feel that we have become significantly closer to our consumers.

The on-site inspection of our production partners to promote CSR Procurement*2 is another example of our communication efforts. Instead of relying on outside auditors, we visit production partners to engage in direct, face-to-face communication. The goal of our on-site inspections is to share the essence of the rules with which we require production partners to comply. Our intention is not to force them to follow our rules, but instead we want them to understand the underlying meaning of each rule and why each rule is necessary so that they are able to realize the importance of CSR and volantarily apply our rules. It requires more involvement, but we believe this is one of the best ways to deepen our relationship with production partners and achieve our CSR goals.

Putting Smiles on the Faces of Everyone Nintendo Touches

We define our CSR as "Putting Smiles on the Faces of Everyone Nintendo Touches." This simple message teaches us not only what we should not do but also what we can achieve through our business such as pursuing the new potential of video games.

As far as we know, our consumers now total more than 200 million. If Nintendo can bring smiles to everyone, including these consumers, people will recognize our social value, and our opportunities to achieve new ideas will increase with everyone's support. With this in mind, we will continue to promote CSR in our own unique, Nintendo way.

*1 Working memory
A brain system that provides temporary storage and management of the information required to do complex cognitive tasks.
*2 CSR Procurement
Our production partners also are required to be involved in CSR and to encourage the promotion of CSR activities throughout the entire supply chain.
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