CSR Report > Archive 2016 > Bringing Smiles to Our Consumers

CSR Report

Bringing Smiles to Our Consumers / To provide all of our consumers with safe and enjoyable gaming experiences, we strive to create the highest-quality products by learning from our consumers' comments and concerns.

Bringing Smiles to Our Consumers

To provide all of our consumers with safe and enjoyable gaming experiences, we strive to create the highest-quality products by learning from our consumers' comments and concerns.

New Potential of Video Games

New Potential of Video Games

 To stay engaged with our consumers, we must constantly provide them with new surprises and experiences. When it comes to entertainment, consumers can eventually become tired of even highly popular products.
 With this in mind, Nintendo has worked hard to develop products that anyone, regardless of age or gaming experience, can enjoy. We have utilized our strengths, software-hardware integrated development, our expansive creativity, and our characters, beloved for many generations, to achieve those ends.
 We always seek out new potential in videogames, taking advantage of our ability to create products that you will naturally be able to use without having to resort to reading manuals and our ability to create experiences that keep you coming back for more. We would not be able to do this, of course, without the deep knowledge and experience we have accumulated over the years of creating these products.

Examples of New Potential of Video Games

Nintendo DS

Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a DayArt Academy

Nintendo DS, launched in 2004, is a dual-screen handheld video game system that can be used with a stylus. Its intuitive method of operation was well received by people of all ages. Utilizing the system's features, we have been able to offer a new software category that enables people to enjoy playing games while also training their brains and learning how to draw.

Nintendo 3DS

3D Pictorial Guide to Flora and FaunaNintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre

Nintendo 3DS, launched in 2011, has the same dual-screen and intuitive-operation features as Nintendo DS, but users also can enjoy playing games with stereoscopic 3D visuals. To fully utilize the dynamic capabilities of making images appear to jump out of the screen and create a sense of depth, we released the 3D Pictorial Guide to Flora and Fauna and a 3D museum audio guide, further expanding the scope of video games.

Wii

Wii SportsWii Fit

Launched in 2006, the Wii console is a home video game system that offers an innovative way to play games. Intuitive controls are achieved by shaking or turning the Wii Remote controller, which is held in one hand. By offering software that can be enjoyed not only by the person playing the game but also those watching, we created living-room entertainment that transcends generations.

Wii U

amiibo

The Wii U console, launched in 2012, enables new ways of playing games using two screens, as the Wii U GamePad controller also has a screen. Users do not need a TV to play games, giving them the freedom to enjoy games in any position and place they choose. We also are offering a new way of playing through video game compatible amiibo figures.

Achieving Quality and Safety

Achieving Quality and Safety

 At Nintendo, we emphasize safety and reliability in manufacturing products of the highest quality so that consumers of all ages can enjoy them with peace of mind.

Product Safety Principle
Safety and reliability are key factors
in creating high-quality products.
Quality Principle
Provide high-quality products
that meet consumers' expectations.

Strict Safety Standards

 To ensure that our products are safe for everyone, especially young children, Nintendo has established its own design safety standards for product development. In addition to complying with the legal requirements for product safety that apply to consumer electronic products, we draw upon various other safety standards such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008*1, the European Toy Safety Directive*2 and the Toy Safety Standards of Japan*3.

*1 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008
This U.S. regulation restricts the use of phthalate compounds in products as well as the use of various materials, such as lead.
*2 Toy Safety Directive
This European Union (EU) directive regulates products designed or clearly intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age. Such products must meet strict safety requirements related to physical, mechanical, flammable, chemical and electrical properties.
*3 Toy Safety Standards of Japan
This safety standard, established by the Japan Toy Association, covers mechanical and chemical safety and flammability.

Framework for Product Safety Assurance

 Nintendo Co., Ltd. established its Product Safety Committee, under the direct supervision of the Executive Management Committee, to ensure employees' thorough understanding of the Product Safety and Quality Principles. Through effective management, maintenance and improvement of the system, the Product Safety Committee ensures the safety of our products at every stage, from planning, development, production and sales, all the way through after-sales service.

System to Ensure Product Safety

The Development Stage

 The Design Safety Review Committee consists of employees from several divisions, including Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Legal Affairs. The committee screens product designs for safety, particularly during the design and development stages. The committee reviews prototypes and reports created by the product development departments to assess the safety of each product from a wide range of perspectives. During the prototype stage, mechanical and physical evaluations include drop tests, electrical integrity, Ordinance for Enforcement of the Radio Act compliance, flammability tests, and tests that screen for harmful chemical substances. To perform these tests, we use a full range of testing devices at our facilities to ensure product compliance. We also require external agencies to certify product compliance as needed.

Design Safety Review Committee - Review Items
Laws/Regulations
Confirm that products comply with all applicable legal regulations
Safety specifications
Confirm that products comply with additional safety specifications if applicable
Design safety standards
Confirm that internal design safety standards are observed
Labeling standards
Confirm that all required labels and notices are displayed appropriately
FTA, FMEA
Confirm that FTA*4 and FMEA*5 safety evaluations are complete
*4 FTA (Fault Tree Analysis)
A system that analyzes the root causes of safety hazards, such as fire and injury, to develop appropriate steps for their prevention.
*5 FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)
A method of improving product safety and reliability through analysis of what is affected in each failure mode.
The Production Stage

 We require our production partners to confirm that their products comply with Nintendo Co., Ltd. specifications by using prescribed testing methods to check their assembly processes.

The Shipment Stage

 Assembled products also must pass a finished-goods test, after which they are inspected a final time before entering the market.

Stereoscopic 3D Display Considerations

 Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL from the Nintendo 3DS family of gaming systems enable users to enjoy 3D images without the use of special glasses. 3D visuals are created by projecting different images to the left and right eyes. However, perception of the 3D visuals can differ significantly from person to person. For example, a person with significantly different eyesight in the left and the right eye might have difficulty seeing 3D images. For this reason, Nintendo has incorporated the 3D depth slider. This slider enables a player to adjust the strength of the 3D visuals*6. Lowering the slider gradually diminishes the 3D effect of the visuals. When the slider is all the way down, users can enjoy playing the game in 2D. This feature enables users to play any game at the level they find most appropriate.
 In addition, some studies indicate that vision may still be developing for children aged six and under, and that allowing those children to see 3D images by projecting different images to their left and right eyes might affect their visual development. To enable all consumers to enjoy systems in the Nintendo 3DS family with peace of mind, Nintendo makes it possible to play all Nintendo 3DS games in 2D display mode. We also enable parents and guardians to restrict the display of 3D images using a Parental Controls feature. Once a parent or guardian has set the restriction, the 3D feature will remain restricted until a parent or guardian unlocks it using a PIN code.
 We also are working hard to ensure that consumers are aware of this information by displaying it in prominent locations, such as the packaging, so that before purchasing a system in the Nintendo 3DS family, consumers can make informed choices as to whether or not their children should experience 3D images.

New Nintendo 3DS
*6
The depth of some 3D content, such as distributed 3D videos, 3D images or certain 3D game software, cannot be adjusted with the 3D depth slider. If this content is difficult or uncomfortable to view, try varying the distance between your eyes and the screen, or turn the 3D effect off by moving the 3D depth slider all the way down to the OFF setting.

Employee Training and Employee Education Program

 To ensure that all Nintendo products meet the highest standards of safety and quality, it is essential to educate all Nintendo employees about product safety. To make sure our employees are well aware of the critical importance of ensuring the safety of our products, Nintendo Co., Ltd. provides product safety training where necessary. In fiscal year 2015, Nintendo Co., Ltd. provided product safety training for 58 new recruits.
 In addition, our design and manufacturing guidelines incorporate a wealth of knowledge and experience, and aim to share craftsmanship know-how with related employees. Since fiscal year 2011, we have been making our developers' craftsmanship knowledge and past experiences available on our corporate intranet so that employees not directly involved in this area of the business can view this information at any time.

Product safety training for new recruits

Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Promote Internal Communication to Increase Consumers' Smiles

 At Nintendo Co., Ltd., we believe that in order to enhance consumer satisfaction, interdepartmental understanding is fundamental to every effort. To this end, we set up the Smile-Spreading Project in 2009. To deepen employees' mutual understanding, this project undertook various initiatives such as the Delivery Seminar, in which employees visited other departments to describe their own department's role in the company; the Internal Exchange Program, in which employees spent some time in another department to learn about that department's role; and the Group Discussion & Customer Service Window Tour, in which employees observed the work of the Customer Service Window. These initiatives contributed to an improvement in our internal system to share consumer feedback. Overall, employees reported that participation in this project not only provided them with a good opportunity to learn about other departments, it also gave them a fresh perspective.
 Since the project's launch, 5,300 employees have attended Delivery Seminars, and 350 employees have attended the Group Discussion & Customer Service Window Tour.

*Please refer to PP.7 - 10 of the CSR Report 2011 (PDF) to learn more about the Smile-Spreading Project.

Considerations When Developing Software and Services

Considerations When Developing Software and Services

 Nintendo believes it is very important to screen out inappropriate content and ensure safety not only when developing hardware but also when developing software and services so that consumers of all ages can enjoy Nintendo products with peace of mind.

Principles on Ensuring Software Safety

 Nintendo continually offers new ways to play games such as using the entire body to manipulate the gaming system or by using an online network. Thus, in order for consumers to safely play with our products with peace of mind, we have created comprehensive software development guidelines that are updated and revised as needed, and distributed among the related departments. Based on these guidelines, we have created a company-wide system that checks for the safety of our software from the earliest stages of product development.

Health & Safety Information

 The Nintendo 3DS family and Wii U system feature built-in software called Health & Safety Information. Users can check important safety precautions at any time, even when they do not have the operations manual nearby.

Health & Safety Information

Information on Appropriate Target Age Range

 Before playing a game, one has no way of knowing what kind of content the game includes. Therefore, Nintendo provides the appropriate age range for the target audience on product packaging and on the Nintendo eShop screens according to the rating system*7 used in each country or region.
 For further improvement, starting in January 2010, Nintendo Co., Ltd. changed the color of the packages for Wii software sold in Japan to enable consumers to notice the age rating more easily.
Now, all Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS game packages for consumers aged 15 and over are black.

*7 Game Rating Systems
Ratings organizations review game content and set an appropriate age rating for each game. In Japan, the CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organization) age-rating mark is displayed. The marks do not correlate to game difficulty level.
Black-based package

A Healthy Environment for Children

 Nintendo has integrated Parental Controls into all game systems released in and after December 2006. This feature enables parents and guardians to restrict and limit their children's access to high age-rating software or online content.
 In an effort to promote the use of Parental Controls, Nintendo Co., Ltd. has a section on its website called Information for Parents. This section aims to address specific questions that parents and guardians may have about our products, such as what features they contain and how to set up Parental Controls. In addition to creating a downloadable brochure summarizing the main Parental Controls features for parents and guardians who would like to read about this topic offline, we also broadcast an informative TV commercial.
 In addition to providing this information, Nintendo Co., Ltd. has been holding seminars on appropriate use of video game systems for school supporters*8 and educators throughout Japan since fiscal year 2013. During the seminar, Nintendo staff members explain how to use Nintendo's video game systems, and offer a hands-on session in which attendees use Nintendo 3DS systems to learn about Parental Controls and filtering service settings. A total of 750 people have attended the 14 seminars.
 Our overseas subsidiaries also endeavor to provide detailed information on hardware features and functions by placing video tutorials, Q&As and step-by-step instructions on their websites to increase awareness and the use rate of Parental Controls.

*8 School supporters
Retired teachers or police officers who are sent to local schools to use their specialized experience in supporting teachers, students or parents.

Nintendo of Europe GmbH (Germany)

Game System Features and Online Services Information for Consumers

 We believe that it is important to provide straightforward explanations of various hardware features and functions so that all consumers can fully enjoy our products.
 Nintendo of Europe has been creating tutorial videos which show users how to set up functions, such as Parental Controls, for all hardware products since the launch of Nintendo 3DS. These videos are offered in 10 languages on the website.
 In fiscal year 2014, Nintendo of Europe updated the Parents section of its website to enhance accessibility and to provide parents with more comprehensive information about Nintendo's hardware and online services, the games their children are playing and video games in general.

Nintendo of America Inc.

New Website Guide for Parents and Guardians

Play Nintendo site logo

 In October 2014, Nintendo of America launched Play Nintendo, a website directed at a young audience and their parents.
 The Parent's Guide section of the site includes helpful articles for parents and guardians so they can make informed choices about their children's use of Nintendo video game systems. Beyond offering a range of basic information about Parental Controls, online services and ratings, the website provides parents and guardians with tips to ensure the health and well-being of their children.

Nintendo Australia Pty. Limited

Increasing Cyber-Safety Awareness

 Nintendo Australia has continued to work with the Australian government on a cyber-safety initiative. Protecting children from inappropriate material on the Internet is a major issue in Australia and around the world. To promote a better Internet environment, the government runs a cyber-safety website that provides information on how to use the Internet properly and how to protect personal information on the Internet.
 On this website, Nintendo Australia provides a range of information in an easy-to-read Q&A format about how to use Nintendo's products while they are connected to the Internet and how to set up Parental Controls.
 Nintendo Australia also provides information about cyber-safety and Parental Controls in the Parents section of its own website, which was revised in 2015 to provide more up-to-date information.

Nintendo of Europe GmbH (Germany)

Devoted to Child & Youth Protection

Youth Protection Seal of Quality

 For Nintendo, the protection of minors' use of our online services is a top priority. Nintendo of Europe voluntarily allows the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle), a self-regulatory body responsible for video game classification in Germany, to examine all of its online services for legal compliance with the German regulations on youth protection and, since 2013, Nintendo of Europe has held the Youth Protection Seal of Quality, a distinction displayed on the website signifying that the company is a trustworthy content provider, devoted to child and youth protection.

Nintendo Australia Pty. Limited

Raising Awareness for Parental Controls

 Nintendo Australia has made raising awareness of Parental Controls the focus of our CSR activities in 2015. This feature is vital for providing children with a safe and healthy environment in which to enjoy our games, so we are increasing our efforts to inform consumers about it. For example, we have created materials for parents explaining this feature and have distributed these materials at a variety of game-related events.

Nintendo of Europe, Italy branch

Seminar Teaching Students Appropriate Internet Use

 Nintendo Italy collaborated with the Italian government and industry groups, endorsing efforts to provide students with training on a wide range of subjects. On April 13th, 2015, a seminar was held on the subject of "Appropriate Usage of the Internet and Devices That Connect to the Internet."

Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Participating as Trainer in Symposium for Safe Use of the Internet for Children and Youth

 Children are beginning to use the Internet at increasingly younger ages. A symposium was held in Kyoto in February of 2016 to not only share the latest and current information on the subject, but also to offer advice on avoiding problems online. The symposium involved children and their guardians, educators, and industry personnel.
 Nintendo Co., Ltd. attended the symposium as a trainer, speaking on ways children can use video game systems safely. The call was raised for more effective use of the Parental Controls feature. We also participated as a panelist, along with children, the Kyoto Prefectural Police advisor on Internet safety, and an ad hoc instructor for cellphone use from the Kyoto Municipal Board of Education, in a workshop on online problems.

Know More About What Your Children Play

 Nintendo feels that providing ways for parents and guardians to become more involved in their children's gaming experiences encourages better communication. For this reason, we designed Wii, Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems to automatically record which game titles are played and for how long each day so that parents and guardians can be better informed about their children's gaming activities.

New Nintendo 3DS

The title of Nintendo 3DS software and the time played are recorded automatically in the Activity Log for each day.

Wii U GamePad

On Wii U, the time played and the number of sessions are recorded automatically in the Daily Log.

Eliminating Inappropriate Content in Communication Features

 Some software and applications are designed to enable user-generated content (UGC), such as user-generated images, text and music, which can be shared with other users. Such software encourages expansive communication by enabling consumers to express themselves more freely. However, in rare instances, some individuals intentionally could create an unpleasant situation for other consumers by distributing inappropriate content. To minimize inadvertent user exposure to inappropriate content, we have incorporated a user reporting function for inappropriate content into certain services that enable users to communicate and exchange content. Problematic content is removed immediately.
 In addition, we monitor the content on Miiverse, our online community that lets users connect with other players around the world via their personal avatars, their Mii*9 characters, and if we find inappropriate posts, we remove them.

Nintendo 3DS Series Efforts

 On the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, we have strengthened measures to prevent unintentional exposure to inappropriate content. At the same time, we have improved strategies to protect individual privacy. For example, you can attach a message to a Mii, then exchange that message in StreetPass*10; however, we have implemented safeguards that make it difficult to include vulgar words and personal information, both in the name of the Mii and in the message.

*9 Mii
MiiA character whose face can be designed to resemble you or someone you want to characterize. Mii characters can be used on Wii, Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS family.
*10 StreetPass
When the StreetPass feature is turned on, it enables the exchange of game data between two systems in the Nintendo 3DS family as their owners pass each other.

Protecting Consumer Information

 Nintendo respects consumers' privacy and considers the protection of consumer information an important responsibility.
 The information Nintendo collects from consumers largely consists of information necessary for the provision of network services and contact details when carrying out product repairs. We always clearly specify how we will use consumer information in our terms of use and strictly handle this information in adherence with internal regulations. In addition, we revise and enhance our internal systems in compliance with the laws and standards related to the handling of information.

Establishing Payment Caps

 Though some of Nintendo's software and services can be purchased online through Nintendo eShop, Parental Controls settings can restrict purchases.
 Users can download the Nintendo 3DS software title, Collectible Badge Center, (translation of Japanese title) for free; however, they can choose to make in-game purchases. For this title, the monthly payment cap for consumers of all ages in Japan is 10,000 yen.
 Each overseas subsidiary makes decisions about what is most appropriate for its market and suits its culture.

Considerations for Smart Device Software

 Nintendo began offering its first application for smart devices in March of 2016. We remain committed to our involvement in marking applications for appropriate age ranges, in creating systems to remove inappropriate content, in preventing problems before they occur, and in detecting issues early on to allow consumers to use applications for smart devices safely as well.

Compliance System for Payment Services Laws

 Nintendo offers consumers the Nintendo eShop Cards payment method. With this type of payment method, we receive money from consumers in advance of providing the products or services, so we must avoid a situation in which we cannot provide them. To ensure that consumers can enjoy our products and services with peace of mind, we have a system to review and comply with applicable laws in each country.
 At Nintendo Co., Ltd., payment methods such as Nintendo Prepaid Cards are subject to the Prepaid Payments Instruments chapter of the Payment Services Act. Therefore, we have registered as an issuer that abides by the provisions of Prepaid Payments Instruments and established a system to comply with the Payment Services Act under the supervision of the Financial Services Agency and Kinki Local Finance Bureau.
 As part of our efforts in this regard, we held an internal seminar in fiscal year 2014 for 515 employees to build awareness for the importance of consumer protection. We also implemented an e-learning program in fiscal year 2015 within our intranet platform. That attracted 206 participants. We went on to host workshops for leads in departments developing software.

Making Things Easier to Understand, Easier to Use

Making Things Easier to Understand, Easier to Use

 At Nintendo, we work hard to develop products and services that appeal to the widest range of people, including males and females of all ages, regardless of their gaming experience.

Making Things Intuitive

 Quick and easy navigation of a new game world is one of Nintendo's highest priorities. We try to make gameplay as intuitive as possible, thereby minimizing the need for users to consult the operations manuals to figure out how to play a game.

Usability for Everyone

 We work hard to design games that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, regardless of age, gender or level of gaming experience. We also seek ways to share consumer feedback with development departments and incorporate that feedback in our product development whenever possible.

Nintendo 3DS

 For example, the edge of the upper cover of the Nintendo 3DS is curved to make it easier to open. As a result, the upper cover can be opened from any point along its edge.

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS XL

 The 3D depth slider of Nintendo 3DS XL is designed so that users feel a "click" when they turn off the 3D display. With this function, users can avoid unintentional switching between 3D and 2D modes. New Nintendo 3DS XL also features the same design.

Nintendo 3DS XL

Wii U GamePad

 The Wii U GamePad controller was designed to fit the hands of any user, with grips on the back, so that it is less likely to cause discomfort even after extended use. Also, we carefully chose materials for the Wii U GamePad to minimize its weight while maintaining durability.

Wii U GamePad

Wii U System

 After evaluating consumer feedback regarding Wii, we incorporated a synchronization (SYNC) button, which is used to connect a controller with the Wii U system, in an easily recognizable location on the Wii U console. The Wii system's SYNC button was located next to the SD card slot and hidden by the slot cover. Since the button on Wii U is on the surface of the console and is not under the slot cover, users can locate it at a glance.
 While the Wii slot cover protrudes out from the Wii console when it is open, the Wii U slot cover slides neatly inside the console so that it is not in the way.
 In addition, there is a USB port on the front of the console as well as on the back so that users can connect USB devices to it easily.

Wii U

Creating Operations Manuals Everyone can Understand

 So that all of our consumers can understand our operations manuals and package descriptions easily, we make every attempt to use simple, everyday language and terminology wherever possible. We also use illustrations to make it easier for young children to understand our manuals.
 In addition, we consider the readability of the Nintendo 3DS electronic manual and provide users with the choice of two font sizes.

Delivering Product Appeal That Overcomes Cultural & Language Barriers

 Game localization refers to the process of adapting software that has been developed for one country to another, without losing the appeal or feeling of the game world to give it a look and feel that local consumers can enjoy.
 At Nintendo, when software developed by Nintendo Co., Ltd. is localized for overseas markets, the localization staff closely communicate with the game developers to make sure they incorporate aspects of the local culture and fine details that will entertain consumers while bringing out the game's original appeal.
 When games developed overseas are localized for the Japanese market, the same process occurs; the localization team in each country is directly involved during the content review process.

Responding Effectively to Consumers

Responding Effectively to Consumers

 We care a great deal about what consumers think of our games and have various consumer service channels in place, including telephone and online contact points, to respond to the wide range of inquiries and requests we receive from our diverse consumer demographic. Nintendo has established a system that enables relevant departments within the company to share comments we receive from our consumers.

Customer Service Window

 The Customer Service Window in Japan provides information and advice on issues such as product specifications and usage, as well as various campaigns. In addition, we established the Nintendo Technical Support Center to respond to consumer questions about various network services. We also have set up similar customer service centers in locations around the world where we provide support in the local languages.

Our System for Sharing Consumer Feedback

 Nintendo receives feedback from numerous consumers via telephone, Internet and mail. To make the best use of this feedback when developing new products and improving services, we have established a system for sharing consumer feedback among the relevant departments within the company. We also share the letters of appreciation we receive from consumers internally to provide motivation to employees.

Sharing Information About Safety and Quality

 When we are informed of quality issues, we immediately investigate the concern and then quickly distribute a response to our consumers. We provide necessary information about product safety or bugs on the Nintendo website and at retail locations.

Responding Effectively to Consumers
*11 CS Meeting
Customer Satisfaction Meeting

Repairs and Maintenance

 In Japan, the Nintendo Technical Services Management Center handles product repairs. This center provides extensive services so that our consumers can enjoy our products for as long as possible. From the aspect of environmental conservation, we also believe that product repair is vitally important to help reduce product waste.
 Our overseas subsidiaries also have implemented their own repair systems to respond promptly to local repair requests.

Network Support

 At Nintendo, we offer a variety of network services, such as our online store, Nintendo eShop, online gameplay, communication among friends and users, and the sending and exchanging of data.
 To provide a sound system that is monitored and operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we prepare for setbacks, monitor the server and utilize various technologies to avoid having to end a service. In the event of server failure, we investigate the cause immediately and implement necessary improvements.

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