IR Information

The 70th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
Q & A
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Q 13   I am now 37 years old and Nintendo's Brain Training software motivated me to buy a Nintendo DS. Please continue to develop such kind of software that can improve a player's knowledge, wisdom or cultural level. I think my generation is demanding such software.
A 13


  We think games like Nintendogs and Brain Training for Nintendo DS and Wii Fit for Wii were special titles in the history of video games. We produced these games to show the new potential of video games to the many people who were saying, "We don't want to play games because we can't move our fingers dexterously and aren't interested in the themes of most popular video games." These new kinds of games could invite some people into the world of video games, as well as make the people who have played video games think, "Wow, there are still many new uses of video games." We have also received a lot of comments from customers saying, "Although my wife has never been interested in other video games, we now can enjoy Wii together."

  Regarding the cultural training type of games, explosively large numbers of software were released following Brain Training. Of course, however, the customer gets tired of playing the same kinds of products eventually. Since loss of interest is the greatest enemy of entertainment, we do not think that similar new products would result in larger markets than before. Therefore, the key is to develop new products that can not be viewed as being similar to the existing ones. For example, we are now promoting and selling Art Academy for Nintendo DS, though we have not sold many yet. This software teaches users who are not good at drawing, and advises them to, "Please just try to draw according to the instructions, and you'll find that you've drawn a surprisingly impressive picture." Customer satisfaction for this software is generally high. If we could spread these kinds of products, we would be able to create a new market. We think it is very important for Nintendo to discover and propose these themes regularly.

Q 14   In connection with Nintendo's basic strategy of "gaming population expansion", I would like to ask about the handling of fan activities and intellectual properties. Recently, there are many fan magazines, original short movies, music bands, cosplay activities, websites, orchestras and so on, based on Nintendo's titles. If these activities threaten Nintendo's intellectual properties or licenses, will Nintendo crack down on them aggressively, or just view them as fan activities? If Nintendo has any policies, please let us know.
A 14


  As the principle, please understand that the question is regarding a rather delicate issue to which no one can perhaps identify a clear-cut criterion. Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties' world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.

  In these meanings, we cannot say OK to any and all such activities and, at the same time, it is not feasible for us to immediately respond to each small issue of this nature every time. However, these days an individual can easily transmit information through the Internet. Hearing your question today, as we cannot find these problems only by ourselves, we feel that a kind of contact window should be set up so that people can somehow report to us any inappropriate uses of Nintendo's intellectual properties which diminish their dignities or values, so that we can respond appropriately.

Q 15   I think that the improvement of Shopping Channel, which sells DSiWare or WiiWare, has been suspended for some time. What action is Nintendo going to take? In addition, the amount of WiiWare software seems to have been decreasing recently. Do you have any ideas to enhance this service?
A 15


  Please let me start with some supplementary information about DSiWare and WiiWare as there might be shareholders who do not know much about them. For Nintendo DSi and Wii, there are software titles which can be bought through the Internet. These titles are comparatively small-scale and less expensive. As the physical, packaged software titles which are sold at the retail outlets today are comparatively more expensive and they are meant to be sold in large volumes, the publishers invest large amounts of money in the development and the advertising. Under this business model, it is difficult to develop small but interesting products. Therefore, we started the DSiWare and WiiWare system as an alternative method for selling the small-scale products with unique ideas, while we continue to sell the large-scale software in stores.

  Through the operation of these services, we are now sharply feeling the difficulty of encouraging customers to move proactively. "Moving proactively" means that customers voluntarily start up the software called DSi Shop for Nintendo DSi or Wii Shopping Channel for Wii, then check the list of available titles, and finally choose the desired software from among a list. It is very hard to make customers complete this process willingly. As I have explained during a Q & A session on another occasion previously, the current system of DSi Shop or Wii Shopping Channel is a kind of "nomination buying" where customers, who already have enough knowledge about the product, directly seek out what they want and bring it to the cash register immediately. We feel that such a system does not capture any of the excitement of shopping at all. These services will not succeed unless customers have an enjoyable shopping experience. Another challenge is that customers may not access DSi Shop or Wii Shopping Channel even if it is enjoyable. I mean, if customers do not know about the release of new software unless they access DSi Shop or Wii Shopping Channel, do you think they would access it repeatedly if there was no new software when they visited? It is just not realistic.

  We are thinking the release of new hardware should be good timing for a dramatic improvement of this situation. In addition to the function of "3D graphics without 3D glasses," Nintendo 3DS will have enhanced wireless communication function. Nintendo 3DS will receive various pieces of information automatically if there is a chance of communication while a user carries it even when he or she does not try to start communication proactively by unfolding Nintendo 3DS. Please just think about the cell phones which automatically check whether there are any receivable emails, and if there are, vibrate or ring to notify users. By combining Nintendo 3DS with such function, we are now planning to expand our digital-distribution type of business. Regarding the other concern that the amount of software seems to have been decreasing recently or there seems to be no appealing software, we guess there are two reasons behind this - Nintendo's lack of effort and that the potential of this channel hasn't been realized by the third party software developers. Since Nintendo DS and Wii are still active platforms, we would like to do our best to fulfill user demand as much as possible.

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