IR Information

The 71st Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
Q & A
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Q 10   In the first half of 2009, the lack of software for the Wii became serious. How will the software releases for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U be from now? Also, are software publishers collaborating with Nintendo?
A 10


  I would like to explain about it in an organized way. First, in the first half of 2009, when the Wii lost its momentum, we could not offer new titles for a certain period of time. We ourselves have to reflect on this situation. We usually plan to release software in a way like, first we release this, then this and then that. But the development does not always proceed as it is planned. For example, if we feel that certain software will end up being boring if we continue to develop it in the same way, we will have to polish it. We sometimes change the content substantially, and in that case, the date of the release schedule has to be significantly changed.

  In order to avoid such a situation, there are two points. One is "how to develop a steady stream of software internally at Nintendo," and the other is "how to ask for the cooperation of other companies."

  As a matter of fact, at the times the Nintendo DS and the Wii were released, we could not make the software publishers appreciate our systems highly and count on them. At the time, Nintendo was driven to the edge of the ring, and it was said (in the industry), "It is a question of how long Nintendo can remain a hardware provider." Regarding home video game consoles, the Wii was referred to by its development codename "Revolution" at that time, but it was openly written in articles that "Revolution will be the very last home video game system for Nintendo," and reporters and analysts also said similar things to me directly. In such a situation, it is a fact that there were few developers outside of the company who were thinking "Let's bet our business on it." Both the Nintendo DS and the Wii were in such situations at the beginning, and the spread of the hardware proceeded mainly because of Nintendo software. After the hardware spread, in the case of the Nintendo DS, the software publishers started to move and said, "The Nintendo DS is selling well," and "Let's us join this stream," which lead to several hits in the relatively early stages of the Nintendo DS. This made the software publishers believe that they could do business on the Nintendo DS, and good teams from each company started to work on Nintendo DS software. Because of this, many titles from third-party software publishers could be seen for Nintendo DS software.

  Regarding the Wii, the lack of software was extreme only in Japan, and the situation is a little different in the overseas markets but, at first, we thought that time would solve the issues for the Wii just as it had done for the Nintendo DS, but this was not the case. As a result, the software publishers put some effort into creating some titles, but the sales did not reach their expectations on the Wii, which made them think that they could not have high expectations for business on the Wii. At that time, a title called "Monster Hunter Portable" was selling well on Sony's handheld gaming device, PlayStation Portable. Only one title changed the whole momentum of that hardware, and because this all happened at the same time, the software publishers who were considering developing software for the Wii changed their minds and decided to make it for the PlayStation Portable. Because of this, when Nintendo failed to seamlessly provide software, there were no other titles to fill up the gaps.

  In that sense, and this is common to both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, we think that it is important to encourage the software publishers to think "This is a platform on which we can perform our business" in the very first stage of the platform. We think it very important to make several hits from the third-party software publishers within the first year from the release of the platform, while offering Nintendo software seamlessly. In order to achieve this goal, we have shared information about the new hardware with the software publishers earlier than we did previously and built a cooperative structure, and we are developing several titles in collaboration with these publishers. I cannot talk in detail about the names of the titles, or with which publishers we are currently collaborating, because we have not announced this information yet, but what we are aiming for with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U is, platforms which have much more software and a wider variety of software than the former Nintendo DS or Wii. Therefore, we are thinking of creating an environment where software from other companies will become hits. Please understand that Nintendo is prepared to invest in order to make this a reality.

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