IR Information

The 75th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
Q & A

Q 4

I think it is a well-known fact that Nintendo of America is the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners. It has been 10 years since the company succeeded this position from the previous president of Nintendo, Mr. Yamauchi, and I would like to know what advantages the company has had and what merits there will be for the company in the future by maintaining this position. Also, I heard in January this year that Randy Johnson would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I speculate that it might be possible for the Seattle Mariners to consider retiring his uniform number of 51, but to Japanese people, the uniform number 51 of the Seattle Mariners belongs to Ichiro Suzuki. About this possibility, I would like to know the opinion of Mr. Iwata who is also the CEO of the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners, Nintendo of America.

A 4


You are correct that Nintendo of America, which is responsible for marketing our products in the Americas, is currently the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners. That ownership used to belong to the late Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, who was the president of the company before me. The operational condition of the team had become better (than when Mr. Yamauchi became the principal owner of the team), and Mr. Yamauchi also wanted to be prepared for a number of things after his future death, so Nintendo of America succeeded his position.

Nintendo was able to establish a relationship with the Seattle Mariners with such background. As the media reported, it was rather an exceptional thing for a Japanese company to become the principal owner of a Major League Baseball team. Nintendo was able to have such a unique position, which cannot be secured only by paying money, and we cherish this relationship.

Regarding the uniform number 51, Nintendo of America is not the 100 percent owner of the Seattle Mariners, and it makes important decisions with other owners of the team. I have personally met with Ichiro several times and I personally would like to maintain a good relationship with him. However, it is not appropriate for the CEO of Nintendo of America to share my comments on your speculation at this sort of public occasion. Thank you for your understanding.

Q 5

The previous corporate headquarters was near Tobakaido Station along the Keihan Main Line. I would like to know how the previous headquarters will be used in future.

A 5


Nintendo moved its corporate headquarters to where it is now, at Hokotate-cho, Kamitoba, in November of 2000. Until then, the headquarters was at the buildings near Tobakaido Station, and I believe some of you may have come to a general meeting of shareholders there in the past. Right after we moved to the current headquarters, the number of employees working at the previous headquarters near Tobakaido Station greatly declined. After that, because the new headquarters became cramped, we moved some of the development departments back to the previous headquarters and had them work separately. Each year, product research and development becomes more sophisticated, and we knew that unless we concentrated many people’s energy in one place, we would not be able to develop products that would satisfy our consumers worldwide, so we proactively recruited development staff to strengthen our research and development. As a result, employees were forced to work at separate offices for the lack of space at the current headquarters. This situation led to our decision to build the Development Center (in 2014). By building the Development Center, we were able to concentrate our development teams here (at the Development Center). One of the characteristics of Nintendo is that both the hardware and software development teams are in one building, making it easier to exchange thoughts and opinions with each other even though they are on different floors. By giving each other advice and inspiring each other, the development teams develop products that astonish and entertain the world; therefore, I believe building the Development Center was truly meaningful to consolidate our development teams.

Now, at the previous headquarters, Mario Club Co., Ltd. (which is a Nintendo subsidiary) performs debug operations (an operation to check if the software runs as the developer intended) and difficulty adjustments for Nintendo products. The number of people involved in these operations has been increasing, and recently, we have made a shielded room in which the walls shut out all electronic waves from outside the room. In the room, they bring together numerous Nintendo 3DS systems and debug game software that is played using a wireless connection. Like such, we are making full use of the remaining buildings (at the previous headquarters). At this point, because we have not specifically decided how we will use the previous headquarters in the future, I cannot tell you of any plans at this moment. As of now, Mario Club is effectively utilizing the previous headquarters, and I believe any plans on the use will be decided based on Mario Club’s human resource planning.

Q 6

At E3 this year, I felt that Nintendo announced very few software titles. There has been some talk about third-party support today, but I think that these third parties look at the software lineup each company announces at E3 to gauge how much they can expect from each home console hardware and on which hardware they should release their software. I also think that a number of game fans also pay attention to the software titles Nintendo announces at E3 in order to determine if the lineup is worthy of their purchasing the hardware. What is the reason behind your decision to focus on the titles to be released only in 2015 at this year’s E3? Will you take a similar approach in the future as well and limit the E3 announcements to the software to be released in the near future?

A 6


E3 this year was held a week later than it has been held in the last few years, and it was held right before our general meeting of shareholders. Including the preparations for this meeting, I prioritized my works in Japan and did not travel to the U.S. to attend E3. As a representative of our board of directors who attended E3 this year, I would like to ask Mr. Miyamoto to talk about it. There will be a video that I would like to show afterward.

Shigeru Miyamoto (Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Entertainment Analysis & Development Division):

E3 is the annual industry trade show that is usually held around May or June in the U.S. It is true that E3 has the aspect that the shareholder just mentioned. It actually started as a trade show for the U.S. market, and due to the spread of the Internet, the information dispatched at E3 spread around the world. Nintendo views E3 as not only an industry trade show in the U.S. but also as an occasion with which the entire Nintendo group should be involved.

For this year’s E3 in particular, Nintendo focused on the products that are significant for our doing business in the U.S. this year. However, depending on the year, we focus on not only the software that will be released immediately after E3 or right after the turn of the year but also the products that will be released much later or experimental demos to showcase future possibilities. For example, during last year’s E3, we highlighted some of our experimental software to demonstrate the unique attractions of the Wii U hardware because its appeal had not yet been sufficiently conveyed. Because compared to last year, we now see people in the U.S. are gradually realizing the compelling nature of Wii U hardware, we decided to showcase a number of products scheduled to be released that will have a direct effect on our business in the near term. On the first day of E3, Nintendo aired its online video presentation “Nintendo Digital Event” and introduced to the viewers software that the company would showcase at our E3 booth. Since we mainly included the software that would be released before the end of this year, the entire software lineup appeared to be small. And because we did not include a number of third-party titles, we must’ve ended up giving people the impression that not so many titles will be released on our platforms in future. As for future titles, since we only introduced the software to be sold early next year, we acknowledge the criticism from our fans that we failed to excite them with new proposals. On the other hand, when we looked at our booth at E3 this year, I had a solid feeling that our trade customers appreciated the very fact that they were able to play the software which soon would be released into the market and that many of them were Nintendo-like software titles. Other than Nintendo, the major hardware manufacturers, Sony and Microsoft, also had booths, and I got the general impression that they were showcasing not only the products for this year but also many products for next year or the year after and, because of that, introductions for many of their software titles were done visually, not with playable demos. Also, many demonstrations for virtual reality devices have been conducted at recent trade shows, and at this year’s E3, I noticed a number of dream-like demonstrations for which the schedule and format for commercialization are unknown. The current software for these virtual reality devices cannot be played simultaneously by a number of people, and since it is generally expected that the development for the applicable software for a high-performance device will take two to three years, there were a number of visual demonstrations for virtual reality devices. Amid this atmosphere, because the visitors to our booth were able to pick up the controllers and try out the playable software, I believe they were able to appreciate, among other things, our focus that Wii U is a home video game system that we would like people to enjoy in their living rooms. I have participated in a number of media interviews, and the comments from reporters also attest this impression.


We recognize that we have let down a number of the online viewers of this year’s E3, especially the avid Nintendo fans, because we did not show what they had expected. On the other hand, since E3 was originally a U.S. trade show, when we consider what kind of messages we should dispatch and in what fashion, while we have to take into consideration the impression that we may give to people outside the U.S., we have been very mindful about how we can maximize our immediate business in the U.S. this year. While it is not so often reported in Japan and may not be possible to correctly convey everything we did at E3 this year, here is a video that I would like you to watch.

(While showing the video) This is the footage from the E3 show floor. E3 takes place at a venue called the Los Angeles Convention Center, which you may want to compare with Makuhari Messe in Japan, and this is Nintendo’s booth. One thing I should say about Nintendo’s E3 booth is that, unlike the other booths in general, most of the visitors to our booth were smiling and actually picking up the controllers and playing with our games. So, this was one big difference because a number of the visitors to other booths appeared to have spent a lot of time just watching game videos. Other than these show floor activities, Nintendo did not hold a press conference this year, but we did air our “Nintendo Digital Event” Internet program, and even before the Digital Event, we aired another video presentation to announce the new content of “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.” We also broadcast our event titled “Nintendo World Championships 2015” live via the Internet. This event used several Nintendo game software titles to decide the world’s most skillful player. There was a lot of excitement from the visitors and the contenders. So, we listen sincerely to the voices of fans who were not happy about the announcements we made in the online Digital Event, and we will have to make further efforts to improve. But when it comes to the reactions to our E3 activities overall, the reactions from trade customers and the media were not that unfavorable. I hope you will understand it.

Once again, about the reason why at E3 this year we focused on the titles that will be released in the near future, as Mr. Miyamoto just said, which points we should focus on at E3 change every year depending on the development status of each product and future deployment schedule. When we think it necessary to discuss future products even if the release timing is yet to be determined, we may do so without being able to discuss the details, and when we have more concrete proposals on the products to be released in the near future, we will try to explain the appeal of that product as best as we can. Since we determine our E3 theme each year, you might have had quite a different impression this year in comparison to last year. We are listening to people’s opinions and we will try to improve next year and beyond.


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