I’ve had an issue with the “rush to the bottom” mentality on mobile markets for a long time now. Many people out there won’t even give a game a second look if you have to pay to download it. That’s part of the reason the free-to-play market has grown as big as it has. Now with Nintendo getting into that area of gaming they have to face these harsh realities. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata appears that he does understand the free-to market, but takes issue with calling many of the games there free-to-play.
“I do not like to use the term ‘Free-to-play. I have come to realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology, since so-called ‘Free-to-play’ should be referred to more accurately as ‘Free-to-start.’”
He also says that Nintendo is not looking to get exclusively into the free-to-start market and that all of their games may not use that model. He sees room for traditional games with set prices and thinks that Nintendo can overcome the problems inherent to the free-to market. He sees that as a viable option, but understands that not all of the games they release on mobile devices fit that option. Some could see release with more traditional fixed pricing options as well. He equated the value of content to the music industry.
“The thing that concerns me most is that, in the digital age, if we fail to make efforts to maintain the value of our content, there is the high possibility for the value to be greatly reduced as the history of the music industry has shown. On the other hand, I have no intention to deny the Free-to-start model. In fact, depending on how we approach this model, we may be able to overcome these problems.”
Nintendo’s recent announcement of a partnership with Japanese mobile company DeNA saw their stock temporarily rise as investors were excited about the notion of Nintendo finally jumping into the mobile market. Their first games are set to come out later this year and we’ll see then just what Nintendo has come up with to “overcome these problems”.
Innovation and Nintendo go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. That’s why it comes as no shocker when Mr. Iwata stated in a recent interview with Nikkei that Nintendo wants to surprise gamers with the Nintendo NX.
However, if you only expand upon existing hardware, it’s dull. In some shape or form, we’re always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person’s video gaming life.
The statement is vague to say the least but at least we know that they’re aiming to change things up again. The statement leads one to believe that they’re looking for a fresh reset rather then a continuation of the established hardware brands they’ve used for this console generation and the previous generation. This is Nintendo though, who knows what they have in store. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Nintendo wants to assure fans that they’re not getting out of the dedicated games business. Last year they announced their plans to get into fitness. Earlier this year they announced that the company is looking to branch out into education. Many fans might be worried that the company is looking to phase themselves out of the dedicated games business, but Nintendo wants to you know that’s not the case.
To go along with their announcement today of the mobile partnership Satoru Iwata also announced that they’re working on their next dedicated games console. It’s codenamed Nintendo NX.
“As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand new concept under the development codename NX,”
He said it’s too early to announce any details of the project, but that those details would come next year. Could we see a brand new Nintendo device in 2016? What does this mean for Wii U and 3DS?
The Wii U hasn’t done nearly as well as Nintendo would have liked it to. That fact can’t really be disputed. On the heels of Nintendo’s downgrading of Wii U and 3DS forecasts last week more news about Nintendo’s future is expected this week when their investor’s meeting goes down. Ahead of that meeting it’s being reported that Nintendo executives will be taking a paycut.
According to AFP Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is expected to take a 50% paycut, but he won’t be the only one doing so. Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda both will be taking salary hits of 30%. Other directors at the company will be taking a 20% cut.
This isn’t the first time that Nintendo executives have done this. During the struggles of the 3DS first year the group also took paycuts. These moves aren’t necessarily financial as these salaries wouldn’t make a huge dent in the company’s financials. It’s more of a symbolic gesture and one that these people wouldn’t necessarily have to have done. They are taking responsibility for the failures of Nintendo’s hardware and doing so while not having to fire or lay off any of the employees below them. Nintendo’s not hurting for cash and these employees didn’t need to cut their salary. Sometimes symbolic gestures are what you need.
Stay tuned here for more information about all of Nintendo’s financial news as it unfolds this week.
Animal Crossing is one of those titles that everyone on the staff is eagerly anticipating. It’s going to completely grind anything on this site to a halt but we can’t wait. There have even been emails about people contemplating importing a Japanese 3DS to play the game early. The franchise is known to have lots of special events with items avaliable to players throughout the year and Animal Crossing: New Leaf is going to be no exception.
Nintendo has some ambitious things in the works and they’re even partnering with real world designers to bring different items, like clothing, into the game. If you’re worried about Nintendo charging for any of these items, have no fear. While Nintendo is getting into the business of paid DLC, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata had the following to say about paid DLC in Animal Crossing:
“That sort of element is absolutely not being added.”
While it would have been very easy for Nintendo to start charging real world dollars for these virtual items, and fans would have bought them, they’re not going that route. Everything in the game will remain free.
Nintendo has already said they’re going to be talking about the Wii U more in September when they announce the launch date and price point of the system. They’re also going to take time to talk more about the third-party support the system is going to have. E3 showed a lot of third-party support, but most of it was ports or adaptations of games that are already on consoles; or will be before the Wii U is launched. There wasn’t much other support announced. Companies like Capcom and EA were surprisingly quiet on the support they’d have for the system. Mr. Iwata says that more announcements are on the way.
…before making the Wii U public we had to proactively go out to those third-party publishers because otherwise we would never have something for the launch of our system.
I think some of these projects have already been announced at E3, but there are other games in the works that haven’t been announced yet and in the autumn, when we announce price point and timing of the launch, we will also be able to announce some more third-party titles.
So, there will be more third-party titles announced for the Wii U. Many of these will probably not be launch titles, but some of them could be. I think the Wii U is primed for a good holiday run this year and if these titles are new announcements, or even exclusives to Wii U, it will only be good news. We’ve got a couple of months until we find out.
Back before the 3DS launched, and for essentially the first year of the system’s life, Nintendo was all about the 3D. They mentioned it every time anyone talked about the system and made sure it was a key focus of the marketing campaign. Now that the 3D boom has proven to be less important than people initially thought, Nintendo is backing down on 3D as a key marketing feature.
During E3 this year they hardly mentioned 3D and focused on the games themselves. Now, according to The Independent, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has confirmed 3D will be less of a focus for Nintendo going forward.
“I think when we launched the 3DS there was a kind of 3D boom, which is perhaps slightly on the wane again, but there are plenty of people out there that create 3D video and I think that some of those who create and distribute 3D video would be very interested in the 3DS XL, but as human beings are this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just have this 3D stereoscopic effect isn’t going to keep people excited.
I think it’s an important element, it makes graphics more impactful, it proves a sense of immersion that 2D doesn’t have, so I would say generally that 3D is better than 2D. It’s nice to have good graphics but not necessarily on their own, so I don’t think we’ll present [3D graphics] as one of the key features of our consoles but will probably stick with 3D as one of the minor elements of our consoles in the future.”
What do you think this means for the future of the 3DS? Is there going to be any real change in the system, or the games that are developed for it? I think it’s a great enhancement to the experience and I still — to this day — play with my 3D slider all the way up. Have I seen any games that absolutely require the feature? No, but it has an effect on the way you interact with some of the games and I do think it makes the whole experience more immersive. It’s nice to walk into a game environment and feel the environment take up real space. It gives me a better sense of depth and positioning in some cases. I also think ,in most cases, it actually makes the visual parts of the game look better.
I hope this means developers, especially Nintendo as they’ve been one of the better users of 3D on the system, won’t move away from 3D and we still get plenty of titles that really use the 3D to good effect. I was unsure about 3D before playing the 3DS as I didn’t want to wear glasses over my glasses, but the experience on the handheld has been good and I’m excited to see the possibilities on the 3DS XL later this year.