Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s global president, has said in a new interview that Wii U being the first ‘Next Generation’ console to market is relatively meaningless.
“Being first in the next generation race is not important at all,” Iwata told Gamasutra. “One of the reasons we believe this is the time for Nintendo to launch the Wii U is it’s going to be important for the world.”
There is certainly a lot of pressure on Nintendo to perform, sales of the Wii are falling weekly, while the 3Ds is only just starting to hit its stride.
“Our intention is to return to profitability after just one year of losing money,” he says. “I just cannot say that it’s a good thing for Nintendo at all to record an annual loss for two or more years in a row. … The [loss of the] past year is due to the 3DS hardware sales. We were selling hardware below the cost, so this year we are already recovering and improving the profitability of the 3DS.
“The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched,” he says. “The environment is different. Wii U is going to be launching in a different environment than when the Wii was launched. Also, the involvement surrounding [mobile and social] businesses is different than several years ago.”
Many people feel that Nintendo should have moved to software only development years ago, shareholders included, however Iwata is of a different stance.
“Even when we were going to launch the Wii system, there were a lot of voice saying ‘Nintendo should stop making hardware’,” he says. “The reasoning behind that was Nintendo would not have any chance against Microsoft and Sony. The fact of the matter was: I did not think Nintendo should compete against these companies with the same message and same entertainment options for people.
“We have not changed our strategy. In other words, we just do not care what kind of ‘more beef’ console Microsoft and Sony might produce in 2013. Our focus is on how we can make our new console different than [others].”