/// Nintendo’s Iwata Blames Slow Wii U Sales on Software Gaps, Says Mobile Isn’t Impacting Industry

June 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital


Smartphones shaking up the game industry? Nah. That’s according to Iwata Satoru, Nintendo’s president and newly-appointed CEO of Nintendo of America. Iwata addressed the company’s stance on mobile and slow Wii U sales in an interview at the E3 gaming conference this week. “I am not of the opinion that the spread of smart devices has been impacting the video game industry,” Iwata said. When asked whether Nintendo games would ever come to said smart devices, such as the iPhone or Android phones, Iwata shook his head. “Nintendo has no intention to provide smart devices with our games — at all. Our IP is the most important asset with which we can attract people to our own platform.” Iwata’s remarks on smartphone and tablet gaming hardly come as a surprise to industry followers. The Japanese game-maker has been largely resistant to the idea of mobile apps as a part of its strategy, instead focusing its mobile efforts on its own DS handheld devices. Hardware competitors Sony and Microsoft, meanwhile, have introduced Android and iOS apps that act as companions to existing games and game consoles. Nintendo has been somewhat understated at this year’s E3, having launched its new Wii U console last fall. The company opted to hold a “software showcase” instead of a large press conference, and released news bits and game trailers via YouTube rather than splashing them across big screens on stage. And at press events held by third-party publishers Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, Nintendo got nary a shout-out. So yesterday, some of Nintendo’s most respected producers and developers appeared on stage to promote new games in the Super Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Donkey Kong, Pinkin and Legend of Zelda series. Two men wore cat ears. (Mario turns into a cat in the next version of Super Mario 3D World.) The move underscores Nintendo’s strategy of using its own, proprietary software titles to draw consumers to its hardware. In fact, Iwata says that’s been part of the problem with the Wii U, which has been slow to gain traction. (On a month-to-month basis, its seven-year-old counterparts, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, are outselling the Wii U.) “The reason why the Wii U has lost the momentum it had during the launch period has something to do with the fact that Nintendo hasn’t been able to provide a strong software line-up, one game after the other, without too many intervals,” Iwata said. “Few people are willing to purchase hardware for the sake of purchasing hardware themselves, so we need to constantly provide the market with software.” RELATED POSTS: Xbox May Be Media-App-Friendly, but Microsoft’s E3 Event Was All About the Games Microsoft: Xbox One Comes Out in November, Will Cost $499 in the U.S. Microsoft: The Xbox 360 Is Not Dead Yet, With New Hardware Available Today At This Year’s E3, Smaller Companies Get a Chance to Stand Out

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Nintendo’s Iwata Blames Slow Wii U Sales on Software Gaps, Says Mobile Isn’t Impacting Industry


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