Nintendo: Being first to the market isn't important

by Nathan Misa Featured 2 Comments 16 Votes 1011 Views 21/07/2012 Back to News

With the Wii U to be released by the end of 2012, Nintendo are in a good position. If following the logic of the last generation, in which the Xbox 360's one year head start over the Playstation 3 is often cited as the reason for the former's continued dominance in sales, then the Wii U's early launch is key to its success.

However, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata thinks being "first in the next generation race is not important at all," as he told Gamasutra in a recent interview.

"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," Iwata said.

There is a lot of pressure on the Wii U taking into account Nintendo reported their first corporate loss in the company's history as a publicly traded firm. Iwata believes the timing of the Wii U will return Nintendo to profitability.

"Our intention is to return to profitability after just one year of losing money," he said. "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."

Though Iwata isn't concerned with being first to market, he is very concerned about its price, having learned from the 3DS launch.

"The pricing of Wii U is going to be one of the most important elements when it is going to be launched. 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."

As for the struggling Wii, which is seeing its final twilight years with minimal releases, Iwata believes there still is a market for the console. In response to critics slamming Nintendo for only playing catch-up in the HD specs department now with the Wii U, Iwata said "The fact of the matter was [at the time]: 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]."

Source: Gamasutra

By Nathan Misa- Writer Bio

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I personally don't think it's good to be the first to enter a new gen. Sure, You get the sales boost, But it's un-charted waters. You have to offer something new, amazing and affordable, All the while competing with the other "last-gen" consoles being cheaper and with a broader game library.

It's even more risky if the tech jump isn't that large between say the 360 and the next gen Playstation (that is, if SONY went into the next gen first, hypothetically speaking)

For me, I wouldn't really be wanting to push next-gen until someone else does. That way, You can let them set a bar and it gives you something to work on beating :P
Its important for nintendo to be different and to offer new experiences for gamers. If they can put a good price on a new system that doesn't compete with the other companies but still manages to be powerful enough to support the games that will attract gamers and developers to it, then Nintendo has a chance to make some money. But if even one thing is off, it could spell distaster when people may not be swayed towards the new system.

Nintendo is really under alot of pressure this time, and im really hoping that can do more then turn a piece of coal into a diamond. In the end its going to matter most if they can live up to what they claim to offer, thats matters more then bieng the first of a new generation.

Im not sure if its going to even feel 'new generation' but its sure as hell going to be different then microsofts and sonys offerings in its own right.

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