Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had some candid things to say about Nintendo’s future plans and current strategies concerning the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS XL, even claiming that the latter system would be the Big N’s last serious attempt at 3D gaming. Given the rough launch of the original 3DS, it’s hard to be surprised.
In an in-depth, lengthy interview with British national news site The Independent, Iwata spoke at length about the disappointment at posting a loss in profits and revenue early this year, stating that he personally accepted the blame. Iwata still noted that Nintendo faced several problems to lead off 2012, including the exchange rate for the Japanese Yen and selling the first 3DS line at a loss after cutting the price.
Disappointingly, Iwata also sidesteps a question about Nintendo losing money due to burgeoning mobile market lead by Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, claiming that Nintendo just isn’t releasing games quickly enough:
I think it’s much more about our lack of ability to release software in a timely matter that will motivate people to go out and buy our gaming hardware. But obviously smartphones and tablets have changed the environment that we operate in and we can no longer offer some kinds of games experiences that couldn’t also easily be offered on a smartphone, so we need to differentiate and offer something exclusive.
By far, the most interesting note in the whole interview is Iwata’s statement that Nintendo won’t be aggressively pursing 3D gaming with future consoles or the Wii U. As he puts it, the “wow” factor of 3D gaming isn’t enough to justify using it extensively in many future Nintendo projects.
Heck, he even references how Nintendo tried 3D gaming before with Virtual Boy. That’s a pretty good indication of what he thinks about the future of 3D gaming in its current state:
I personally think that for TV, unless someone brings out technology where you have glasses-free very high quality TV, then there’s not a big market there. But, in terms of videogames, 3D has been a topic for a long time, I don’t know if you remember the Virtual Boy (laughs)?
But 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.
Check out the entire piece at The Independent, and make sure to look out for some key stuff in the text. One thing that surprised me is how close they were to including a second Circle Pad in the 3DS XL.
Apparently, the difference was making the system bigger or cutting down the size of the battery life, and Nintendo decided that it was better to have a second analog control as a separately-purchased piece. It’s quite interesting, and a very frank insight into why Nintendo’s made some of the decisions they have in the last two years.
Source: The Independent