Iwata's been making the rounds, thought this was interesting.
ATD: Over the years, there have been many references to the console wars between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Are they still alive?
SI: Often times, we have heard such terms as console wars, but we are actually always pushing ourselves and we are not engaged in such limited competition. For example, have we really been battling against only Sony and Microsoft?
With the Wii, Nintendo has been trying to expand the game population. … In that sense, I have said in interviews in the past, that we have been fighting against the indifference from consumers.
And also, as you know, videogames can be played many other ways today.
They are available on iPhone, iPad and Android, so today it does not make any sense to discuss console wars between the three platform holders. In fact, our thinking has always been in trying to grab the limited amount of spare time people have and always try to offer some unprecedented attraction to the consumer.
ATD: In February, you talked about how you disagreed with the emphasis of mobile and social games because they are free or 99 cents. But as mobile phones and Apple compete with Nintendo’s core business, which is casual gaming, would you consider a freemium model, where you’d monetize with virtual goods or advertising?
SI: Nintendo has been a very unique company because it’s not just hardware, but also one of the major software publishers. Because it is in a unique position, it’s given us a unique advantage. We have no intention to provide a property to any other platforms, or making them available in a mode that does not require consumers to pay at all. Nintendo is a company, which is trying to maintain the overall value of video games.
Of course, if Nintendo asks consumers to pay more money than the other platforms, then it’s Nintendo’s mission to provide the added value for which the people are willing to pay. In order to do that, we must remain unique and cannot be reproduced somewhere else. Something new, something fun and some surprise.
If we were simply going to say OK, the only the way we could sell more products is by decreasing the price, then there wouldn’t be a bright future and the entire industry will fold. When we look at the entire system of freemium, it’s not always that everyone is happy with the offers. Actually, there’s only a limited number of people who are willing to pay and many others are not paying for game titles at all.
Nintendo is not interested.
If we are going to do something similar, we would come up with a completely unique environment.
ATD: Please clarify. You would come up with something completely unique that is free?
SI: I’m not interested in offering software for free of charge. That’s because I myself am one of the game developers, who in the future wants to make efforts so the value of the software will be appreciated by the consumers.