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Iwata discusses Wii U Online Strategy

by Bill Hess on July 3, 2012


In a recent investor briefing, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata discusses the online strategy for the Wii U.  The conversation took place at the 72nd annual general meeting of shareholders for Nintendo.  There, investors voiced concerns about the rising costs associated with Nintendo exploring the online arena with the Wii U, a space where the company has watched its competitors dominate for some time.

So how does Nintendo plan to generate negate the costs associated with the Nintendo Network?  They won’t be charging a penny for access like Microsoft, and there aren’t any premium tiers scheduled like the PlayStation Plus. Instead, Nintendo seems to have their eye on other methods.

“We cannot promise here that Nintendo will always provide you with online services free of charge no matter how deep the experiences are that it may provide, but at least we are not thinking of asking our consumers to pay money to just casually get access to our ordinary online services.”

“However, our aim is that network services will eventually contribute to our overall profits even if they are available for free,” Iwata continues. “More specifically, network services will let you communicate with other people, visualize what they are interested in and tell you something you did not know. Haven’t you ever had an experience that one of your friends introduced you to a song or a movie and that you regret not watching the movies by a certain director or listening to the songs by a certain artist in your life until then? If we are not aware of them, they are virtually nonexistent to us. Exactly the same thing can be said about video games. In developing a network service called “Miiverse” available for the Wii U, we are pursuing how to amplify and transmit consumers’ empathy about a game.”

Nintendo doesn’t expect for there to be a windfall of profits at the onset of the Nintendo Network, but with time the infrastructure costs will be “achieved eventually,” the CEO concluded.

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  • Allen

    I love Nintendo but am still very worried for them and the Wii U. It’s just a puddle jump, a bandaid to fix a large gap between Nintendo and the rest of the gaming world.

    Nintendo let me down on the Wii as they have not had a large library of great games, their prices of their games do not drop fast enough, the online connectivity sucks and they haven’t given enough games to purchase online and not enough 1st party titles. I would have liked to see at least 1 more Mario game like New Super Mario Bro’s Wii. This is after all the best selling Nintendo to date, but I feel shorted. Orig. Nintendo (2nd best selling) had 3 awesome Mario Bros. Games.

    Anyways Nintendo won’t be releasing at a low cost, they won’t have the innovation of motion controls (also not improving) & they do not have the experience in the core and online market. With graphics that are up in the air (some say as good as PS3/360, some say almost as good, some say a little better). I have a feeling that most will opt to wait for PS4/720 except those that live and breath Nintendo.

  • Chomper

    Iwata is a slick bastard.

  • uzavic

    Allen, are you sure you paid enough attention to the Wii. You sound like you did not. 1st party: SMG, SMG 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Zelda TP, Zelda SS, Kirby Epic Yarn, Kirby Returns to Dreamland, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid Prime Trilogy (3 games), Metroid Other M, Wario ware, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, Mario Party 9, Mario Golf, Strikers, Tennis, Sports Mix, and Xenoblade. Damn amazing 1st party showing imo. 3rd party: Capcom vs Tat, Red Steel 1 & 2, COD World at War, Goldeneye, Okami, RE 4, No More Heroes 1 & 2, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, A boy and his blob, Zack and Wiki…..need I really continue? I mean I have left off a lot like titles such as Super Paper Mario.

    • Cool dude

      Havent you heard? he secludes himself in the woods where he plays his… wait for it… PS3!!

  • Allen

    It’s fine if you guys don’t agree with me but I just don’t understand why.

    Wii did good because of these things:

    (1) Innovative – motion controls & backwards compat/optional games. Retro gaming NES, SNES etc.
    (2) Cheaper than the rest
    (3) Wii Fit came out at the right time.

    Other than that it’s just their 1st party titles. I personally didn’t like Mario Galaxy and many of the others. The type of gameplay I like is New Super Mario Bros Wii, Kirby both epic yarn and return to dreamland (dreamland is awesome, way overdelivered on that game).

    But the prices of their games remain high Exp. Donky Kong Country – that game is still $40, Kirby is same way and a few others.

    Nintendo won’t have anything that made the Wii a success for the Wii U. They are relatively new to the core/online market and they are not doing anything to improve their motion controls.

    Again I love Nintendo, but because of all this I see that you are all wrong. Wii U will not sell a fraction of the Wii.

  • uzavic

    Allen, your statement was basically ‘the Wii did not have any quality first party games’. I proved that wrong. If you had said ‘the wii had no games that I liked’…I would not have argued your opinion. Now the Wii U: we have no effing idea how it will do, but

    1. It is innovative’ gamepad….nuff said.
    2. Unless Sony and Microsoft cut bluray and all the media center ideas they will be more expensive.
    3. Wii Fit… I mean really? The damn console was still pushing out around 20 million. Then within a year or sp released its best games…try again. That has no relation to the Wii U either.

    Then there is the whole Nintendo is new to the core/online market. Online…not really unless your speaking of quality multiplayer. Core? Hello! The NES, Gameboys, SNES, 64, and Gamecube catered to the core. Most of their IPs cater to the core. Try again. Wii U will not sell like the Wii, but will push 50-60 million more than likely.

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