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Offline famicomplicated

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Iwata Q&A
« on: February 06, 2009, 08:08:10 PM »
The Nintendo big cheese answers questions about Wii Music's "failure," DSi pricing, the upcoming storage solution, and more.
 http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/newsArt.cfm?artid=17697

 President of Nintendo Satoru Iwata recently sat down with journalists to answer questions after the company's third quarter financial briefing and turned out to be surprisingly forthright on the company's successes and failures. His answers covered a wide range of topics and provided interesting info on upcoming developments for the company.    


Sales of first party software was a major part of the Q&A; one reporter queried Iwata about whether he considered Wii Music a failure since it had only sold 400,000 units in Japan (the game has moved an additional 2 million units in overseas markets). This was substantially less than the sales of earlier hits like Wii Sports and Wii Fit.    


In response, Iwata pointed out that Brain Age did not sell well in its first few weeks on sale either, reaching around only 45,000 units during its launch week. However, Brain Age went on to become one of the biggest sellers for Nintendo.   However, Iwata admitted that he felt Nintendo has failed somewhat in conveying the charm of Wii Music and that currently people's responses to the title were either immensely positive or extremely negative. He expressed hoped to change the perception of the title and said that he hoped it would become another evergreen seller.    


Iwata also expressed disappointment that Nintendo failed to deliver a product or service last year that could get the Japanese market really excited. He divulged that both Animal Crossing and Wii Music were below expectations in that department despite strong momentum overseas. Iwata said that Nintendo was working hard to ensure that they rectify this situation and that they already have more ideas to prevent this happening in 2009.    


Concerning the DSi launching elsewhere in the world, Iwata said that the newer model would ship alongside the existing DSLite model. This is how Nintendo has handled the DSi in Japan, and Iwata said that overseas markets would see similar price differences between their two DS models.   For comparison, the camera-enabled DSi currently sells for about $180 in Japan, while the DS Lite goes for about $150.    


When asked about a promotional campaign Iwata had mentioned at the DSi launch, wherein which 500 Nintendo Points would be given to anyone who connects their Wii to the Internet, he restated that it would indeed be happening this spring in Japan.    


Then, just to quash any fears Wii owners may have concerning storage problems, Iwata also reconfirmed that around the same period there would also be a system update to address space issues.   No final details are known, except that it will involve SD cards in some fashion. Whether or not this means allowing booting games from the SD cards, or simply a fast way of swapping games from the Wii menu to the cards and back, remains to be seen.    


Iwata covered many other questions during the Q&A, so be sure to read the english transcript of the session here.

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Offline Kairon

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 08:26:35 PM »
I think it's real funny how everyone is discussing Wii music as a failure when the game has already shipped 2.5 million units worldwide.
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Offline King of Twitch

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 09:01:52 PM »

Kairon get an interview with Iwata.

WOA. GirlPower says jump and Kairon says how high?!

This is a very informative article, thank you.
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Offline Kairon

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 09:05:12 PM »

Kairon get an interview with Iwata.

WOA. GirlPower says jump and Kairon says how high?!

This is a very informative article, thank you.

Sorry, but this is based on Iwata's Q and A session with journalists after their Q3 financial presentation. Or did you think I really flew over to Japan? &P
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Offline King of Twitch

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 09:17:59 PM »
All I know is: she said: get an interview; and it was so. And NWR said it was good; and it was so.
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Offline WuTangTurtle

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 10:44:51 PM »
hey I'll jump to the moon if they can give me some type of hard drive support......it aggravates me everytime they want me to update a channel or something and i don't have enough room to even do that, let alone get a new vc or wiiware game.  Hey Nintendo I still have like $5 just waiting to be spent.

Anyways thanks for the article, it's reassuring that they are trying.

Offline AV

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 01:30:29 AM »
hey I'll jump to the moon if they can give me some type of hard drive support......it aggravates me everytime they want me to update a channel or something and i don't have enough room to even do that, let alone get a new vc or wiiware game.  Hey Nintendo I still have like $5 just waiting to be spent.

Anyways thanks for the article, it's reassuring that they are trying.

All signs point toward they just allow you to read/save games from SDcard and probably expanding it to 4 gig. My guess the problem is just finding a great way to encrypt it so you can't just copy vc games onto your computer and play somebodies else. Even 2 gig, SD cards are dirt cheap and not that much hassle to switch around. I got mario 64, sin and punishment, world of goo, lost winds, gyrostar, tetris party, cho aniki and so many games on my SD card 2gig and it still has ton of space.

They already allow you to move them fast to wii/sd.

Offline Kairon

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 02:03:18 AM »
I only recently filled up 1gig of space, that means I can keep buying games at this absolutely ridiculous pace for about another 1.5 years with just one 2gig card!
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Offline NovaQ

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 11:49:07 AM »
Quote
Iwata also expressed disappointment that Nintendo failed to deliver a product or service last year that could get the Japanese market really excited. He divulged that both Animal Crossing and Wii Music were below expectations in that department despite strong momentum overseas. Iwata said that Nintendo was working hard to ensure that they rectify this situation and that they already have more ideas to prevent this happening in 2009.

I find it often refreshing when we get to hear what Iwata thinks about Nintendo and its games. I mean, anyone working high up in a company is going to try and spin things in their favor, but at least Iwata still sounds honest. He didn't say that he thought Wii Music or Animal Crossing were bad games (I'm not either), but he did openly acknowledge that they didn't instill much customer-wide excitement -- at least, not the big kind that other games have caused. He could've pointed to the games' successes so far and left it at that, but instead he's looking for ways to improve Nintendo's situation in the new year.

It's also nice to see that general Japanese and American tastes in gaming are still somewhat in sync, so to speak, as Wii Music and AC got mixed reactions over here, too.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 11:55:42 AM by NovaQ »
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Offline Kairon

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 03:42:14 PM »
I find it often refreshing when we get to hear what Iwata thinks about Nintendo and its games. I mean, anyone working high up in a company is going to try and spin things in their favor, but at least Iwata still sounds honest. He didn't say that he thought Wii Music or Animal Crossing were bad games (I'm not either), but he did openly acknowledge that they didn't instill much customer-wide excitement -- at least, not the big kind that other games have caused. He could've pointed to the games' successes so far and left it at that, but instead he's looking for ways to improve Nintendo's situation in the new year.

It's also nice to see that general Japanese and American tastes in gaming are still somewhat in sync, so to speak, as Wii Music and AC got mixed reactions over here, too.

I agree. Yamauchi choosing Iwata to take over the reins really looks like more and more of an amazingly good decision for Nintendo.
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A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
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Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.

Offline decoyman

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 06:06:10 PM »
Quote
Whether or not this means allowing booting games from the SD cards, enabling SDHC compatibility, or simply a fast way of swapping games from the Wii menu to the cards and back, remains to be seen

Fix't

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Offline Bayou

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 05:36:01 AM »
Quote
Whether or not this means allowing booting games from the SD cards, enabling SDHC compatibility, or simply a fast way of swapping games from the Wii menu to the cards and back, remains to be seen

Fix't

Gimme my SDHC, Nintendo. Homebrewers already have it. Just flip the switch and be done with it.

*cough*

Heh I swear I only post when this topic comes up, but I am pretty sure that you cannot make a SD card reader(WIIder from now on) become SDHC by a software upgrade alone(this is assuming that the WIIder wasnt built with SDHC specification, the only scenario to contradict the following is that the WIIder could have been built to SDHC standards and then had it disabled through software, which I highly doubt N paying for the extra functionality only not to have a downloadable console upgrade by now considering how successful Wiiware and Virtual console have been), it would have to be a micro 32x style mount to the WIIder in order to expand the memory accessible per card or like some one else has stated, a usb plug in option into a hard drive or memory card reader (though considering how many tech companies need a bone thrown at them right now, why not both in one eh?). With Iwata reiterating that it will be an SD card solution, I am becoming more positive that it will be a channel type solution in which you can play games directly from the WIIder instead of having to copy them to your WII's built in card.

Frankly this is good enough for me! (put some postage stamps on them so you can tell your Sd cards apart if it becomes a problem yo).
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 06:08:57 AM by Bayou »

Offline KDR_11k

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 06:42:27 AM »
It's not speculation, the homebrewers DID make the system take SDHC.

Offline Stogi

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 01:43:56 PM »
Sure did.

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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 04:36:20 PM »
Quote
It's also nice to see that general Japanese and American tastes in gaming are still somewhat in sync, so to speak, as Wii Music and AC got mixed reactions over here, too.

I like to see that, too.  I assumed that last year's Q4 lineup was a result of Nintendo thinking too much about Japan and not realizing that in North America we like having a big game around Christmas time.  I figured that in Japan that wasn't going to be a big deal.  Hell NCL's Japan centric tunnel vision is still in effect as they're focusing on Japan's Wii Music sales and completely ignoring the higher sales from the bigger markets outside Japan.

Iwata acknowledges that last year was pretty meh, though and that's great because then Nintendo will try to avoid that this year.  That's good for everybody.

Offline Bayou

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 05:19:51 AM »
It's not speculation, the homebrewers DID make the system take SDHC.

Its not a question of whether it can be done, it is a question of how it is done.

Was it done by physically opening up a WII system and reactivating the component through the hardware?

Or was it done by a software modification alone?
 
Lets take a somewhat relevant example, their was a report awhile back on NWR about an Nintendo official saying that every WII has built in DVD playing capabilities but was disabled on each system before shipping to stores.

Could it be true that the WIIder is SDHC but has been disabled?
Certainly but the problem here is that the specific Nintendo spokesperson also pointed out the WII's video playback cannot be reactivated through an update alone.
This is almost certainly true about the SDHC capabilities as well.

It all comes dow to the fact that it is not technically feasible for Nintendo to get all 40 some million WII's now sold back to the factory floor to be re modified.
Again if it is a purely software modification, then they can certainly make this available through their automatic update system.

Another indication that it is probably not a software mod; is that they would have done it already considering the amount of money potentially lost by slowing online sales versus the near inexpensive cost of having a program distributed through an automatic update.

I mean even if it is only one in 20 WII owners wanting such an upgrade, thats still 2 million customers purchasing more then one game a month online, or around 1000 wii points, 10$ or at least 20 million dollars a month that would take a knowledgeable WII system programmer paid say even 10,000$ dollars a month (most likely)less then a month to write and effectively distribute to all 2 million customers before said month has even ended! 

Seriously if this was the case, then after the WII gift upgrade this SDHC upgrade really should have been next on the list for upgrades helping maximize games sales.

Never the less I have seen very little info about about how homebrewers are making their WIIders SDHC compatible through a programming mod alone and stick with the more likely reality is that it takes a hardware activation to make this possible and thus is not the solution that Iwata is talking about.


« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 05:46:10 AM by Bayou »

Offline decoyman

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2009, 10:51:25 AM »
I'm pretty sure it's a software mod, but don't quote me on that. I can't be bothered to research points to back up my arguments right now. ;)

My thinking is that Ninty's somehow worried about piracy (aren't they always?), and giving access to more room to store stuff means someone could potentially find a way to do something evil to leverage that extra space in a way I don't even have the technical knowledge to fathom...

P.S. - Whenever you write WII instead of Wii, I imagine you saying it much louder and higher-pitched. :P Kudos on the word "Wiider", though. Of all the name naysayers back when the name was announced, I don't think any of them could have seen the positive side – that we would be privy to so many excellent and pertinent puns.
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Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2009, 11:02:30 AM »
I remember reading that the Wii uses the SDHC compatiable SD Card drive...but they did not have the Wii setup for it.

So I expect that Nintendo can unlock that with a firmware upgrade.

But the question is whether or not the Wii can read games from the SD Card or if a Firmware upgrade could designate apart of the internal memory for quick temporary uploads for playing games and then dropping them when not in use.


Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2009, 08:39:42 AM »
SDHC compatibility is in the latest version of the Homebrew Channel, which involves no hardware modification, it's entirely software, which means Nintendo could definitely do it. Also, when Nintendo said DVD playback couldn't be added with a software update they were lying, it has also been done through homebrew software.
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Offline NWR_DrewMG

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2009, 09:00:33 AM »
I refuse to believe that Nintendo hasn't been 100% forthcoming about their hardware.  Surely this can't be true?!
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Offline decoyman

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2009, 09:59:17 AM »
I refuse to believe that Nintendo hasn't been 100% forthcoming about their hardware.  Surely this can't be true?!

*pours a glass of kool-aid, offers it to DrewMG*

It's cherry-flavored, just like the Nintendo logo! :D
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Offline NWR_DrewMG

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2009, 10:14:49 AM »
I think the official term for Nintendo's Kool-Aid should be "Red Potion".
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Offline vudu

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2009, 01:49:07 PM »
It's cherry-flavored, just like the Nintendo logo! :D

The Nintendo logo is gray.  Get with the program.  ;)
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Offline decoyman

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2009, 02:08:30 PM »
It's cherry-flavored, just like the Nintendo logo! :D

The Nintendo logo is gray.  Get with the program.  ;)

That doesn't mean it's not still cherry-flavored... 8o
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Offline NWR_pap64

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Re: Iwata Q&A
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2009, 04:11:24 PM »
Quote
It's also nice to see that general Japanese and American tastes in gaming are still somewhat in sync, so to speak, as Wii Music and AC got mixed reactions over here, too.

I like to see that, too.  I assumed that last year's Q4 lineup was a result of Nintendo thinking too much about Japan and not realizing that in North America we like having a big game around Christmas time.  I figured that in Japan that wasn't going to be a big deal.  Hell NCL's Japan centric tunnel vision is still in effect as they're focusing on Japan's Wii Music sales and completely ignoring the higher sales from the bigger markets outside Japan.

Iwata acknowledges that last year was pretty meh, though and that's great because then Nintendo will try to avoid that this year.  That's good for everybody.

I know Wii Music received mixed reviews there, but the Japanese ate City Folk up like freshly made sushi. It hit number one there and stayed there for a week or two. It sold more copies there than in any other part of the world. So yes, City Folk was a hit there.

Regarding Wii Music, I think Nintendo considers it a "failure" because they tried hard to sell the game to those that loved Sports, Play and Fit, but the concept proved to be too niche for those families and non-players.

Nintendo dropped the ball with the marketing and advertising. At E3 2008 they tried too hard to make this game enjoyable, and instead made it look like a joke. When they decided to sell it as a deep game where you customized songs it was too late since it they launched day a month before release.

I just hope that this doesn't discourage Nintendo from trying out new ideas since Wii Music was innovative and had some great ideas, just poorly presented and promoted.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 05:32:05 PM by pap64 »
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