The Nintendo big cheese answers questions about Wii Music's "failure," DSi pricing, the upcoming storage solution, and more.
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.