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Iwata: Nintendo Is Not 'Losing Its Edge' To iPhone, Rival Tech

Facing questions about Nintendo's strategy, as its competitors adopt motion-sensing tech and the iPhone proliferates in the West, president Satoru Iwata fired back in a recent investor briefing.

Leigh Alexander, Contributor

November 6, 2009

2 Min Read

As Nintendo gets ready to report its first profit decline in years, analysts are getting demanding about the future of the Wii and DS creator. Facing questions about the company losing its edge as its competitors adopt motion-sensing tech and the iPhone proliferates as a mobile gaming platform in the West, president Satoru Iwata fired back in a Japanese investor briefing. "I cannot understand at all why some people come to think that Nintendo has lost its edge as soon as they hear such news that other companies are newly applying for motion sensing technology," Iwata says. "If fun and interesting software to take advantage of the technology could be created that easily, a number of other titles which are more fun than Wii Sports must have been already launched for Wii. Why in real life are not so many?" The company's DS is not, Iwata asserts, facing a significant threat from iPhone and other mobile platforms, either. "It is true that the current Nintendo DS business is not that heated up as it used to be some time ago, when no one could tell how far ahead Nintendo DS might be able to grow," he concedes. "On the other hand, the data also showed that Nintendo DS has not lost its footing at all. Actually, it has been even increasing its footing all around the world," he adds. "Under such a circumstance, I do not know why some people make such a remark." Launch timing played a major role in the success of the iPhone, coming on the heels of the iPod business' major growth, Iwata says, and as such the iPhone was "already grown up" as opposed to having to battle its way into the marketplace. "However, the customers are confined to rather affluent ones who can afford to pay several thousands yen every month," he says. "Realistically, Nintendo does not try to reach out only to those who can afford to pay several thousands yen monthly." The Nintendo head concluded: "We are making entertainment commodities. The business model which requires our customers to promise to pay several thousands yen every month for the next two years does not suit well for the entertainment commodities."

About the Author(s)

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander is Editor At Large for Gamasutra and the site's former News Director. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Slate, Paste, Kill Screen, GamePro and numerous other publications. She also blogs regularly about gaming and internet culture at her Sexy Videogameland site. [NOTE: Edited 10/02/2014, this feature-linked bio was outdated.]

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