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Nintendo Focuses on Fun

So, what we are focusing upon is not only the current gamers, but also those who are not playing with video games at all. That is our goal, so that's why we are not caring so much about our competition with Sony or with Microsoft. We do not care if we can [beat] Sony or if we can [beat] Microsoft or if we can win in the current market-share battle in the same arena at all. That's not our focus. Our focus is whether or not we can increase the game population.

The history of the game industry suggests that no more than one console maker can be successful in any one cycle. Is there room now for three players, given the point you've repeatedly made about the lack of growth in the number of gamers out there?

If the industry is unable to grow any farther than this, and if all the players in this video-game industry are simply looking in the same direction in trying to compete [with] each other on the same battlefield, there may be too much to exist, especially in the long run. However, as I've said, Nintendo is trying to take a significantly different course from the others. So that at least as long as Nintendo is concerned, I'm confident enough Nintendo can survive.

Given Nintendo's focus on trying to attract new or lapsed gamers to the industry, I thought it was surprising that you showcased Red Steel at your media event. Not only does that title seem geared to the core gamer audience, but to me, the choppy graphics of the game highlighted the Wii's weakness vs. Sony and Microsoft new high-definition consoles. What was the thinking there?

Well, if we had not shown the Legend of Zelda game or if we had not shown the Red Steel game during the briefing yesterday, then I'm afraid that people might have misunderstood Nintendo's [thinking]. If all they had seen was Wii Sports or something like that, people [would] say, "Oh, Nintendo has already lost interest toward the games for the serious gamer." The fact of the matter is it's not the case.

By taking advantage of the unique controller and very unique play style of Wii, we will not only invite the newcomers but also excite the existing gamers. Now that's the kind of message we really wanted to deliver.

There's a lot of buzz in the industry right now about developing ancillary revenue from in-game advertising or episodic content. You've been around the industry for a long time. What is your sense on if and when those become important to the industry? And are they an important part of Nintendo's Wii strategy?

Satoru Iwata

Currently, time is running very, very fast ... so that anything can become all the fashion very fast, faster than in the past. So, in the video-game industry, we believe it's important for ... software to be fresh every day.

That is one of the reasons why Nintendo is now introducing the WiiConnect24 [online] mechanism for the Wii. In other words, 24 hours a day, we can always be connected with the Internet, thereby people, before they know it, can actually receive something new all the time.

You can take it that we are actually trying to satisfy the needs of the customer. They want software that can be fresh and new almost every day.

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