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Nintendo's Iwata 'Wouldn't Use A Strategy That Is At Odds With Smiling'
Nintendo's Iwata 'Wouldn't Use A Strategy That Is At Odds With Smiling'
January 21, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

January 21, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently spoke to Japanese site Yukan Fuji, discussing the company's successful 2007 and looking ahead to the new year.

The Nintendo DS has now sold about 20,000,000 units in Japan, and according to NPD, was the top-selling game system in the U.S. in 2007, selling nearly 8.5 million units -- 4 million in November and December alone. As for the Wii, it was second in terms of unit sales, selling almost 6.3 million in 2007, with more than 2.3 million of those sold in November and December. Since their respective launches, Nintendo has sold more than 17.6 million Nintendo DS systems and close to 7.4 million Wii systems in the U.S.

According to IGN, Iwata expressed surprise that both systems had sold so well, commenting: "To say 'we expected it to sell' would be vain. If we had known the Wii and DS would expand so dramatically in such a short time, we wouldn't have had shortages, nor would we have had to raise our financial forecasts."

When Yukan Fuji reportedly pointed out press coverage suggesting that the shortages that have historically plagued Wii supplies were strategy on the part of Nintendo, Iwata said that when he sees the articles, "I honestly feel sad. Game machine production amounts are set about half a year in advance, so they cannot be easily changed. The concept of the Wii is 'a machine that makes people who play it smile.' We wouldn't use a strategy that is at odds with smiling. Getting as many people as possible to show us their smiles when playing a Nintendo game -- that's the energy source that drives us."

According to IGN, Iwata also told the Fuji -- after joking that Nintendo planned to release a new system in 2008 -- that Nintendo now aims to ensure that the popularity of Wii and DS "doesn't end as a short-lived boom," adding, "Even with the DS, there are still things left to do."

Iwata said that the company's priority is now ensuring that "the consumers who took up the DS and Wii don't lose interest," and added that the company will focus on continuing to expand the gaming population with new ideas such as Wii Fit.

When prompted about his positive attitude, Iwata concluded, "Yes, I am super positive. In this business (being a company president) if you're not positive, you'll immediately get weakened and won't be able to continue. Also, if I didn't have a positive outlook, I definitely wouldn't be able to say something like 'expand the gaming population.'"


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