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Iwata: Near-Term Console Obsolescence 'Unthinkable'
Iwata: Near-Term Console Obsolescence 'Unthinkable'
May 13, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

May 13, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
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    9 comments
More: Console/PC



Despite cloud-based streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive on the near horizon, home consoles will not become obsolete any time soon, says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

Nor is the rise of social gaming on PCs, the audience for which may overlap somewhat with Nintendo's Wii and DS demographic, a threat to the company's hardware, Iwata suggests.

"We do not think that the combination of a game system and dedicated software will last forever," he states in a Q&A session with analysts. "However, we do not believe that hardware dedicated to gaming shall (become obsolete and) perish in a few years. I personally think that kind of scenario is unthinkable."

"The reason why we have been making systems dedicated to games is because creating engaging experiences that can not be available on other devices is the lifeline for the company," he adds.

The Wii's motion control interface has been key to the game design innovations Nintendo has aimed for on the platform -- and the uniqueness that scheme can claim credit for the console's explosive growth, which by itself can be credited with a massive expansion in the gaming audience.

With that in mind, says Iwata, "Should we stop what we are doing, the current business configuration with a video game system and dedicated software could become obsolete. However, as we have been thinking and proposing new ideas one after another, we do not think that it will become obsolete at all."

He adds, "I have never thought that we will need to launch social games in order to avoid our offers from becoming obsolete."


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Comments


Tawna Evans
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I think that current consoles could benefit from social networks. There are wi-fi features in them that are currently severely limited because of complicated friend codes. It would be nice to be able to import friends from social networks with an automated process that doesn't involve actually typing in the codes. After that, it would be nice to use Nintendo DS wi-fi service to connect gamers who live several miles apart to battle with each other, trade monsters or other goodies, and not have to see each other in person when doing so.

Timmy GILBERT
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Nintendo is clever, they don't run to keep the same place. Instead of going where everybody goes, he just find a new spot everybody will want to go. This is an obvious statement, one cannot lead if he follows everybody.



Social may be cool but it's following.

J Benjamin Hollman
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This just in: The President of a major console manufacturer has been quoted as saying "...that the time of consoles is up, and the whole industry is about to collapse in on itself. For the love of God, stop investing and get the hell out of this business before it's too late."



Oh, but I tease because I love.

Ismael Escandon
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Nintendo - Jeez these guys don't seize to amaze me I saw an interview I'll try and find it and re-post I remember specifically hearing the guy say : " Nintendo's next stop won't be HD but something even bigger" I remember at the time thinking ... man these guys are nuts but after I saw the WII I was very Impressed by them. I've been keeping on with rants on the interwebs and I feel like I'm one of the few people out there that really appreciate the WII I never thought HD or HD Graphics were ever "NEXT GEN" for me I always wanted something out there something that changed the way we played and I suppose as a old school gamer and like many others Nintendo heard the call and its true what Timmy said...



I just hope Nintendo can do it again.. and find that spot away from others that will make them follow them.



Just think of this... if the WII not only offered what it does now.. but also HD and it had the power the PS3 or the XBox have... what would've become of this market ? Would Sony and Microsoft would've gotten trashed even more and left to eat Nintendos dust? Man.. I can't wait to see what they are up too next only time will tell.

Danny Pampel
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@Ismael, you were impressed by the Wii?? Why? How? What?

Christopher McLaren
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He never said he was impressed by the Wii, he said he was impressed by the Nintendo guys and appreciates the Wii. I think he is right.



Nintendo couldn't have won if they went with the Sony/Microsoft model of HD graphics and lots of CPU horsepower. They recognised that and played to their strengths by finding another way to penetrate the market.

Mark Harris
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To answer Ismael's question, no, if the Wii had come out with motion control and HD capability it would not have shut out Sony or MS. Cost alone would have put it out of reach of many of the people who have experimented with gaming because of the Wii's virtues, which contributes heavily to their huge sales numbers.



I really think that it was the combination of unique controls, well-known brands, and low cost that drove (and are driving) the Wii's explosive sales. If you take one of those three out of the equation you may find success, but not the kind of success the Wii currently enjoys.

Leon T
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I'm pretty sure it was the software that drove the sales of the Wii too. I would say that the well know brands got the Nintendo fans to buy it , but it was the unknown brands like Wii Sports and Wii Fit that really exploded the sales.

Ismael Escandon
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@Mark - I never really thought of it that way. But I think if the WII had the some HD capabilities I think more gamers would be interested in it and thus pushing more developers to invest, or experiment with it.



@Danny - I'm impressed by Nintendo - I do love the WII however, since I had some good times with the girlfriend and friends playing lots of its games.


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