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Nintendo: We Are Not Falling Behind 'The Social Age'
Nintendo: We Are Not Falling Behind 'The Social Age'
August 3, 2011 | By Mike Rose

August 3, 2011 | By Mike Rose
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Nintendo has refuted claims that it is behind the times in terms of social gaming, arguing that, as a company, it has always been about connecting people, starting from its playing card roots.

As part of a Q&A session with investors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that Nintendo sees the social gaming situations differently from how the company is actually perceived.

"The keyword 'social' has rapidly become very popular in these last two years and some say that Nintendo may be behind the social age," he said.

"They might mean that Nintendo, uninterested in so-called social games from a business standpoint, fails to ride on the boom of social games. However, I have a totally opposite view - Nintendo has been a company attaching a high value to human relationships for a long time."

He continued, "We have our roots in the playthings connecting people, as the company’s original business was playing cards. Therefore, we have always been aware of the human connections created by each of our products."

Iwata turned his attention to social networks, explaining, "It is true that on social networking services through the internet you can make a relationship with those to which you could not connect with before."

"On the other hand, I think that there has been no best answer yet to the relationship between a real network and a virtual network." He argued that nothing current social networks provide is as enjoyable as anything Nintendo has provided before.

"The big theme for us is to provide new and fascinating human relationships composed of various networks, a real network with those close to you, a virtual network with those distant from you, and networks beyond description created by your experiences of sharing the same place with someone or of visiting certain places and specifically provided by SpotPass and StreetPass," he concluded.


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Comments


Eric Geer
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"The big theme for us is to provide new and fascinating human relationships composed of various networks, a real network with those close to you, a virtual network with those distant from you, and networks beyond description created by your experiences of sharing the same place with someone or of visiting certain places and specifically provided by SpotPass and StreetPass," he concluded.



Still waiting for it... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bob Johnson
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Already here.

Eric McVinney
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Either I'm not getting or understanding what exactly his point is, but Iwata doesn't appear to comprehend the overwhelming networking influence of Facebook (and soon to be Google+).

Denis Nickoleff
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After the Wiipad bombs, I anticipate we will see some Mario and Zelda games on the ps3

Chris Melby
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@Denis N,



You must be new?

Denis Nickoleff
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No, i've been around for a few years.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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What's social about social games that we haven't had in the past (MMOs, DnD, hell even sports/charades/and other non-video games)? Spamming our friends to play a single player game whose only social aspects are spamming more friends? Legitimate question since I haven't (and don't care to) played any of the recent "social games", so I admit I could be stereotyping incorrectly. I would love to hear legitimate arguments for how "social games" expand on the art of game design to bring something meaningful to the world that we were unable to have before (something meaningful that deserves the word "social").

Patrick Orr
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As far as I can tell, one of the things that differentiates "social games" from the other games that you mentioned is that it's easier to achieve virality. The infrastructure provided by Facebook and the like creates a lower "effort threshold" for its users to surpass in order to encrouage their friends to adopt the game. The lack of a similar infrastructure in the other games you cite (MMO's, etc) means it takes relatively more effort for a player to tell their friends about some great game they need to try. This aspect - leveraging the already-defined social relationships of players in order to induce more widespread adoption of the game - seems to be a key feature of many "social games." Whether this meets your criterion for expanding "on the art of game design" is open to argument (it would seem to depend on how broadly "game design" is construed).



Another weighty feature of these games is their apparent ability to induce adoption and promulgation in people that would not typically be characterized as "gamers" -- but this aspect isn't really "social," it just makes lots of people pay attention!

Adam Lederer
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Meaningful is arguable, sure. But the "social" in social games is the perfunctory, small-talk-esque interactions that allow us to stay marginally (if impersonally) connected to a vast swath of our social network.



The "Hi, how are you" as you pass someone in the hall is a real part of keeping acquaintances alive. Social games have more to do with that quick hello than with DnD or charades or any of the more in-depth interactions you're referring to.

Carlo Delallana
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Who do people think Nintendo has to be like everyone else?

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Thierry Tremblay
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+1

Alan Rimkeit
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I agree. Socializing for me includes real friends in real time with real activities. LAN gaming is the BEST social gaming ever made. Everyone in one room, talking, drinking beers, laughing, talking smack, eating pizza and having fun together. Now that is social gaming.

Christopher Braithwaite
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Just because you say it doesn't make it so Mr. Iwata.


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