It isn't just cheap, accessible mobile games that are making it difficult to sell $60 console titles, believes Nintendo president Satoru Iwata -- it's the overly saturated market too.
Answering questions from investors last week following Nintendo's annual financial results, Iwata admitted he believes part of the reason that the Nintendo Wii U isn't selling as well as hoped is because Nintendo's games, and those of other console developers, aren't wowing consumers like they used to.
"We try to offer various kinds of software for a video game platform, and the games are improving steadily each year, but these improvements are becoming less noticeable," he says.
"In short, what one platform can offer will eventually become saturated. Every consumer will inevitably become tired of and get less excitement from the same type of entertainment."
It has become difficult to impress players, he adds, even when a greater amount of energy is put into development.
"The development challenges for home console games selling for around $50-$60 have increased significantly," he says. "Around the time when I first wrote a program for a home console game 30 years ago, two developers, including me, completed it in only three months. Things have changed dramatically since then, and we therefore need to expand the range of software developers."
According to Iwata, these challenges lead to a psychological hurdle for players, where they expect to pay a lower sum for their software.
"Lowering software prices and a rise in the number of devices you can play games on without a dedicated gaming machine are gradually setting the bar higher for us to encourage our consumers to pay a certain sum of money for software," he continued.
He added, "I believe the future of the video game industry depends on the number of games developers release that consumers consider to be fresh and worth paying for."