When talking about the future of Nintendo and digital software, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has mentioned before that the company is planning to embrace digital on a whole new level once the Wii U comes around - and at the recent investors' meeting, he shared a few more details about just how that plan is going to play out. Nintendo plans for all retail software released for Wii U to also be available digitally as well as in physical form, through online credit transactions and via store-purchased download codes - and intends to kick this downloadable initiative from day one of the Wii U's launch. No saving the best for future updates this time!
Iwata also talked a great deal about other elements of the upcoming fiscal year, both in terms of the Wii U and the 3DS, including forecasts for hardware and software sales, when we can expect to hear launch information related to the Wii U (price, specific date, etc.), and DLC... Read on for my breakdown of his (rather-wordy) presentation.
Source: Nintendo Japan via GoNintendo
- On Nintendo's operating loss: Iwata cites the appreciation of the yen, the need for a price drop to stimulate 3DS sales, and the lack of timely anticipated software releases in the early part of 2011 as the reasons behind the loss
- Nintendo anticipates to sell over 10 million combined units of Wii and Wii U hardware (Wii sold nearly that much on its own last year) as well as 70 million units of home console software (versus last year's 100+ million units)
- Software forecasts include all retail software, including digital downloads of this software, but not digital-only content
- Iwata once again hinted that Wii U will likely release during the year-end holiday season
- 3DS momentum has not reached expectations in the West, but has in Japan
- Not much Wii or DS software this year; Nintendo doesn't expect the launch of Wii U to compensate
- Wii U final form and first-year software to be revealed at E3; price and specific launch date to be revealed at another time
- Nintendo isn't sure about bringing Fire Emblem Awakening to the West, despite it selling higher than any series title since the GBA games, but intend to look into finding ways to bolster the game's sales
- 70% of 3DS units in Japan and U.S. have connected to the Internet, but only 50% in Europe and Australia
- In addition, visitors to the eShop tend to connect more frequently than Wii or DSi users (no surprise there)
- Brain Age successor will launch worldwide, starting with Japan this summer
- Retailers will have some influence over the pricing of downloadable retail software via the in-store sale of digital products
- Nintendo hopes for this kind of retailer relationship to reduce the effects of increased trends towards short lifespans for shelf games
- Nintendo doesn't intend to release unfinished games in order to sell DLC; DLC will exist purely to extend the play potential of games that users enjoy
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