Iwata discusses Nintendo’s lack of knowledge in online networks, necessity to seek “skillful outside specialists”

Another story has emerged from Nintendo’s recent Financial Results Briefing, with Satoru Iwata having commented on the company’s lack of knowledge in relation to being able to implement online networks – something that he is keen to correct by seeking help from “more skillful outside specialists.”

Whilst plauding Nintendo’s success with their first-party software, Iwata recognised that they “cannot do business in pace with the changes in the world” in relation to their online services.

The company previously introduced the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, utilised as an online network benchmark for both their Wii and DS systems, yet received heavy criticism for its unfriendly user interface and necessity in using lengthy Friend Codes to connect with other players within individual titles.

Its latest handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS, has taken the first steps to offer improved connectivity with other users, incorporating functionality such as SpotPass and StreetPass alongside the introduction of a single-use Friend Code that allows the user to connect with friends across all games.

“In the field of networks in particular, however, I admit that we cannot do business in pace with the changes in the world and the requests from consumers only within our company and with development companies we have long been in touch with,” Iwata discussed. “I am not sure which term suits us as collaborations for this purpose, M&A or partnership. Anyway, I feel that we would spoil the party in a negative way if “we sticked to create everything by ourselves” based on the policy ‘Jimae-shugi’ [‘doing things by one’s bootstraps’], and eventually it would make our business slow.”

He continued, “In slight connection with the question about Wii’s concept before, honestly speaking, Wii’s future could have been different if Nintendo had made better partnerships with outside companies in the field of network services at the early stages of the penetration of Wii.”

“In other words, Nintendo might have been a little obsessed with the policy “Jimae-shugi” at that time,” Iwata closed. “Although we have already put ourselves back on track, we would like to clearly differentiate what is our true strength from what we can basically do by ourselves but can be done better by more skillful outside specialists in order not to fall into that trap again. You may be aware of some features which I am implying now in relation to the future developments of Nintendo 3DS and Wii’s successor system that we announced yesterday. I am sorry I cannot say anything more specific today.”

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After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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