Iwata saddened by gossip, explains Nintendo’s smile strategy

In a recent interview from Japanese site Yukan Fuji, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata shares his thoughts on the 2007 year on gaming and explains of Nintendo’s strategy for the future. Commenting directly on the claims that Nintendo is purposely withholding Wiis in order to create a shortage:

“[When I see those types of articles], I honestly feel sad,” said Iwata. “Game machine production amounts are set about half a year in advance, so they cannot be easily changed. The concept of the Wii is ‘a machine that makes people who play it smile.’ We wouldn’t use a strategy that is at odds with smiling. Getting as many people as possible to show us their smiles when playing a Nintendo game — that’s the energy source that drives us.”

It’s good to know that the core of Nintendo’s complex strategy is smiling. Yes, I realize a smile is a show of joy, and I’m not going to ridicule that, but sometimes listening to their press is like listening to a guy on mushrooms with a glaze of delight plastered across his face and a rill of saliva running down his jawline. Happy is good, but so are emotions like conflict, morality and fear, at least when it comes to the gaming experience. I can’t help but feel like fixating on happiness as the main key to success leaves out other emotions.

Iwata has much more to say, of course. When asked about goals, he commented:

“Our goal is to show our ‘answer’ to how to make sure the game population that has increased through the Wii and DS doesn’t end as a short-lived boom. Even with the DS, there are still things left to do.”

It;s easy enough to say that in order to avoid the decrease in popularity would be to expand the horizon of the type of games that show up on the Wii, but with the sales figures behind the console, it makes any criticism of the system fall short (at least to official ears.) I’m very interested in watching the Wii this year now that the hype is starting to settle a bit. If the console continues to propel itself so strongly with a poor third party library, I’m going to start to wonder what devil Nintendo has cut a deal with to brainwash the general public.

[Via IGN – Thanks, Justin]

Colette Bennett