Nintendo’s Iwata: Online game sales a ‘gradual increase’

Retail has still got it. Nintendo has made their fortune these past few decades on retail sales, and they’re not about to give up on them now. While they’ve dipped their toes in the downloadable games pool with the Wii and the DSi, they still have faith that retail sales will continue to serve their massive pocketbooks, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata givng retail the “competitive edge.”

“I do not believe the competitive edge that packaged software has today will easily be taken up any time soon,” Iwata said in a recent conference call. He says that Nintendo has provided online sales for the convenience of those who wish to use it, but admit that they have only seen a small increase since the launch of the services.

And as for the future of game sales, he does believe it will eventually switch to an all-online format. But not anytime soon: “…if I am told, ‘within a couple of years from today, there will be no retail outlets which will be selling packaged software,’ my reaction must be, ‘there’s got to be something wrong with that assumption because I do not believe people’s behaviours can change in such a short time,'” he said.

Personally, I’m already quite fond of the DSi store — Nintendo just needs to do more with it. Are you for an online-only future?


Dale North