Nintendo Investors’ Meeting Q&A

Nintendo has posted the questions and answers given at its quarterly investors’ meeting. As of now they are only available in Japanese, but the official English translation should be coming shortly and we will post those as soon as they are up. For now, the always helpful Cheesemeister has translated all of the questions that were asked and then given four of the answers. Let’s take a look:

Q1: Given that the people shown in the Nintendo Switch intro video were teens to adults, what is the target demo?

Q2: The Nintendo Switch intro video gives me high hopes for the software lineup. How will you apply the lessons of the Wii U, in pricing? Also, why do you think you were able to get the cooperation of 3rd-parties on Nintendo Switch that didn’t support the Wii U?

A2Because we’re not announcing specs today, I can’t compare Nintendo Switch to the Wii U. As the name indicates, it allows you to “switch” your gameplay experience, while the Wii U offers a different type of experience. In terms of price, as I said before, we will not sell at a loss. We want people of all ages to play Nintendo’s products, so we will take customers’ valuation of our products into account. In terms of 3rd-party support, they understand Nintendo Switch offers different surprises than standard consoles, so many indicated that they would actively support it. Also, following the intro video, even more software makers have expressed interest in developing for it.

Q3: The Nintendo Switch had been billed as a new way to play games, but judging by the intro video, it looks like it just plays existing games in different places. Could you please give us your impressions of the Nintendo Switch, including what’s new about it?

A3In regard to the question about what’s new, I cannot provide any specs beyond what was shown in the intro video. As I’m part of a generation of older video game players, I think that it’s difficult to offer software that satisfies my generation. We do have plans, including an applicable software lineup, for things not shown in the video, so I’m personally very much looking forward to it. I hope that everyone is able to try it out this January.

Q4: The contribution of Pokemon GO to revenue may be limited, but The Pokemon Co. reported $100 million of related income for the 2nd Quarter. Did sales and revenue allocation to The Pokemon Co. for Pokemon GO exceed expectations, and can you confirm Nintendo’s share of profits?

Q5: Please tell me your plans for distributing Super Mario Run for iOS and Android in China.

Q6: Watching the Nintendo Switch into video, it looked more fashionable than any previous consoles and looked aimed at gamers, not families. Should we expect that the launch software lineup will be targeted at hardcore gamers as well? You said that you’re aiming for all ages so I’d like to hear your software strategy.

A6This video primarily introduced the unique characteristics of “anytime, anywhere, with anyone.” While there were some hints as to the software for Nintendo Switch, we’re not ready to give the whole picture. I think you’ll first be able to understand what new experiences it offers with its integration of hardware and software when you see the software lineup this January and actually try it out. I think you’ll be able to feel how Nintendo Switch appeals to all kinds of customers, of all ages.

Q7: Roughly speaking, Pokemon GO has been downloaded 500m times and daily sales are about $10 million, correct? $100 million in 2nd Quarter has an impact, but will this improve going forward, or are these mostly just inflated initial royalties? I want to know the profit model for Pokemon GO.

Q8: How will Nintendo Switch interact with smart devices? When NVIDIA Tegra was announced to be used, my imagination ran wild. Will interest in Nintendo IP generated through smart devices drive Nintendo Switch software sales? Will Nintendo Account points be shared or are there new and different ideas on a hardware level? Could you please give any hint you can?

Q9: I’d like to hear President Kimishima’s business expectations for the next 2 or 3 years. While progress is being made with Miitomo and amiibo to increase the gaming population, looking at the numbers, it doesn’t seem to have succeeded yet. Also name current issues.

Q10: Regarding the smart device business, I’d like to know why Super Mario Run will go on sale before the previously-announced Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem. Also, with the success of Pokemon GO, are there any mid-term changes to the dir. of smart device activities?

A10At the start of the fiscal year, we announced that 5 smart device apps would be released by the end of March 2017. Super Mario Run is one of them. Afterwards, development circumstances led us to confirm their release within the year, and so we reconsidered the order. As Pokemon GO is supported by many customers, in this case, we decided it might be better for Super Mario Run to go before the others. While there was a big unknown as to how the smart device business would affect our existing business, it was extremely encouraging to see Pokemon GO provide synergy with packaged software just as we’d imagined. In this way, we’d like to strengthen how we develop smart device titles. Of course, our basic thinking on the smart device business hasn’t changed from the 3 points outlined in today’s presentation.

Q11: Why is the Nintendo Classic Mini Famicom being sold as hardware instead of on Virtual Console? How will it be positioned strategically with other hardware?

Q12: The Nintendo Switch will have 2 million units shipped this fiscal year. Is that as originally planned? If there were any changes, why? Why 2 million?


[Sources: Nintendo, Cheesemeister]

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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