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Nintendo Chief on Add-ons, DS and Developing Countries

| 4 Aug 2008 20:59
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Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata sat one-on-one with the Wall Street Journal to discuss expansion into small countries, Wii MotionPlus and the DS's non-gaming features.

The success of the Wii has catapulted Satoru Iwata into the respected levels of executive-dom, earning him and his company the admiration of mainstream media.

The Wall Street Journal talked to Iwata about the next steps he has for Nintendo as the company moves into newer markets around the world.

"Our sales may have grown beyond expectations, but there are still a lot of people who have never played videogames. I think there are still many new kinds of games that we can offer to pique the interest of people whom we haven't managed to attract yet," commented Iwata, who still hopes to capture an ever-widening gaming audience. "After we complete our mission in developed countries, then we'll have to start thinking about how to make our products appealing in developing countries. We'll have a whole new dimension of issues to tackle like pricing, quantity availability and regional adaptation. We're not going to meet our goals that easily."

Wii owners worrying about the potential prices for all of Nintendo's peripherals, such as the upcoming Wii MotionPlus, should be able to afford the add-ons, according to Iwata.

"Most of the ideas for accessories that we had initially come up with are out now. We might think up some more, and we might make them if we do, but we don't have any plans to release a whole lot more," said Iwata. "We haven't announced the price yet, but the cost of making the Wii Motion Plus is not that much, so I think we can make it very affordable."

The Nintendo DS platform goes beyond gaming to include book reading and language lessons, fighting its way into Blackberry territory.

Iwata explains the strategy, "I think we're doing significantly better than other devices that offer [similar] services. We're trying constantly to think of ways that the DS could be used more often in everyday life -- services we can offer that will make people want to take their DS with them everywhere. We need to convince all kinds of customers that they should own a DS."

While Iwata and company have been formulating never-ending expansion plans, he justifies his actions by redefining gaming in general.

"We're still an entertainment company first and foremost, but the definition of videogames has changed," he concluded. "If we keep our view of what a videogame constitutes as broad as possible, then naturally we're going to be doing things that people might say aren't games."

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