Iwata discusses the transition from DS to 3DS, Nintendo localizing Japanese titles
The quotes below come from Satoru Iwata, who provided the following information at a recent investor Q&A…
“We have not announced the prices of Nintendo 3DS in the overseas markets, but when you look at the suggested retail price of Nintendo 3DS in Japan, you can see that there are some price differences with that of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi in Japan. How the market can change with such price differences shall become important.
We have experienced several transitions from one platform to a new generation in the past, but the speed at which such transitions were made greatly varied in different markets. Perhaps, the quickest of all the nations in this regard is Japan. In terms of speed, the U.K. is outstanding in Europe. On the contrary, Germany is very slow in this transition. In the U.S., so many people respond to new platforms quickly, but as for the entire video game market there, it appears to move rather slowly because there are also so many people who respond to new offers very slowly. The U.S. is a big market with such dual natures. Given the difference in the speeds at which each market shifts to a new platform, how Nintendo should spend what amount of energy in order to launch and market many new Nintendo DS software titles must be slightly different from market to market.
We experienced something like that in the transition from Game Boy Advance to Nintendo DS. Actually, for all the platforms in the past, the speed at which the generational change took place was different in each country, and each country appeared to have certain traditional tendencies such as the ones I just mentioned. When we look around the world, the transition will not be identical. And, of course, for us to sell Nintendo 3DS to the extent that can be compared to the huge installed base of Nintendo DS, it will take time. So, naturally, it is desirable for us to be able to make some new offers to those who already own Nintendo DS. We have no plans to immediately cease any activities for Nintendo DS.
On the other hand, if we should use too many of our development resources in order to maintain the Nintendo DS market, we would not be able to realize a sound launch for Nintendo 3DS. This relates to the previous question, but it will become very important for us to make the appropriate timely decisions on such issues as how we should make the allocation (of development resources), which types of software should be launched for Nintendo 3DS during and immediately after the launch period and which software needs to be developed for Nintendo DS. And the criteria to make such judgments shall be different for Japan and the overseas markets, especially the countries where the changes usually take place rather slowly.
Another thing I’d like to supplement is that Nintendo’s software is often made in Japan and launched first in Japan, and then localized for the overseas markets after confirming its marketability in Japan. Some Nintendo titles, such as the ones developed by Mr. Miyamoto and his team, have been made with the global market launches in view from the start of the development because people inside Nintendo believed in their global appeal. However, even some of the titles that Mr. Miyamoto was involved with, such as the original “Animal Crossing,” were first launched only in Japan, and only after the localization teams outside Japan were able to appreciate the appeal of the software, our overseas subsidiaries requested us to launch the same titles in their countries. As a result, some software has already proved its marketability in Japan but is still not available in the overseas’ markets, and for some software titles, our localization teams are currently spending time to localize them. Taking advantage of such software may be one of the ways to deal with your question about the transitional period from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS.”
Man… There is a whole bunch of DS titles that were never localized for North America that I would love to see over here. I wonder what the Treehouse group is up to right now…