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Nintendo’s R&D expenditures are up, but sales are down. With the company adding on roughly 1,000 staffers over the past four or five years, an attendee at Nintendo’s financial results briefing Q&A asked about a possible reduction to the workforce.

This isn’t something that president Satoru Iwata is considering. Iwata pointed out the common ups and downs in the video games business, and feels that things will improve. As a result, he said, “Restructuring the workforce is not the first option we consider even when cost cutting is required.” Iwata also mentioned Nintendo is taking this approach “because we do not see a dark future for Nintendo.”

Nintendo’s Virtual Console has been disappointing, to say the least. Releases continue to trickle out very slowly, with some weeks seeing the absence of new classic games entirely.

With any luck, the situation will improve in the future. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during an investors Q&A briefing several days ago that the company has been unable “to take full advantage of our assets yet, so we would like to enrich our Virtual Console lineup.” Iwata added, “As the ability to digitally offer our products has given us greater flexibility in offering new propositions to our consumers, we should naturally consider these possibilities in the future.”

When Nintendo unveiled the 3DS, the system’s stereoscopic 3D feature was one of its standout qualities. The functionality has seen a lesser emphasis as of late though, culminating with the launch of the 2DS last month – a system which ditches 3D entirely.

During Nintendo’s investor Q&A last week, an attendee asked if the handheld’s arrival means “Nintendo is perhaps wavering a bit on its initial plans.” The person also questioned whether the 2DS was a part of president Satoru Iwata’s original vision.

Iwata responded by mentioning that development of the 2DS “began a long time ago.” Nintendo “realized beforehand that it would be difficult to maximize the sales potential of Nintendo 3DS without an entry-level product ready in time for the release of a new Pokémon title.” Given the different price options for the 3DS, the yen’s value at the time, and ability to offer another option for the 3DS platform, Nintendo believed the 2DS was a smart move to make.

Iwata also confirmed that the 3DS and 3DS XL will stil be sold, and Nintendo is “not saying that we will abandon 3D or cease to make new propositions in 3D.”

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the topic of “smart devices” – encompassing smartphones and tables – during the company’s latest financial results briefing Q&A.

Iwata acknowledged that people now tend to play smartphones in instances such as traveling by train whereas they were previously playing a handheld system. However, despite the rise in smart device popularity, he believes reports that the handheld market is shrinking are very much exaggerated.

Iwata pointed to strong sales of the 3DS in his argument. The system managed to sell 5.5 million units in 2012, and Nintendo expects similar sales this year. That being said, Iwata did note that 3DS momentum hasn’t been as strong in the US and Europe compared to Japan.

Elsewhere in his comments, Iwata mentioned how Nintendo is looking to take advantage of smart devices for its own benefit. Iwata is in favor of promoting the company’s own products through smartphones, for example, and said many people tend to watch Nintendo Directs on these devices.

Head past the break for Iwata’s full comments.

Nintendo has been doing some interesting things in the digital space. As an example, Wii Sports Club offers different price points, Pokemon Bank will carry an annual 500 yen fee, and the company has even started to dabble with the free-to-play model.

One analyst asked about these products and its digital business in general during Nintendo’s financial results briefing Q&A last week. Satoru Iwata commented with a very lengthy response, which you can find below.

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