Recently, TIME published an exclusive interview with Satoru Iwata, focusing mainly on mobile gaming and the recently announced partnership with DeNA. And today, they published some more excerpts: they cover various topics, including the price of the Wii U at launch and the Zelda TV series by Netflix rumour.
Iwata on Free 2 Play
Satoru Iwata isn’t really a fan of the “Free to Play” term: he finds it a bit insincere, and believe such games should be called “Free to Start” instead (which is indeed a much more accurate term). He’s also concerned about the value of software in this digital age, especially when compared to the music industry. Of course, Satoru Iwata isn’t denying the Free to Start model at all: in fact, Nintendo is already using it in several titles (Pokémon Shuffle being the latest one).
That being said, Satoru Iwata does not believe that it’s a case of “everything or nothing”. He explains that some games are more suited to a business model than others, and the key is in flexibility. For example, some games really are suited for the existing package model, and there’s a lot of players enjoying those. Therefore, a transition to a Free to Start model-only isn’t really a good idea.
Wii U price at launch
With the price of the Wii U, Nintendo was in a difficult situation. After all, Europe and North America were the biggest markets for home consoles, but because of the valuation of the Yen, the company had no choice but to sell the Wii U at a higher price point than they intended.
New Nintendo 3DS and the Super-stable 3D
If it wasn’t for Miyamoto’s involvement, then the New Nintendo 3DS wouldn’t have included the Super Stable 3D functionality. In fact, it was added just before the plans for the new models were sent to manufacturing. Apparently, Shigeru Miyamoto had seen the technology at work a week before, and asked why it wasn’t included for the New Nintendo 3DS. In fact, he thought there would be no point in releasing the new 3DS model if it didn’t include it!
amiibo and Smash Bros. characters
According to Satoru Iwata, Nintendo isn’t following a trend with its amiibo figures. He strongly believes that the company is doing its own thing with those figures, something that can’t be found anywhere else. Of course, to someone seeing the figures lined up on shelves in a store, it does look like a Nintendo version of Skylanders, but for Satoru Iwata, amiibo actually “broaden what toys to life can be”.
On the topic of toys, Satoru Iwata explains that in Super Smash Bros., the various characters don’t really fight each other. It’s actually a bunch of figures doing (imaginary) battle among themselves. And believe it or not, it’s actually a very serious debate that happened back when the first Super Smash Bros. was in development. After all, is it ok for the gentle Mario to punch Pikachu in the face, or Link to get violent with Fox Mc Cloud?
Zelda TV Series
Finally, Satoru Iwata mentions the rumours about the Zelda TV series by Netflix, and explains that the report was actually based on incorrect information. He refused to say more on this topic, as he had “nothing new to share […] in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films”. The wording used seems to imply that Nintendo does have such plans, but the company isn’t ready to announce them just yet.
If you only expand upon existing hardware, it’s dull. In some shape or form, we’re always thinking about how we want to surprise players as well as our desire to change each person’s video gaming life.