#satoru iwata

Jon Irwin on the odd Nintendo’s announcements last week:

Their solution? Yet to be fully disclosed. But Iwata dripped tantalizing details that may well flourish into the next unforeseen sensation. In a landscape obsessed with wearable technology, Nintendo hopes to base this new health-centric vision on something called “non-wearables.” The term itself feels like a joke, the nonsensical feint of a sore loser sick of being bullied. Oh you drink water to stay alive? I’ll drink rocks! You breathe oxygen? Ha, I’m going to breathe paint fumes! The future is wearables, you say?… Non-wearables it is! Nintendo, once again, has decided to zag where everyone else thinks it should zig.

Unlike most folks, myself included, he’s bullish. I hope he’s right. I fear he’s not. This sounds like a whole lot of hand-waving to me — and not the Wiimote variety.

Sam Byford on Nintendo’s announcements last week:

If there’s one thing to learn from Satoru Iwata’s 12 years in charge, it’s that you can always count on Nintendo to surprise. At first glance, the company’s much-hyped strategy announcement today was mostly devoid of revelations — yes, Nintendo will develop smartphone apps that may or may not include small games; no, the company won’t be swayed from its conviction that its future lies in creating software for its own hardware, even when that hardware performs as badly as the Wii U has done. But CEO and president Iwata threw a curveball toward the end of his presentation when he announced plans to “take on the challenge of expanding into a new business area.” What followed was an explanation as equally inscrutable in English as it was in Japanese, but it might just be the first hint of Nintendo’s next big thing.

I read through all the coverage of this event and still cannot parse what the hell Nintendo is doing — or planning to do. It sounds like they’re thinking a lot about the connected health space, which is red hot right now and about to get hotter, but not via a wearable piece of technology but rather a “non-wearable”.

Sounds like vapor… ware? We’ll see.

If I was only concerned about managing Nintendo for this year and next year — and not about what the company would be like in 10 or 20 years — then I’d probably say that my point of view is nonsense. But if we think 20 years down the line, we may look back at the decision not to supply Nintendo games to smartphones and think that is the reason why the company is still here.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, in a post-E3 interview with WSJ (though I’m linking to The Verge because of the WSJ’s ridiculous paywall — funny how content finds a way to live outside paywalls).

This is the argument that comes up time and again as to why Nintendo shouldn’t (and won’t) bring their games on the popular smartphone platforms. The next step is always for people to point to Apple as an example of a company that stood their ground, and when they didn’t — when it was attack of the clones time in the 1990s — it almost killed them.

I just view this as a very different circumstance. Apple nearly died because of incompetence. Nintendo is bleeding because the world has completely changed around them. And I cannot see how it changes back.

Nintendo needs to adapt. Which, by the way, Apple did as well. They did not become the most valuable company in the world because they continued making Macs.