Questions from shareholders meetings address current strategy and ask if the Switch will have 1000+ games in ten years
The translation of Nintendo's 77th annual shareholders meeting has been released and some of the questions and answers are quite fascinating.
One of the big questions was if the company was planning any hardware or software initiatives in the PC market. A question from shareholders divided the games market in to three segments: smart devices, home console and PC, and asked the board if, given the growth of PC in the US, if Nintendo has any plans to enter this as well.
"We are aware that many consumers play PC games," answered Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima. "However, we believe that the integrated hardware-software business is the best way for us to provide the surprises and new gameplay experiences that we want to achieve.
"On the other hand, we offered three applications for smart devices during the previous fiscal year, and, though the content and consumers playing the applications were different, each one was received extremely favorably. Super Mario Run, for example, achieved 150 million downloads worldwide, and consumers who had never played our games before were able to experience our IP on their smart devices. We believe that we can further expand our core integrated hardware-software business by providing our software on smart devices and increasing the number of consumers who experience our IP."
Speaking from experience at this years E3 conference, Shigeru Miyamoto added: "Indeed, in the past I have seen a number of exhibition booths at E3 where dozens of PCs lined the hall for consumers to try out network experiences. However, at E3 this year, there were not many gaming PC exhibits or VR exhibits, which captured significant attention last year. I feel as if this environment allowed the attendees to see Nintendo anew as a company offering consumer-oriented dedicated video game systems."
Another couple of fascinating points from the meeting were if Nintendo were involved or allowed Japan's Prime Minister Abe to be dressed as Mario for the closure of the Rio de Janiero Olympics last year. "We cooperated in this endeavor along with other companies to show one part of the Japanese culture, and I feel that the response from people all over the world was positive," answered Nintendo president, Kimishima.
One really interesting question was about the lack of titles released for Nintendo systems in recent years, compared to the 1000+ that were released for both the NES nand SNES consoles, and if the Switch will increase numbers seen for release on the WiiU back to these levels. "Regarding our development framework, indie development, or software development by individuals or small teams of developers, is becoming extremely popular, but developers must go through a wide variety of procedures in order to develop software, so we are taking initiatives to lower the procedural and cost-related difficulties," replied president Kimishima.
"Our development environment is one of those initiatives, and I believe that the article you read conveyed that our framework is more than capable enough to handle debugging (the process of checking to make sure the software behaves as intended by the developers). To help software publishers feel at ease about developing with Nintendo, we need to steadily release our own titles and show them that momentum. We hope to maintain momentum for Nintendo Switch for a long time by increasing opportunities to build up various businesses on our hardware while simultaneously adjusting our development environment so that even small-scale developers who could not support us before can support us now."
You can read the full translation of the shareholders meeting here.