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Satoru Iwata: Japan And United Kingdom React Quickest To New Trends



Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes that Japan is the fastest nation in the world to adapt to new trends and technologies. Iwata has stated in the past that the Japanese, by nature, tend to get bored of current trends the quickest, which he cited as one of the reasons behind the Wii’s sales decline in the early half of 2009.


At the recent Nintendo investor Q&A, Iwata stated that he feels the United Kingdom, too, shares this trait to an extent. Addressing a question about DS hardware sales in light of the company’s 3DS announcement, he replied:


“I think Japan is a nation where the whole society shifts rapidly and dramatically to what is new – maybe the quickest in the world. United Kingdom is similar to Japan in a sense that its market also reacts quickly as well. On the contrary, slower tendency can be seen in nations like Germany. And the United States, whose market is often thought of as in-depth, has so many slow reacting consumers (along with rapid ones).


This trend can actually be seen with the gaming population expansion. While Japan once haltered in its expansion, U.S. kept continuing to expand, due to the different tendencies of each market. Thus I believe we will see a huge difference among countries on Nintendo DS sales after we actually make new proposals with Nintendo 3DS, due to price gaps between Nintendo 3DS and existing Nintendo DS family, and consumers’ acceptance of it.”


No real details were divulged regarding the 3DS and its features, or the software that would be released for it. Unsurprisingly, a large portion of the Q&A involved Iwata fending off questions from investors relating to those topics, asking that they wait until E3 for further information on the device — including its final name.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.