Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata, has said that the slow, thin release schedule of games for the Wii U was deliberate by Nintendo. It was a choice they made that is in line with the company's values.
Those values are rigorous, high standards to create "carefully developed" experiences. Speaking with investors in a call that followed Nintendo's recent financial results, Iwata addressed the less-than-stellar performance of the Wii U. Ultimately, he acknowledged that the release schedule has had an adverse effect on the Wii U's sales, but it was because of choices that Nintendo deliberately made.
"We were faced with the alternatives of taking time to refine our products or launching them without too many intervals," said Iwata. "After careful consideration, we selected the first option because we believe that from a mid-and-long term perspective it is more important to improve customer satisfaction with each game."
Iwata continued, "I believe the future of the industry depends on the number of games developers release that consumers consider to be fresh and worth paying for. We decided to take time to add the final touches to ensure that consumers full feel that they are valuable titles. The brand of a franchise would be completely degraded without customer satisfaction. This is why we delayed the release schedule of such games [as Pikmin 3]."
It's good that they're acknowledging the problem with the Wii U, but they should've planned the release of the console better. Why release a console and have no games release for it in the following three months?
Iwata also discussed the value of creating $50 to $60 games and how success is now judged. He said there's challenges in determining the minimum development resources that would ensure customer satisfaction, continuing, " The sales of popular games are much larger than in the past. Therefore, if we create more hit games, the software development business can still be very profitable. All games break even if they sell millions of copies worldwide, so we will continue to do our best to develop games which have high sales potential."
Iwata may be able to right the ship, but games have to start releasing — that includes third-party games. It's yet to be seen how Nintendo's decision to skip an E3 presser and focus on Nintendo Directs will pan out, but it looks like Iwata and Nintendo have a plan and are sticking to it.