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IWATA SPEAKS 18 MCV 13/08/10


Nintendo? What’s next for


Nintendo’s quarterly investors’ meeting saw CEO Satoru Iwata face down questions on whether the firm can keep expanding audiences, and if it’s paying attention to new online technologies. And, of course, the format-holder chief had the right answers. Michael French picks through the highlights…


“ ”“ ” EMBRACING CLOUD GAMING


CLOUD COMPUTING IS A term often seen in the newspapers these days. Now that the Internet and other telecommunication networks have been highly developed, you can have computers process complex transactions online and return the results quickly through fixed-lines and cell-phones. The cluster of computers online is called the ‘Cloud’. With the Cloud, you do not need an expensive computer on hand anymore even for the most complicated information processing. All you need is an input and display device. This is the concept of Cloud Computing. One of the advantages of Cloud


Computing is the flexibility of the allocation of computers installed. It is said to be a very efficient technology for a business with volatile demand – for example, the demand of a service increasing ten times suddenly in a day and decreasing to only a fraction in three months again. On the other hand, in the world of


entertainment that we create, it is pretty true that what comes first is a quick response to players from the computer. The technologies we use in our video game consoles actually include some elements which are very suitable but others which will


never be suited to Cloud Computing. With Cloud Computing, for example, customers would be irritated even by a slight delay in response after pressing a button. So, for what is suitable for Cloud Computing, we will take advantage of the technology in the future. It is also natural that we will align with a


service provider of Cloud Computing, and not going through the trouble to develop our own facilities. Having said that, however, Cloud Computing would not conquer every field of entertainment because present telecommunication technologies inevitably involve a certain delay and limitation of transmission speed. We would employ Cloud Computing as far as it is useful.


MOVING INTO EMERGING MARKETS


IT IS NOT JUST those players in Japan and the other developed countries in North America and Europe that are interested in games. Those in several countries with rapid economic development can afford more entertainment than before. And it is vital for our basic strategy of ‘gaming population expansion’ that more people in such countries as well as in Japan, America and Europe, enjoy our video games. But some people in newly-emerging


countries do not have an established custom of paying for software. We do wonder if the traditional business


model of the video game industry will succeed in such regions. If we do totally


different business there with cheaper services and software than developed countries, people in developed countries would have negative feelings toward us and say, ‘Why do we have to pay much more than those


playing video games


elsewhere?’ This could be one of the


biggest problems for us that would need to be solved. Needless to


say, popularising our video games throughout newly-emerging countries is indispensable for Nintendo’s growth in the mid-and-long term. We will take enough time to work on it.


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