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Iwata talks game pricing

Miyamoto hints at new project.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has taken a pop at publishers for the way they price their games, criticising the current system where retailers cut the price of titles soon after they launch.

Speaking during a corporate management briefing, Iwata said: "We believe that each software should have its own price point depending on its volume, theme, contents or energies and time spent for the development, namely, the development costs.

"Once the suggested retail price is announced, we should stick to it," he added.

At the moment, publishers aren't keen to release games with lower price points, since they're worried retailers and gamers will assume they're of a lower quality.

But Iwata believes this does more harm than good: "If the suggested retail price of any and all software is marked down in 6 months or 9 months, the customers will learn the cycle and wait for the discounting," he explained, "Which will simply aggravate the decreasing sales of new software."

In the same briefing, Iwata confirmed that the Wii will launch some time between October and December, and that the price and release date will be announced "in or before September."

Once again he defended the name of the new console, stating: "I have never thought it was a mistake to name it Wii. I understand that a great many people have already accepted this product name." And Nintendo is making efforts to ensure that those who haven't will come round, according to Iwata.

On the issue of why the Wii won't feature HD technology - unlike its rivals - Iwata said: "I am not saying that Nintendo will never launch HD-ready hardware. Rather, it can happen.

"However, when we seriously look into the current penetration ratio of HD-TV, the need to take a long time to start software applications after turning on the power, the big console body, heat, power consumption, etc., etc., we had to make a more well-balanced machine. So, we have no regrets about Wii in terms of its well-balanced nature."

Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto also took part in the briefing, reiterating the company's policy of bringing games to a wider audience. "I know many people in this industry do not play videogames even though some of them are running videogame companies, but I have seen them enjoying playing with Wii without any hesitations," he said.

"Looking at them, I can feel that we can change the way people play. We are trying not to increase the number of buttons the player has to manipulate. We are trying not to be constrained by conventional rules. We are trying to make games so that anyone can enjoy playing easily."

When asked what he's up to these days, Miyamoto replied: "I am interested in many things. Maybe you'd love to hear that I recently owned a cat or lizard," he added with a chuckle.

"I was a typical Japanese husband who has been neglecting family lives, but I am spending more time with my family now. I am now interested in how a family enjoys in one house, and that interest pretty much suits well with the concept of Wii hardware."

But have no fear; Miyamoto may be enjoying his new superdad role, but he's still got his mind on the job. "I am enjoying making software right now... [I have been] doing something lately, but I think I need to refrain from talking about it today. Hopefully, I can tell you what it is in six months or so."

You can read the full text of the briefing over on Nintendo's Japanese website.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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