Satoru Iwata: Hubris versus Western Culture

Promises, Promises, Promises

Every generation, Satoru Iwata tells investors, gamers, and retailers that they will avoid major software droughts because these can kill a platform’s momentum after launch.  Satoru Iwata never learns from anything.  He always says he has learned from past mistakes, but his actions never show it.  Instead, every single generation, all we get from him is a whole bunch of “Please understand” and “I apologize for the inconvenience”.

Here’s some examples.

Iwata says Wii will avoid major droughts that plagued GameCube.  (March 2007)

“When we launched GameCube, the initial sales were good, and all the hardware we manufactured at that time were sold through. However, after this period, we could not provide the market with strong software titles in a timely fashion. As a result we could not leverage the initial launch time momentum, and sales of GameCube slowed down. To avoid repeating this with Wii, we have been intensifying the software development, both internally at Nintendo and at developers outside the company, in order to prepare aggressive software lineup for Wii at and after the launch.” says Iwata.  He then says, ”We believe it is important to provide the market with strong software without a long interval in order to keep the launch time momentum.”


Iwata promises that 3DS will avoid major droughts that plagued Wii and DS.

“It’s important that you be able to supply software with no pause,” said Iwata. “With the DS and Wii, following the titles that were released at launch, the momentum dropped when there was a gap in software releases. We’re making plans so that this type of thing won’t happen.”


Iwata promises that Wii U will avoid major droughts that plagued 3DS and Wii.

“ As we learned a bitter lesson with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, we are trying to take every possible measure so that the Wii U will have a successful launch.”

“The company was unable to launch much-anticipated first-party titles for the Wii nor for the Nintendo 3DS in a timely fashion in the first half of the term. In the game platform business, creating momentum is very important, but the momentum was once lost, and it has had a large negative effect on our sales and profits.”


Iwata apologizes for Wii U drought in January and February.

“I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of titles in January and February.”


Iwata remote

Thanks to the success of  ”Nintendo Direct” and “Iwata Asks,” Nintendo fans have grown attached to Satoru Iwata as Nintendo’s president.  It’s very difficult to dislike Iwata because the man comes off as a very charming person with a good sense of humor.   Iwata has had a long history in game development before becoming a CEO, and this is why Nintendo fans and game developers tend to show Iwata a lot of respect. I’ve seen many Nintendo fans call him a genuine, good-hearted, hard working man.  While most of us have never met Iwata, I would assume these are all fair things to say about him.  Satoru Iwata is one of the most likable CEO’s in the video game industry.

And that’s part of the problem.

He’s so likable that gamers feel bad for criticizing any of his business decisions.  Instead, gamers find it easier to criticize Reggie Fils-Aime when things go wrong.  They view Reggie as some random marketing executive with little knowledge of game development, and this makes it easier for fans to blame all of Nintendo’s problems on him.

You can replace hundreds of Reggies at Nintendo of America, but as long as Iwata and the current management at NCL are in charge, don’t expect any real sweeping change to occur in the way Nintendo does things. Don’t get me wrong.  I like Satoru Iwata.   On a personal level, he seems like a nice, hard working man who really cares about Nintendo as a company and respects the art of game development.

But I don’t think he’s a great CEO. He’s had three great years during the Wii/DS.  His remaining seven years were either mediocre (average) or poor (this is including his GameCube years).

Every time Iwata screws up, people will bring up his short term success between 2007 through 2009 to defend Iwata’s mediocre performance.    People give him credit for turning around the 3DS after a disastrous launch.  The truth is you don’t deserve credit for fixing your own mistakes.  You deserve credit for avoiding mistakes.

Iwata says people who want realistic graphics already own 360/PS3.  So why Wii U?



Nielsen collected a bunch of data and found out that 56 percent of U.S. households have a modern console (Xbox 360, PlayStation, or the Wii).  Now you would assume that Nintendo is a big enough company to collect data and find out what consoles/platforms/devices that gamers are playing.  Especially with all of the data they collect from Club Nintendo members.

Back in 2005, Satoru Iwata told the gaming press that he would be okay with people buying Wii as a secondary console with their PS3/360 because they are drastically different types of consoles.

“And for those other gameplayers who are eager to purchase the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, we don’t care because we believe they are willing to purchase Revolution as well,” Iwata said. “They are different machines. After all, Revolution can give players an experience that is quite different from the experience given by Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.  We are trying to make Revolution [Wii] so that it makes sense for [consumers] to buy both.” – Satoru Iwata in 2005  (Source)

Peter Moore, a former vice president for Microsoft, agreed with Satoru Iwata.  “Tell me why you would buy a $600 PS3? People are going to buy two [machines]. They’re going to buy an Xbox and they’re going to buy a Wii … for the price of one PS3,” said Moore.

At a financial results briefing Q&A session on April 26, 2011, Satoru Iwata is asked why some games like Call of Duty sold better on PS3/360 instead of Wii.  He tells the investors that one of the reasons is because Wii owners who want games like that will also own other platforms (360/PS3).

“However, Wii is good in some areas but not in others, so especially for games like “Call of Duty,” the Wii version sold pretty well, but the unit sales were very different from the versions of other platforms, and I assume that one of the reasons is the issue with the graphical representations which you mentioned before, and also, the consumers who like that kind of game will have other platforms at home as well, which led to this result.”  (Source)

So let’s summarize this:

  • Iwata told gamers they could buy Wii as a secondary system with their 360/PS3 since they’re drastically different consoles.
  • At a 2011 investors meeting, Iwata says Wii owners who want realistic western games like Call of Duty already have an Xbox 360 or PS3 to play them.

If Iwata says Wii owners who wanted a more realistic Call of Duty experience owned a second console (360/PS3), then why did Iwata think selling 360/PS3 ports was going to fly with Wii U? Did he really think he could launch Wii U with a bunch of Xbox 360/PS3 ports when PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have each sold over 75 million units worldwide?

Who is Off-TV gameplay targeted at?


The Off-TV feature is suppose to be one of the more attractive features of the Wii U, according to Mr. Iwata.

“It was very fortunate for Wii that a lot of households around the world decided to connect the Wii to the living room TV,” Iwata says. ”On the other hand, we felt something was lost. And that is that the TV in the living room is shared by every member of family, and if someone wanted to play a Wii game for a long time period, other members of the family may find that troublesome. So at the early stages of the discussion between ourselves, we came up with the idea of the additional screen.” – Satoru Iwata, June 14,  2012  (Source)

According to a February 2012 Nielsen study (Source), here is what they discovered about television ownership in U.S. households.

Out of 114.7 million U.S. households:

17.7 million U.S. households have only one television.

32.7 million of U.S. households have two televisions.

28.3 million of U.S. households have three televisions.

35.9 million U.S. households have four or more televisions.

If you calculate these statistics, 84 percent of U.S. households have more than one television.

64.2 million people (56 percent) out of 114.7 million U.S. households have three, four, or more televisions.

There was another study done in the United Kingdom.

They found out that two thirds (around 66%) of British households have three or more television.  Not only that, but one in every six families in the United Kingdom have five televisions.

As you can see, sharing televisions isn’t really a big problem in western culture like it might be in Japan.  But if Nintendo wants hardware to sell better in the west than Japan (which Iwata has mentioned at least five times), why has this niche Japanese designed feature become the major selling point for Wii U?  This isn’t an uncontested market since 3DS, PS Vita, tablets, and smartphones already fill in the gap for portable gaming.  And they are actually portable unlike the GamePad.

Here is a visualization of Nielsen’s U.S. television ownership study:

nielsen tv average


Is the Wii’s expanded audience intimidated by the Wii U’s GamePad?

If you followed Iwata and Miyamoto in the last six years, they basically laid out the theory that complex controllers scare away casual gamers.  Here are some of their memorable quotes over the years.

Iwata and Miyamoto quotes about GameCube/Xbox/PlayStation controllers.

“Controllers for current consoles have more than doubled [in complexity] from older consoles. They may satisfy the hardcore gamers, but they’ve become too difficult for more casual gamers,” Iwata said.  (Source)

“Perhaps those who have quit gaming or who have never played with games looked at the controller and felt it may be too difficult to play, even before they dared to touch the controller,” said Iwata.  (Source)

“There are too many buttons and sticks on controllers for novice players, which is likely to discourage them from ever playing games at all,” Iwata told The Guardian. “We want the Revolution’s controller to be relevant to everybody and we really want people to feel like they want to touch and play with it.”  (Source)

“The controllers for this generation do not look fun to use,” said Miyamoto. “You don’t look at any of the controllers and think, ‘Wow, I want to play [with] this.’ You look at these controllers and think, ‘Oh my God, it looks so difficult.”  (Source)

“Today, if you don’t understand the controller, you’re not able to enjoy video games. … We expect the Revolution [Wii] controller to become the standard in video game controls.” - Satoru Iwata  (Source)

“We thought it was the requirement of moving right and left fingers separately and nimbly that was creating a psychological barrier, …” – Satoru Iwata  (Source)


wii u gcn comparison

For six years, Iwata and Miyamoto preached to us about how game controllers have become too complex with too many buttons, sticks, and gizmos.  When you look at the Wii U GamePad, you feel like the last six years of Iwata and Miyamoto preaching about simplifying controllers never even happened.

Not only is the Wii U Gamepad larger in size than any controller or handheld created by Nintendo, but there are more buttons and input methods on the Wii U GamePad than the GameCube controller.  On top of that, the Wii U GamePad has a 6.2 inch LCD touchscreen + gyroscope + camera + sensor strip + NFC (Near Field Communication).

If Iwata says the GameCube controller intimidated people with its complexity, then what do people think of the Wii U GamePad?

If Nintendo could create the most intimidating controller to scare casual gamers away, the Wii U GamePad is that controller.

The Wii U GamePad is basically a culmination of every idea Nintendo created for all of their past console controllers and handhelds.  The touchscreens, the two screen gameplay, augmented reality, the A, B, X, Y buttons, the dual analogue sticks, D-Pad, the camera, rumble, and the gyroscope.

gba link wii u

But after GameCube, didn’t Miyamoto say he wanted to avoid creating a controller that was only a culmination of everything leading up to it? In Miyamoto’s own words about the GameCube controller, yes he did.

“We made it as a culmination of everything leading up to it, but it really underwhelmed.  This line of thinking doesn’t give us anything else to shoot for, does it? The GameCube controller is a product of us feeling that, without this or that, people wouldn’t be able to play the games we make. But then we realized that was a problem, that we were thinking based on that controller as the premise.” said Miyamoto.

Wii U GamePad is repeating the history of the GameCube controller.  The GamePad is a culmination of everything created in the past for consoles and handhelds, but it’s not grabbing the desired attention that Nintendo was hoping for.

Iwata’s relationship with the rest of the industry.

third party banner

For years, Iwata spoke about how the industry was shrinking and that it needed to be expanded.  The Wii rebeled against the rest of the industry and carved it’s own market to grab an expanded audience.  The success for Wii came because it didn’t follow the industry.

The philosophy behind Wii had no interest in satisfying the industry, and this is why the Wii’s message and advertising was clear and coherent.  The philosophy behind Wii was to shake up the industry, not work with it.

Wii U is a product that tries to be everything to everyone.  Wii U doesn’t know if it wants to work with the industry or reinvent the industry.  It’s stuck in the middle and it has a big identity crisis.

Writer Sean Malstrom did a good job of pointing this out on his blog that the Wii U is a red ocean product that Iwata is trying to pass off as a blue ocean product.

“I don’t care if Nintendo wants to go Red Ocean. What angers me, and what should be seen as fraud to investors, is Nintendo declaring their strategy is ‘mass market’ while employing tactics and strategies that are ‘narrow market,” says Malstrom.

It’s amusing when you observe Satoru Iwata’s comments before the Wii launched (Revolution era) and before the Wii U launched.

Before Wii launched

“If the next generation platforms are going to create even more gorgeous looking games using further enhanced functionality, and if that next-gen market can still expand the games industry, then I’m afraid that third-parties may not support Nintendo,” says Iwata.  (Source)

Iwata is then asked in an interview with EGM to elaborate on this.

“I think that in the West, looking at the conditions there, many of the publishers have been operating under the business model of producing one game and releasing it on three different consoles. And while it’s not impossible for people to do that with the Revolution, I think a lot of people will have concerns with that, given the fact that the system has this unique controller. Will gamers want to play “standard” games on the Revolution? Similarly, a lot of developers continue to operate on what I call “sustainable innovation”, in terms of processing power and graphics. Those kinds of developers might not be quite as interested in developing on the Revolution. says Iwata  (Source)

Before Wii U launched

“The second point that we focused on was how can we satisfy and meet the needs of everyone in the industry who is developing games now and their desire for HD visuals, and how can we convince them that this will be a system with which “they can take full advantage of their game development.”  (Source)

Now think about that quote, “how can we satisfy and meet the needs of everyone in the industry”.

Writer Sean Malstrom laughed at the idea behind Iwata’s thinking:

“In his [Iwata's] second answer about how to expand gaming, he said Nintendo must placate to the Industry. But this makes no sense because Industry are not customers and are not a market.  Worse, the Industry is the problem because they keep making games that are shrinking the market (which Iwata warned about five years ago).  Iwata is talking out of both sides of his mouth. I would not do business with this man.” said Malstrom.

What’s worse is that the Wii U feels like it’s trying to satisfy the industry half way.  You either have to go satisfy the industry ALL the way (Microsoft, Sony)…or don’t bother to satisfy the industry at all and create/find your own expanded market (Wii).

Wii U tries to satisfy the big publishers by creating an HD console, but it doesn’t have the processing power to support next gen engines.

Wii U tries to appeal to core gamers who enjoy Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, and Watch_Dogs, but Iwata admits that Wii owners who want realistic games like CoD would already have purchased a 360/PS3 with their Wii.

Wii U tries to appeal to casual non-gamers with the GamePad, but the GamePad is just a bunch of traditional controller/handheld ideas bundled together in one device.


Iwata says Western market needs to sell more than Japan. Where’s the Western Support?

iwata banner

Satoru Iwata constantly blames Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe for not selling their hardware correctly.  Iwata knows that the Japanese market is slowly shrinking, and being king of Japan doesn’t mean all that much.  GameCube outsold Xbox in Japan, but that didn’t stop Xbox from beating GameCube in every other territory.  So it is mind-boggling when I see how much emphasis Nintendo puts on securing popular Japanese content like Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Bayonetta 2, and Wonderful 101.  But then Iwata comes back and asks why Nintendo of America isn’t selling more hardware in the west.

On July 4th, 2012, Iwata  told a group of shareholders, “While the Nintendo 3DS has a certain degree of sales momentum in Japan, the momentum in the US and Europe is currently weak,” Iwata explained.  “Considering that the US and European markets are larger than the Japanese market in terms of the size of the population, sales in the US and Europe are supposed to be larger.” Iwata continued.

As MCVUK reported, “He’s [Iwata] a man who clearly believes in his hardware. So why is it struggling? Simple, Iwata argues – Nintendo is not selling it right. And territories in which the console is underperforming are going to need to up their game.”

Fast forward to January 1, 2013, and Iwata talks about Japan’s DS/3DS sales being higher than in the U.S.

“While it became the number one selling handheld system, its yearly sales decreased on a year-on-year basis, and in fact we sold fewer units in the U.S. than in Japan despite the fact that the U.S. market is significantly larger than its Japanese counterpart. says Iwata.  The U.S. market is certainly larger than its Japanese equivalent, with approximately 2.5 times more hardware units sold in a typical year, but last calendar year the entire hardware market shrunk by 27 percent on a year-on-year basis, meaning that just two times more hardware units were sold than in Japan.”

We get to January 31, 2013, and Iwata repeats himself like a broken record.

“The U.S. and Europe certainly have much larger populations, so the market potential for us should be larger than the Japanese market.” says Iwata.

So let’s get to the point.  Satoru Iwata believes that Nintendo’s hardware should sell better in North America and Europe than Japan.  In the past, he had also mentioned how western development has grown larger in numbers than Japanese developers.

Iwata says, “I think that, over the past three or four years, the presence of Japanese software developers has become relatively small. “

He then adds that western gamers prefer western games due to realistic graphics.  “In addition, because the expressions in games are becoming more and more photo-realistic, I imagine that the cultural differences in acceptance have started to be reflected more clearly. I think this is the reason why western users tend to prefer software created overseas than software from Japanese software developers.”  (Source)

So let’s do the math.

  • Iwata says western territories (North America/Europe) have bigger populations than Japan, so hardware needs to sell better in those territories.
  • Iwata says western gamers prefer western software rather than software from Japanese developers.
  • Iwata says that the presence of Japanese developers is much less in comparison to western developers.

So why isn’t western third party support a major priority for this company if they are serious about selling hardware to the west?

Western support = Popular games that appeal to western tastes =  More consoles sold in the West

Why did Nintendo overspend their money on a controller instead of creating hardware that can attract western support, which in return, attracts western gamers outside of Nintendo’s loyal fans?  Not only did Nintendo fail at creating a blue ocean product  with the GamePad, but now they’re losing western publisher support that they could have received as a red ocean product.  Since licensing royalties make up a huge chunk of money for Nintendo, you would think third party support is a bigger priority for this company.

I don’t believe NCL has put Nintendo of America or Nintendo of Europe in a position where they can be aggressive, strategic, or successful with big publishers or the western market.  They are forced to take whatever they get from NCL and try to figure out a way to sell it to customers and publishers.  I do not envy their jobs one bit.

On September 27, 2012, Reggie Fils-Aime was asked about Satoru Iwata’s comments relating to NOA/NOE weaker than expected sales of 3DS hardware/software.

“When he said that, I had a sharp pain in my neck. It was in the middle of the night, and I viscerally reacted to it. The fact of the matter is that Japan is doing better than the North American marketplace. That is a factually true statement. It’s driven by the strong level of support that they’ve had from Japanese third-party publishers. There’s been a number of games like Monster Hunter that did big numbers.” said Fils-Aime.

According to Reggie…

Strong Japanese third-party support = Strong Japanese sales.

What or who is holding Nintendo of America back from getting that same level of support from western third-party publishers?  If weak or frustrating hardware is keeping western third-parties away (making it difficult for Nintendo of America to actually do their job), then shouldn’t the blame be directed squarely at Iwata/NCL?

Why is Iwata and NCL constantly pointing their fingers at NOA/NOE’s marketing teams?  I’m not saying NOA’s messaging has been brilliant.  Lord knows that Nintendo of America’s messaging could be tweaked a bit.  But when is it not marketing’s fault?  Is it ever the actual product’s fault?  Are people allowed to blame the product without being called Nintendo haters? Could the problem be that this is a very Japanese product (#1 in low power consumption) that doesn’t appeal to an expanded market (like the Wii) and lacks western appeal outside of Nintendo fans?

If Iwata wants western sales, then he needs to create a product that can attract popular western software.  It’s nice to “want” western sales to be higher than Japan, but Iwata won’t get this until he learns to play ball with western publishers.  Iwata didn’t get positive Japanese sales from thin air.  He got it from grabbing the exclusivity of titles like Dragon Quest X, Monster Hunter, and other titles.  If Iwata wants Nintendo platforms to sell well to western audiences, he will need to apply this formula on the west.


How successful has Iwata been as a president?

iwata grim

From 2000 through June 2002, Satoru Iwata was Nintendo Co. Ltd’s director and general manager.  He played a pretty crucial role with the GameCube’s launch.  Iwata even once told IGN, “Someone called me Director of Problem Solving.”

Satoru Iwata became president of Nintendo on June 2002.  Seven months after GameCube launched.  The GameCube was still very early in its life.  If we just single out the Gamecube era, he was president from June 2002 all the way to Wii’s launch.  That means he was around for the GameCube era for over four and a half years.

By September 2002, Nintendo had shipped 4 million GameCubes.

Satoru Iwata told investors that Nintendo would sell 50 million GameCube consoles worldwide by March 2005.

GameCube only sold 21.7 million units worldwide by the end of 2006.  It didn’t even sell half of what Iwata promised investors.

For a man who called himself the “Director of Problem Solving”, Iwata did not solve any problems for the Nintendo’s GameCube or for third parties.

Before Xbox 360 launched, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 1 made up 90% of combined software sales of EA, Activision, Ubisoft, THQ, and Midway.  The other 10% of combined game sales was GameCube.

THQ charts cube

Fast forward through time.

We get to the Wii/DS era, and Iwata hits the jackpot between the years 2006 through 2009.  That’s about four years of success.   But here’s the question to ask yourself.  What did Iwata do after Nintendo made boat loads of money?  Where did Iwata invest that money?

If Iwata has been making wise (please emphasize the “wise”) investments, then why has Iwata complained so much about their resources/teams being under major pressure when developing games for 3DS and Wii U? If Iwata was making wise investments with that Wii/DS money in 2009 and 2010, we wouldn’t be complaining about a software drought for Wii U right now.

Nintendo market cap was at 85 billion in October 2007.  (Source)

Nintendo market cap is now at $13.7 billion as of today (April 1st, 2013).  (Source)

Nintendo’s market cap was $16.9 million in 2004 during the end of the GameCube era (before Wii).

That means Nintendo’s market cap is currently worse today than the end of the GameCube era.

Here’s a link to Nintendo’s market cap value from 2003 through today.  (Note: When you click the link, make sure to click on expanded view to see all of the years.)

nintendo market cap

Check out the income statement for Nintendo for 2010, 2011, and 2011.

income statement
Source: Hoovers

The net income dropped 62% from 2010 to 2011.  The net income dropped 156% from 2011 to 2012.

Here’s a graph posted by AZ Greg on NeoGaf showing Wii U’s trends with GameCube’s trends.

I hope one day that red line can rise over the blue line.  One of these days.

wiiugamecube trend


This is Satoru Iwata’s legacy in a nutshell


I’ve been asking myself how would I summarize Satoru Iwata’s legacy?  Would I call his legacy a success or a failure?  His legacy can be defined by a lot of things.  Is his legacy defined by the GameCube’s failures or the Wii/DS’s successes?  Is it defined by the fact that he fumbled both the 3DS and Wii U launches?

If there’s anything that defines Iwata’s legacy, it’s his ability to make you understand.

“First of all, please understand that I am not in a position to comment on third parties software, especially when the lineup has not been announced by them.” – Satoru Iwata

Please understand that it was not designed to be a portable gaming machine, even though it shares some characteristics.” – Satoru Iwata talking about Wii U GamePad.

Please understand that we are still researching these areas.” – Satoru Iwata talking about the mobile market.

Please understand, I am not saying that technology is unimportant.  I understand that technology is important.” – Satoru Iwata

Please understand that [achieving it] is my commitment.” – Satoru Iwata

“I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of new titles from Nintendo in January and February but please understand we will have new titles to offer from March onward.”

Please understand that such a sentiment led to that part of my video presentation. I’d like to make clear, however, that we have not done anything immoral, so if your take away from that video was me repeatedly apologizing, please understand that I need to express my disagreement to your assessment.” – Iwata speaking to a shareholder.


When he’s not asking you to please understand, his legacy becomes a whole lot of apologizing.

“We are sorry about [the E3] media briefings, specifically for those who were expecting to see Nintendo show something about ‘Super Mario’ or ‘Legend of Zelda.’” –  Satoru Iwata

“So I feel very sorry for the fact that purchasers of Wii U have to experience a network update which takes such a long time, and that there are the services which were not available at the hardware’s launch.” – Satoru Iwata

“ I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of titles in January and February.” – Satoru Iwata

“As a representative of our company, I would like to express my sincere apologies that we are not meeting your expectations.” – Iwata talking to shareholders about share prices.”  - Satoru Iwata

“I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and assure you that we aim to rectify the situation as soon as possible. ” – Iwata speaking on Animal Crossing demand.”

I feel greatly accountable for missing our financial forecast for the half year ended September and revising downward our forecast for the full year,” - Satoru Iwata

“We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision [to cut the console's price]…” – Satoru Iwata

“I apologize to those supporting Wii U about the lack of new titles from Nintendo in January and February but please understand we will have new titles to offer from March onward.” – Satoru Iwata


Iwata knows what you can or can’t see.


Iwata needs to stick to his “We aren’t about graphics” philosophy instead of this whole charade about how people won’t see the graphical differences between his machines and the competitor’s machines.  If you prefer gameplay over graphics then wear it like a badge of honor.  Don’t be ashamed.

Iwata in May 2004

Today’s consoles already offer fairly realistic expressions so simply beefing up the graphics will not let most of us see a difference.” (Source)

Iwata in 2005 (Talking about Wii)

“But the fact of the matter is that if people are going to connect our machine [Wii] and their machine [360/PS3] to an ordinary TV set at home and try to compare the differences, I really don’t think that they can tell such a huge difference between the machines,” Iwata told G4.  (Source)

Iwata in June 20, 2006  (Talking about Wii)

“As I said earlier, the notion to be able to make more beautiful graphics is tempting. High-resolution sounds tempting too. I myself can tell the resulted difference in these areas even if many others can’t, and I don’t say I don’t like technologies.”  (Source)

Iwata in 2012  (Admits there was a big difference) :

“In terms of graphical capability, there was a sheer difference between the Wii and the other two devices, most notably between SD and HD,” (Source)

Iwata went from:

1) “will not let most of us see a difference” 

…  to… 

2) “I really don’t think that they can tell such a huge difference between the machines” 


3) “I myself can tell the resulted difference in these areas even if many others can’t”  


4) “In terms of graphical capability, there was a sheer difference between the Wii and the other two devices.”


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65 Comments to Satoru Iwata: Hubris versus Western Culture
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