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Good Article at IGN about Satoru Iwata


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Click here to read the 3-page article, which details the life of Mr. Iwata including where he came from, how he became Nintendo's forth president, and where he will take the company in the future. For the purposes of this thread, I thought it might be interesting to talk specifically about these comments:


Despite the fact that Iwata does not see online gaming as the "be all and end all" of the industry's future, he does acknowledge that Nintendo would like to deliver online games at some point. However, unlike its competitors, the ideal model for Nintendo would be a system where games could be played online for free (that is, there would be no extra cost incurred after a player purchases the software). ..."The thing about online is that people are talking about it and bringing it up as this kind of direction for gaming," said Iwata, "but the fact of the matter is that many aren't really paying attention to a lot of the hurdles that have to be jumped before online becomes viable. One of the biggest ones, I think is, what's really going to be the penetration for broadband connections around the world? Where is that going to be in a few years? So people are talking about this and seem to focus only on online, but they fail to answer many of the questions surrounding it."


Three things come to mind when I read this. First, I agree that online gaming isn't the "be all and end all" of gaming in the future. As I suggested in this thread online gaming isn't for everyone for various reasons given within it. The way I see it, the market will continue to expand with online gaming just being one slice of the multi-billion dollar pie that is the gaming industry.


Second of all, I find it interesting that Nintendo doesn't want to charge people extra money for playing online. Since the industry seems hell-bent on charging for this extra service, I wonder what Nintendo plans on not only delivering online games for free, but also how they plan to recon that vision with various developers who may see those extra charges as a nice supply of extra income. I wonder if this is viable vision that could come true or a crazy pipe dream that could only happen in bizarro world. Similarly, do you think Nintendo would abandon this vision if it becomes apparent that oodles of profits are to be made from charging from online sales?


Finally when he talks about the "hurdles" of online gaming, I'm sort of left wondering exactly what he means. He talks about hurdles but never specifies what they are. The only things I can think of are the aforementioned costs involved and the penetration of broadband around the world. Any ideas?


Fell free to read the profile at IGN and comment on anything I've talked about here. If this discussion takes off, I may switch gears and deal with his comments on the rising cost of game development and his stance toward the trend for more complicated games.

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Guest Bryan

Not charging for online gaming seems to go against the Nintendo philosophy of making a profit. Someone will have to pay for the servers and associated expenses. Can you see a game publisher saying, 'OK, we'll do this at our expense so Nintendo can say they aren't charging for it'?


I know broadband subscribers are still in the minority of internet users, but I have heard many recent news stories saying that cable and dsl are booming right now. I'd love to know if there is a magical percentage that must be reached before bb connections will be deemed as proliferating.

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