Iwata: “Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge”


Much like Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata isn’t afraid to admit about failure.

While speaking to the B Dash Camp held at Osaka, Japan, Iwata delved into several topics ranging from the recent death of former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi to pushing the Pokemon in the Americas. Iwata later mentioned in the interview about Nintendo’s longevity and how the company hopes to continue surprising the industry and its legion of gamers.

“If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out. Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market.”

You can read the entire Iwata interview here.

What do you have to think about Iwata’s comments about Nintendo’s future? Tell us in the comments below.


16 Responses to Iwata: “Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge”

  1. Lou says:

    Not good at competing? Is something getting lost in the translation? That’s ridiculous.

  2. MikeIsaPoet says:

    No, nothing’s getting lost, you’re just not understanding what they’re saying.

  3. BornFlunky says:

    To elaborate, the last two times Nintendo made consoles to “compete” — the N64, and the Gamecube — they were ultimately outsold by the Playstation and Playstation 2, in that order. What Nintendo’s doing with the Wii U — and what they did with the Wii — is draw in a different audience, with a different lure. Innovation. Etc.

  4. Lord Lemmy says:

    No, Lou, it’s meant exactly as it sounds. Nintendo isn’t, and acknowledges it isn’t, good at directly competing with consoles. Which is WHY they just “do what they want” instead of literally competing with the other companies. Thus the Wii and Wii U not being nearly the same type of consoles being produced by Microsoft and Sony.

  5. Lord Lemmy says:

    In other words, they don’t try to be BETTER, they try to be DIFFERENT, which makes them more fun, in my opinion.

  6. Lou says:

    Well I don’t agree. Like it or not, they’re in a competition and they’re currently getting pummeled. It’s a loser’s mentality. The other systems are selling far better, so it’s easier to say “don’t compare us to them, we’re off doing our own thing.”

    It’s a controversial comment, otherwise Harrison wouldn’t have created the post.

  7. Lou says:

    I’d also like to challenge the idea that they are doing things “different”. The 3DS is essentially the same as the DS, though the circle pad is a huge improvement. The 3D is nice, but people aren’t using it and now we have the 2DS anyway.

    For the Wii U, they’re using a game from 11 years ago to sell it. Upcoming titles include another Mario Kart, another Smash Bros and another DK game. We’ve already seen a Pikmin sequel and a side-scrolling Mario. Those aren’t “different”.

    It’s just Iwata making excuses, IMO.

  8. MikeIsaPoet says:

    It’s not important if you agree. Because that’s how it is. Who says they’re in competition? If they choose to NOT be, then they AREN’T. It’s not some forced-upon fact.

    They ARE doing things different. I don’t think you understand what that means. They’re doing things THEIR way, which is DIFFERENT. Not different from THEMSELVES, different from EVERYONE ELSE.

    Get it yet? Or are you so used to the lack of energy needed to hate and be negative that you can’t see it any other way?

  9. BornFlunky says:

    “For the Wii U, they’re using a game from 11 years ago to sell it. Upcoming titles include another Mario Kart, another Smash Bros and another DK game. We’ve already seen a Pikmin sequel and a side-scrolling Mario. Those aren’t “different”.”

    Yes, they are. Each of these is fundamentally different in function, presentation, playability, and content. Especially content.

    And it’s “different” from what the rest of the big 3 are doing. Which is the -entire focus- of this quote.

  10. Lou says:

    Wow, way to fanboy fellas.

    Let’s go back to the original statement: “Nintendo is not good at competing”

    It’s not, “we aren’t in competition”, it’s “we suck at competition”.

    That’s pathetic. And it’s not true. Please, someone, get this guy out of there.

  11. BornFlunky says:

    I’m certainly not “fanboying.” I’m, as always, stating facts.

    And once again, you fail to read into the quote, despite having it explained 3 times.

    “Nintendo is not good at competing” is referencing the N64 and Gamecube eras. Which is entirely true.

    So then the Wii and DS happened, and then the Wii U, ergo “challenge [the status quo] by making something new…”

    And then “rather than competing in an existing market” is talking about the “we’re not in competition” bit that you said isn’t the case, referencing how they seek out their own market.

    Is this clear enough?

  12. Lou says:

    I think you’re injecting some wild speculation to justify the quote. The N64 was different in that it still used cartridges. The Gamecube was different in many ways, mostly on size and price-point. Being different and/or innovative isn’t new, nor unique to them.

    They’re in the business of moving hardware and software. So are Sony, MS and Apple. It’s competition, tough luck.

    Hey, maybe the GM of the Jacksonville Jaguars could use this excuse. “We’re not good at competing, so we’re doing something different. First, we’ve chosen to score less points than other teams….”

  13. Harrison M. says:


  14. BornFlunky says:

    There’s no “wild speculation” taking place, either. It’s recorded history. Innovation isn’t necessarily new for Nintendo, but it had never been done on the scale that they had with the Wii and DS, and currently, with the Wii U. Obviously, it paid off more than ever before, namely with the N64 and Gamecube, -which is what Iwata is referencing.-

    “They’re in the business of moving hardware and software” is an incredibly raw definition, and inaccurate in this context. You can not tell me with a straight face that the competition taking place between Sony and Microsoft is the same as between these two and Nintendo.

    And that’s an awfully inaccurate analogy. Once again, they’re talking about stark and drastic differences in hardware, nothing like “we’re choosing to sell less” (which isn’t really happening in the first place, but hey).

    Here, another quote from the very same interview:

    “It’s often called the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’, looking for something that no one else is working on. When we created the DS, people said it was strange to have a dual display, and people said elderly people don’t play games. But they did. Opening the first door is when things are most interesting.”

    Come on, put some critical thinking to the test.

  15. Lou says:

    As always, I guess you’re right. Wii U’s are flying off the shelves, pre-sales on PS4 and XBox One are miserable, and mobile devices aren’t eating away at hand-held sales. Good job Iwata.

  16. BornFlunky says:

    As always, you not only misconstrue my words, you bring up topics and statements that I’m not even making.

    I’ve explained this interview and quote to you thoroughly. Will you respond to the topic at hand, or devolve and act like a petty child?

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