Nintendo Stockholder Meeting Q&A: Virtual Boy on the Virtual Console, Wii Vitality Sensor, and more discussed



Nintendo recently held its 73rd annual stockholder meeting this past week, and the company was able to share on its Japanese website the following questionnaire. The topics asked by fellow investors touched upon the possibility of Virtual Boy titles on the Virtual console (try saying that three times fast), the whereabouts of the Wii Vitality Sensor, and even the state of the food served at Nintendo’s own cafeteria. The questions were answered by company president Satoru Iwata and famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

One of the first questions asked by investors discussed Nintendo’s limited E3 presence.


[Iwata] At the start of the E3 show this year, we announced our Wii U software lineup until 2014 mainly through Nintendo Direct, rather than holding a large-scale presentation as we did in previous years. However, we did not announce all of the games to be released during this period.

[Miyamoto] When it comes to the scale of software development, Wii U with HD graphics requires about twice the human resources than before. Please allow me to explain that we may have underestimated the scale of this change and as a result, the overall software development took more time than originally anticipated just as we tried to polish the software at the completion phase of development. However, we are almost out of this phase, and we are also trying to create something unique utilizing an easier development approach called “Nintendo Web Framework.”

You can read the full transcript of the questionnaire after the jump. 


In addition, Miyamoto was asked by investors why the company does not seek to create new franchies.


[Miyamoto] It is sometimes said that Nintendo has recently had no new franchises. At E3 this year, some said that Nintendo is always showing the same series of games, but this is because we mainly featured the characters from our franchises in our exhibition booth. There were six featured areas of our franchises in our booth, including Zelda, Mario and Donkey Kong, and the visitors were able to take commemorative photos with these characters. Considering that visitors will not enjoy less well-known franchises in such areas, we did it in this way, which resulted in such a criticism, I think.


Iwata soon answered questions about the possibility of Virtual Boy titles being reborn on the 3DS Virtual Console. he offered vague details, but it appears not to be out of the realm of reality.


[Iwata] I cannot talk about any unannounced products on occasions like this, but Virtual Boy is a game console Nintendo launched in the past that allows players to experience a 3D world in black and red only by just looking into it. It was not a commercial success, but some say that it was an attractive and extremely unique product by the standards at that time. I believe your comment is that we should take advantage of our software assets from Virtual Boy and I would like to take note of that advice for the future.


Next, the often-maligned Wii Vitality Sensor was brought up from investors.


[Iwata] After a large-scale test of a prototype inside the company, we found out that for some people the sensor did not work as expected. We wondered if we should commercialize a product which works as expected for 90 people out of 100, but not so for the other 10 people. Though I am sorry that we did not give any specific updates after this product’s initial announcement, I would say that knowing that a product has a problem we should not launch it for the sole reason that we have already announced it.

In any case, its launch has been pending because we decided that the Wii Vitality Sensor’s current result is insufficient as a commercial product.


One investor soon brought up the subject of Nintendo’s not-so-reported and criticized food in its cafeteria.


[Iwata] As for our company cafeteria, we regularly hear the same opinion when we gather feedback from employees. However, opinions vary considerably by individual and not all the employees agree with this. Still I examine such an opinion as an issue of the company because we receive such feedback constantly. Thank you.

You can read the entirety of the Stockholder Q&A here.

Harrison Milfeld is a writer, editor, and freelance journalist from Missouri. Ever since he could walk, Harrison has been an avid fan of the world of Nintendo. For years, he has purchased every one of the company's subsequent products (yes, including the Virtual Boy and eReader). It wasn't until he was a young teen when he bought a PS2 that he began to embrace cross-console relations, a decision he doesn't regret. When he's not gaming, Harrison is looking to break into the magazine journalism industry and realize his dream of becoming a features reporter.