Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has again dismissed calls for the company to move into the smartphone market, saying that doing so would mean "Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo."
Iwata once again faced calls for Nintendo to turn to smartphones in a bid to revive its fortunes, after its pre-Tokyo Game Show conference, in which it announced a host of new 3DS games, caused its share price to fall by five per cent. Speaking to Nikkei, though, Iwata said that while he could see merit in such a move in the short term, it would be catastrophic in the long term.
"This is absolutely not under consideration," he said. "If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It's the duty of management to make use of those strengths.
"It's probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we'd make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short-term profits, but to Nintendo's mid- and long-term competitive strength."
As we reported yesterday, this latest drop in Nintendo's shares – its stock price has now halved since the turn of the year – was once again blamed on the company's reluctance to join the rush to smartphones. Despite Iwata's claim that the new announcements meant 3DS had "the kind of extensive line-up that has probably never been seen before in the history of videogames," investors were unmoved, with one saying: "I don't think the new games will make any difference.
With Super Mario 3D Land to be released in November, and Mario Kart 7 and Monster Hunter 3G due the following month, Iwata is perhaps entitled to be confident. This is, however, the first sign of recognition that Nintendo would stand to benefit from a move into the smartphone market, if only in the short term.