1. A Place to Go for No Particular Reason

Iwata:

Today, we are here to talk about Nintendo eShop. I've gathered together the people who made the Nintendo eShop application and the content for enjoyment there. Nintendo eShop is a new service scheduled to be made available for use on June 7 via a system update. It is a new service only for the Nintendo 3DS system that will allow users to download Nintendo 3DS software and view product videos, among other things. First, I would like everyone to introduce themselves.

Nakaya:

Okay. I'm Kazuto Nakaya from the Network Business Department. For Nintendo eShop, I was mostly an application director.

Iwata Asks Imai:

I'm Daiji Imai, also in the Network Business Department. I am in charge of directing the client side of affairs with regard to video distribution.

Iwata Asks Nakano:

I'm Takao Nakano from the Special-Planning & Development Department. I am the director in charge of the 3D Classics series of games.

Iwata Asks Tanaka:

I'm Kenta Tanaka from the Software Development & Design Department. I was in charge of the Virtual Console for Nintendo eShop.

Iwata Asks Iwata:

Thank you. First, I'd like to ask about Nintendo eShop. To sum it up, it is a shop for the Nintendo 3DS system that is like an integration of the Nintendo DSi Shop1 and Nintendo Channel.2 Nakaya-san, you've been involved in our online shopping services since the Nintendo DSi Shop. In consideration of any point in need of improvement in the Nintendo DSi Shop, what did you try to achieve this time? 1Nintendo DSi Shop: Software built into the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL systems for downloading Nintendo DSiWare over the Internet. 2Nintendo Channel: A Wii Channel that can be downloaded for free from the Wii Shop Channel. In addition to allowing users to access a variety of information and game videos related to the Wii and Nintendo DS systems, users can search for games that match their tastes using Everyone's Recommendations showing how other players have rated various titles.

Nakaya:

When I was assigned to Nintendo eShop, people around me said that lots of people have things to say about the shops. So I was somewhat prepared, but once I got started, reports saying, "This is no good!" and "Can't you do something like this?" started pouring in from all over the world with regard to the Nintendo DSi Shop. So I started there.

Iwata:

I remember saying in a meeting that we should make shopping more fun so that the shop was a place you would go even if you didn't have anything particular to do.

Nakaya:

That's right. You said that early on. So we decided to integrate functions of the Nintendo Channel and Wii Shop Channel - which suddenly more than doubled the number of staff involved. Then I got the task of making the shop a place you just stopped by to browse and casually pick something up. That wasn't easy to figure out. The screen designer had trouble, too. He often went to real video game stores, general stores and book stores to get hints for designs and ideas.

Iwata:

Until now, the shops have been places where you went for a particular purpose, but this time, we wanted to make a place where you could window shop. How did you choose from among the many demands that came in?

Nakaya:

At first, I made adjustments in order of those requests that were greatest in number. This time, I made a demo device for Nintendo eShop and had people actually try it out. Then new opinions arose and some things that had been requested turned out not to be so great, so it gradually changed.

Iwata:

Oh, that's right. With Nintendo DSi Shop, we didn't have time to get everyone's input, so we just implemented the minimum functions necessary for a shop. This time, you made a working model that would run on its own apart from the server and passed it around.

Nakaya:

Yeah. I made a demo device that could run the application on its own even if it wasn't connected to the server. I had everyone try it out fairly early on, so I heard lots of opinions and gradually polished it up.

Iwata:

Could you tell me about some of the things that you thought were important at first but turned out not to be so crucial later on, or about those ideas that came up after people had tried it out?

Iwata Asks Nakaya:

With regard to the search function, a lot of people wanted to be able to search within detailed parameters. But as the shop took form, we began to emphasise what we wanted to line up first and what kind of shop we wanted as the seller, rather than focusing on having customers search, so the number of people with precise opinions about the search function gradually decreased.

Iwata:

I do suppose that if you're making the customers search, Nintendo eShop isn't fulfilling its purpose.

Nakaya:

Right.

Iwata:

This time, the shop manager in each region can freely rearrange the shelves, so you paid a lot of attention to how they could flexibly rearrange the shelves for showing their customers.

Nakaya:

Yes, exactly. But this was our first attempt at that, so I'm a little worried about how it will turn out. (laughs)

Iwata:

How the shop managers in each region operate after Nintendo eShop starts will be important. We may find that America is doing really well or hear that Europe's profits are looking good, so each shop manager's skills will be on display.

Nakaya:

It does seem like the regional managers are feeling that pressure. They formed a shop managers group and are moving to compete while also sharing some operations among the various regional shops.

Iwata:

After Nintendo eShop has been up and running a while, it could be interesting to hold a session of "Iwata Asks" called "Iwata Asks: Nintendo eShop Managers International."

Nakaya:

Yeah! I'd be interested in finding out which region is running the best shop.

Iwata:

Since we've gone to all the hard work of preparing this system, I can't wait to see how they implement it.