Nintendo CEO Iwata talks 'similar to' free-to-play and subscription fees

But doesn't expect radical change

Nintendo CEO Iwata talks 'similar to' free-to-play and subscription fees
Nintendo may be synonymous with boxy plastic cartridges but it's also attempting to embrace digital distribution.

It's a subject that Nintendo CEO - now also the freshly-appointed CEO of Nintendo America - Satoru Iwata has been considering. 

In a financial results Q&A, he was asked whether digital business could be a core business for Nintendo.

Responding frankly, Iwata stated that "We will not simply change our existing packaged software distribution channel".

Old habits

When talking about the free-to-play model, Iwata was rather abstract.

"Rather, we might have many other types of business models in addition to packaged software. For example, we might see more games that are similar to free-to-play games, games that cost much less or games that require a monthly subscription fee," he said.

And finally, Iwata hinted that - while vague - these new types of business models will be making appearance in the months ahead.

"I can definitely say that Nintendo will make new offers that go well beyond simply replacing packaged software with digital software," he said.

While it appears that Nintendo's packaged software distribution channel will remain key for the company, Iwata is clearly considering how best to capitalise on the 3DS and Wii U's growing digital libraries.

Yet in stating "I still feel that the digital ratio will change dramatically in two or three years' time", it seems that Iwata won't be announcing a shake up any time soon, despite Nintendo's less-than-impressive financials

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.