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3 unexpected questions from Nintendo’s shareholder meeting

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata fielded the usual questions about the company’s profitability and the online plans for the upcoming Wii U console at the 72nd annual general meeting of shareholders today (you can read the full transcript here). But a few odd inquiries also worked their way into all the talk about stock value and corporate bonuses, and I’ve collected them here.


It’s not the destination; it’s the journey

The third question of the day came out of nowhere. Iwata had just finished dismissing the possibility of charging an annual fee for the Wii U’s online service, and then this happened:

Question 3 from Nintendo's 72nd annual shareholders meeting

I can’t blame anyone for disliking a long or complicated commute, especially if the only thing waiting for them on the other side is a meeting, but the timing of this question surprised me.

Iwata’s response: “I understand your comment is that we should be aware that our headquarters is located in an inconvenient place and that therefore we should prioritize smoother arrivals of our shareholders by, for example, providing a shuttle bus over the gifts for the attending shareholders,” he said. “We will consider your opinion in preparation for the future shareholders’ meetings. Thank you.”


The NEW new 3DS makes bath time more fun

Nintendo recently revealed the supersized Nintendo 3DS XL, and the bigger screen apparently wasn’t enough added value for one shareholder.

Question 6 from Nintendo's 72nd annual shareholders meeting

I called out the XL’s lack of a second analog stick, so I guess none of us is guilt-free here. I’ve just never looked at a handheld system and really wished it was waterproof.

Iwata’s response: “Curiously enough, we, as human beings, feel happy to have incremental options to some extent, but when the number of options surpasses a certain level, we fall into a situation where we have trouble identifying just one that we should select. Since we have to also consider such an aspect, we don’t have any concrete plans to develop another value-added model at this point. Looking at a longer range of the future, we won’t deny the possibility, though.”


Premiering this fall on Animal Planet…

Question 8 from Nintendo's 72nd annual shareholders meeting

The shareholder starts out with an interesting inquiry about Nintendo’s efforts in the Chinese market, and then…something else happens. I’m not entirely clear what the questioner is proposing, but it appears to be a reality show in which Iwata and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto fight animals.

Iwata’s response: “I would like to thank you for suggesting some interesting ideas full of dreams.”


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