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Iwata interested in NFC payments, tolerant of microtransactions


Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave his customary Q&A session to stockholders following the company's financial results briefing. Surprisingly, the stockholders asked a lot of stuff about future plans, instead of just hostile questions about why Nintendo is losing money.

Iwata elaborated on the NFC functionality of the Wii U, specifying its utility for reading credit cards. "If we can provide a system in which consumers can use such e-money," he said, "they will far more easily be able to make payments than by entering credit card numbers or purchasing the Nintendo Prepaid Cards at stores." Of course, Nintendo has been sheepish about going into online business, which Iwata admitted. "To the views that Nintendo is cautious, conservative, or even negative about business on a network," he said, "our answer is, in short, that we will make a bold attempt when the time is ripe. Unless the timing is right, we will lose the consumers who do not have an Internet connection."

Iwata explained that Nintendo is working to find a solution that pleases both customers and retailers before offering full-game downloads, but went on to say that microtransactions, another new-ish development in online games, are not something he'd have a problem with. "We plan to ensure a relative level of flexibility for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U software compatible with the Nintendo Network as long as the developer has built a trusting relationship with consumers, except for the cases that consumers will be too disadvantaged," he said. "Regulations with a certain degree of strictness" will be in place to protect customers. Nintendo "will not turn down" requests to add microtransactions to games "as far as they can establish an appropriate relationship with their customers."

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