In an investor Q&A published on Nintendo's website, president Satoru Iwata explains why Nintendo does not officially release games or systems in developing nations (think Latin America, India, South-East Asia, Africa, etc). And he seems to be missing something.
"It is true that not only those in Japan and the other developed countries in North America and Europe but also those in several countries with rapid economic development can afford more entertainment than before", he says. "And it is vital for our basic strategy of 'gaming population expansion' that more people in such countries as well as in Japan, North America and Europe, enjoy our video games and feel convinced to pay for them."
"Meanwhile, some in newly-emerging countries do not have an established custom of paying for software", Iwata continues. "We do wonder if the traditional business model of the video game industry will succeed in such regions. If we do totally different business there with cheaper services and software than developed countries, people in developed countries would have negative feelings toward us and say, 'why do we have to pay much more than those playing video games elsewhere?' This could be one of the biggest problems for us that would need to be solved. Needless to say, popularizing our video games throughout newly-emerging countries is indispensable for Nintendo's growth in the mid-and-long term. We will take enough time to work on it."
It sounds like Nintendo is struggling to find ways to make money off the DS and Wii in these developing markets. But why does Nintendo need to sell a DS or a Wii, when the company has a rich back catalogue of both systems and games?
In Latin America, Sega has licensed the Mega Drive to Tectoy, who sell the old console in a new box at a cheap price. Again, in Latin America, Sony has only just officially released the PlayStation...2.