News Article

Iwata Writes Open Letter to 3DS Owners to Say Sorry

Posted by James Newton

Mail from the boss man

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata speaks to all the key players in Nintendo's company: investors, shareholders, developers and more all meet with the big boss to share concerns and discuss the industry's future. Iwata is a busy man then, but he still took the time to pen a letter to 3DS owners, thanking them for their purchase and apologising for the price drop.

As translated by GiantBomb, the letter doesn't detail much new but is still interesting to read the head of a big corporation addressing fans so directly.

To Those Customers Who Bought A Nintendo 3DS Before The Price Change

Greetings, everyone. This is Satoru Iwata from Nintendo.

Thank you very much for purchasing a Nintendo 3DS.

We have just announced a price drop for the Nintendo 3DS system effective on August 11.

In the past, there have been price drops for video game systems some time after their release in order to broaden the user base further. However, never before has Nintendo chosen to issue such a dramatic price drop less than 6 months after a system release.

We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticize this decision.

This unprecedented timing for a price cut is because the situation has changed greatly since we originally launched the 3DS. We decided it was necessary to take this drastic step in order to ensure that large numbers of users will continue to enjoy the 3DS in the future.

If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the Nintendo 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad (user) base, it will be impossible for the 3DS to gain popularity, acquire a wide range of software, and eventually create the product cycle necessary for everyone to be satisfied with the system.

Those customers who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us. We know that there is nothing we can do to completely make up for the feeling that you are being punished for buying the system early. Still, we would like to offer the following as a sign of our appreciation to you.

[3DS Ambassador scheme]

We feel a strong responsibility to develop the 3DS as a platform — to ensure that, in the end, everyone is satisfied; we will make every effort to do so.

Additionally, we know everyone is waiting for Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. They are scheduled for release in November and December, respectively, so we ask for your patience until then.

Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support.

What do you make of Iwata's letter?


From the web

User Comments (112)



Bankai said:

Yeah, this is part and parcel with Japanese business. Be humble and apologise if something goes wrong, and if you screw up again, commit seppuku.

I wish I was kidding on that matter. It's happened in the past.

It's good though. Nintendo's doing what's necessary.



Fuzzy said:

***Looks up Seppuku***


It's nice to see that letter, and understand that they didn't have this planned from the beginning.



Tate24 said:

Awww that was nice:-) apology accepted.

I love 3Ds so keep bring good stuff and ill keep buying:-P



Corbs said:

What's next, Iwata going door to door giving early 3DS customers a hug. Sheesh.



KeeperBvK said:

How about a hug from Yamauchi? I'd imagine that to feel rather creepy. He always reminds me of that guy from Tales from the Crypt gone Yakuza.



TNLGUY said:

I had already accepted the price drop, but I am touched by what Mr. Iwata to say. I love you Nintendo, no hard feelings.



CowLaunch said:

I think this letter makes Nintendo look desperate, probably appearing more desperate than they actually are.



Crunchy_in_milk said:

Personally, I had already forgiven them when they announced the ambassador program but this is still a very nice gesture.

@Corbs NOA never stopped being cocky and arrogant.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I dunno, this Iwata fellow seems like a cool guy, at least he steps up and admits to his mistakes.
Well not really just him, but the whole corporation.
Anyways, he makes a good leadership model for others.
The world of corporate business needs more humble leadership.
Heck, and I don't even own a least not yet.



Teh-Ray said:

I feel so loved. :3

Strangely enough, this letter actually makes me feel good. Thanks, Iwata!



Redmisnomer said:

I like the 3DS, but I am a bit pissed off because I bought 2, one for me and one for my kid. But I regret nothing. I had a great 4 months. The Ambassador scheme is a good idea.



NESguy94 said:

All is forgiven Iwata-san. It's nice that he took time out of his crazy schedule just to send us an apology. I think I have easily gotten $80 worth of fun out of my 3DS, so I am not really upset (especially since I got my Wii brand new for $100 less than the retail price )



grumblegrumble said:

@waltzelf lol... I think this is great. How often do you see this? Steve Jobs has never apologized for lowering the price on the iPod over the years, etc. So this is very humble and nice. Love it. And I can't wait for my free games



theblackdragon said:

@CowLaunch: it does make them look weaker to western eyes IMO, but it's a very Japanese thing to do. I think Iwata's so adorable, though — hopefully this will help to smooth over some of the lingering hard feelings until they're finally able to release the first-party titles we crave. :3



JayArr said:

Yeah, they are acting like a bunch a whiny pansies now. Just suck it up and fix it and quit kissing a.... Talk is cheap, give us games.



daznsaz said:

dont worry about it iwata i wasnt offended in the 1st place free stuff is just cool bonus



iphys said:

Weird how being apologized to makes me wonder if we were actually wronged in some way, but I still don't think we were. Maybe it's a Japanese thing to be overly apologetic about things you really don't need to apologize for. I think it puts a bad spin on things to apologize to us versus just reward us with free games, but I guess apologizing is more sincere than just appeasing us with games.



LordJumpMad said:

Dear Satoru Iwata
We don't want your pathetic apology Iwata.
What you have done is unforgivable, it has become clear that you do not care about the customers who buy your products by selling them an overprice handheld console.
And then, in a act of desperation, you lower the price of the 3DS and think we will be fine with that?
How foolish do you think we are?
What you have done is dishonorable as a president of Nintendo and as a person.
You possess neither respect, nor resolve, nor reason, we will not tolerate your disgraceful embarrassment!
Commiting seppuku is too good for you, you should live and watch the fall of nintendo done by your hands, and your own selfish ambitions.

Sincerely yours Jack Tretton



Link79 said:

It's okay Mr Iwata. We all make mistakes.
Just keep those excellent games coming and I'll keep buying.



megablast said:

I cant help but feel that this is the beginning of the end for Nintendo........... The slow death of Nintendo, I am a 3DS owner and i am very concerned about all this, i don't think we are going to see many games for the 3DS. The 3DS has got soooo much potential, i really really hope Nintendo can pull this one off.... Fingers crossed.



Hokori said:

OK im VERY TEMPTED to give Nintendo $100 just because now, to me the 3DS was worth the $250 that I KNEW I WAS GOING TO SPEND.
Honestly I can see why people feel a little ripped off, but YOURE the one who bought it, no one forced you.



theblackdragon said:

@Otaku: Why, that sounds like a great idea! Tell you what — since I'm sure you'd have no clue as to how to donate your money, you can give that $100 to me, and I'll be sure it's put straight into poor Mr. Iwata's hands. I'm sure I'll he'll be ever-so-grateful to you for your kind thoughts :3



Link79 said:

LOL @ everyone proclaiming the death of Nintendo.
Get over yourselves. You act as if this is the first time Nintendo has fallen on hard times. Guess you weren't there for the N64's day or the Virtual boy.
they aren't going to suddenly sink into the Abyss over this.



Hardy83 said:

He shouldn't be apologizing for this. Who cares? The whiners complain?
He SHOULD be apologizing about the poor treatment to Nintendo's fans in North America, being treated as garbage because the head of NoA cares more about money then gamers.

So the early adopters paid a bit extra. Bit deal, NA Wii owners got screwed over from getting some amazing games.



GreenInferno said:

Iwata did not have to do this, so I think it is a nice gesture to those who purchased the 3DS so early. Acknowledgment of a mistake is something large companies hate to do, but here is an open letter! BP never did as much during the worst ecological disaster in US history!



Moco_Loco said:

All is forgiven, but don't do it again! Put your customers first, market your products well, and everything else will fall into place.



Nintonic said:

When you think about it, all you pay is 80 dollars extra. Sure I guess that could of bought me another game with my 3ds but really, thats all I ever think about, planning on what to do with my money and spending it on something that probably will be more advanced in the future, therefore I accept the apology knowing that money really doesn't matter in this world.



Burning_Spear said:

Accountability is an honorable thing. You'd never hear something like this from those Wall Street criminals who destroyed people's pension funds and still took six-figure bonuses for themselves.



TwilightV said:

Ugh, some of these commenters sound like broken record players...

Also, please stop apologizing Iwata. You already took a huge paycut AND gave us 20 free games. Now grit those teeth and get back to creating new mindblowing game experiences.



TKOWL said:

I was never mad at him in the first place.
I wanna give Iwata a mega-hug for putting a price drop in the first place



Mandoble said:

So he is so sorry, with my extra 100€ inside his pocket of course. And I'm quite shocked with people here really convinced that these 20 80's 90's games are worth 100€ today.



Punny said:

I had a feeling that that was the reason the price dropped in the first place. I can't be angry at a guy who just wants the 3DS to sell (more) units and become (more) popular. Apology accepted, Mr. Iwata!

Truth be told, all was forgiven after the announcement of 20 free games.



Burning_Spear said:

@45: They're not worth that much money unless you would have bought them anyway, which I wouldn't have done. But I've moved past my frustration other than to say Wii U is no longer an automatic launch-day purchase for me. Now Nintendo has to prove that it's worthwhile to own it from the beginning.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Dear Mr. Iwata,

please don't give LordJackTretton a hug. He refused to accept one from me back when, after the reveal of the Wii U, he chose to 'welcome [Nintendo] to the party'. Therefore he's lost all rights to ever be hugged by anyone at all.

Thank you edited by tbd

okay, on topic: This sounds a lot like the news of the Ambassador programme on I wonder who wrote what first. Iwata's letter mentions "software creators and those on the retail side", Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 though.

But in a whole Iwata's letter sounds more positive and forward-looking which is a good thing i guess.
But since it's so similar to the news article i don't really care about this letter. The free games are nice and i think i'll be satisfied with 'em.



Hyperstar96 said:

@29 Dear Jack Tretton,

Your commercials suck, your company sucks, Marcus sucks, your fans suck, your company's fans suck, you suck, and you can suck my ****.

Someone with common sense



Blaze said:

I didn't mind before this letter was published anyway, I had already forgiven Nintendo, because as I keep saying, we get 20 free games. Not nothing at all. Not just a letter saying sorry, not just one awful port of a game nobody gives a damn about. 20, good quality games developed by oh so great Nintendo who recognize we are their loyal customers and are trying their very best to compensate us. We could have been left with nothing. I rest my case! :-/



komicturtle said:

haha, wow.

Jack Tretton (not the user here) is pathetic compared to Iwata :3

Kaz... Please D:

Fire the manpig!

Oh, and I have forgiven Nintendo when this price drop was first announce. Reading Iwata's statement puts a smile on my face... Where's Reggie?



FonistofCruxis said:

@Mandoble Did you expect 20 new free games? They're not going to make 20 new games that they wouldn't make any money on until they were available to everyone else a few months later. Most of the games confirmed are good quality games anyway. Nintendo could've given nothing to the early adopters but they're giving 20 free games. Some people are just too hard to please.



HostX9 said:

Ouch for those who already bought the gadget but hooray for those who didn't
Jet on the other hand they were fair enough to gather some (reasonable or not - choose for yourself) excuses for the price drop, and apologize (honestly or flattering - again, you choose) to consumers.

hmmm... why didn't they choose to apologize to us Wii users who are (or at least were) longing for more great game titles whether on WiiWare or the other.



NintyMan said:

I love Iwata. Yamauchi made a wise decision when he chose him to be the next Nintendo president. I was never disappointed by the price cut and I'm still glad that I got the 3DS at launch, but it's so great that Iwata understands how someone would be put off by the sudden move. Now If only other executives were this honest and humble.



retro_player_22 said:

Iwata doesn't need to apologize for anything, it's Reggie that needs to apologize for turning the Wii and 3DS library to crap in NA.



Simmer_E said:

That's nice of him
I thought they were gonna be hand written letters and sent out to every one who owned one though XD

If they were, I would have a seizure from how excited I would be lol



Hokori said:

@45 there GBA games from the early 2000's
10 GBA GAMES that are less then 10 years old
geee people make it sound 10 years is old
SMB wasnt even 10 when I was borm so it wasnt old



Milkman-123 said:

of coarse he cares. or else he wouldnt have made the 3ds ambassador program. 20 free games man. maybe you should stop being a dewberry to the guy thats giving us 20 EARLY/FREE games. some games that SUPPORT MULTIPLAYER.all(or half) of which we get UPDATED VERSIONS
ya dewberry >:3
we nintendo fans FORGIVE AND FORGET.



The_Fox said:

No apology really needed, as early adopters frequently get screwed. It's just a fact of life with consumer electronics. What would be nice to see Nintendo apologize for is the poor job they've done with the Wii this year.



Schprocket said:

This is a much better response than Sony's pathetic post-hacking effort, IMO, and I used to love my PS3 to the point of almost being a fan-boy.

When a business and it's top executives behave in a less self-serving manner and focus on the customers, both existing and potetntial, you've gotta admire them and stick with them.

There certainly aren't many (if any) major Western businesses that I'm aware of who would do this - they're too much into being slaves to the "short-term, high-gain, screw-everyone" mantra.

So, Thank You for the freebies, Iwata-san.
Just don't make me wait too long for the Wii U - I'm ready now!!!!



Knux said:

I have already forgiven you Iwata due to the Ambassador program, so all is well.



zionich said:

Thats a company I can stand behind. I still want Xenoblade and Last Story though.



Radixxs said:

@9: Yes, yes I suppose he is a swell guy! IWATA, YA HEAR THAT? YOU'RE SWELL! N-no Iwata, you don't need ice it has a different-- sigh



HipsterDashie said:

I paid the price I was willing to pay for my 3DS.

Nintendo didn't have to do anything and I would have been happy (albeit a bit peeved). However, the Ambassador scheme, the salary cuts and this open letter are a sign in my opinion that Nintendo have gone beyond the call of duty, with regards to how other companies would perform in a similar situation.

It takes guts to put your hands up and say "we did it wrong", and Mr Iwata has my respect. Apology accepted. Now, carry on making awesome games. sits and waits for Mario Land and Mario Kart



dimi said:

Nintendo is not a charity organization, its a huge multinational corporation. I love japanese culture but this isn't a honest open letter, its just another P.R press release. Ok, i like Nintendo but its not a religion or a football club. What about 10 free DS games instead of GBA ones?



Mandoble said:

@mariofanatic128, these NES and SNES games were discontinued long time ago, these games were already amortized, trying to use them now as a new valuable way to compensate the loses of the consumers (I cannot sell my 3DS any longer for 250€) is even more insulting than the price drop. They are giving us NOTHING, not a single € from Nintendo's pocket is returning to my pocket as compensation and as a real way to say sorry, we did everything wrong with this console but now we will try to re-launch it almost from scratch. Will I be able to sell and transfer my 20 copies to some non Embassador user for 100€? NO, there is not a single way that we can transform that garbage into money.

Nintendo is not paying me to be conformist, they should expect most of their consumers to act as consumers, not as calmy cows that you can cheat a will and then you drop a rotten coockie to them to have them pleased again.



Odnetnin said:

Iwata stopped by the house yesterday...
He cried himself to sleep in my arms, and when he woke up, gave me a hug.

Also, why do you call the Ambassador program a "scheme"? Is that word used different in Britain? I've only heard "program" everywhere else.



sinalefa said:

It is awesome to see Iwata doing something like this. You can call it PR, but cutting your salary to half and giving 20 free games to all early adopters do not sound like empty words to me. Thanks for being the CEO of a huge company and keeping your humbleness.

Arigato, Iwata-san!



ToadFan said:

That's nice of Iwata to do this, it's great for ambassadors and for new-comers.

I've never had any problem with Nintendo, except for Reggie.



nano43 said:

Wow! It was really nice of him to take the time to write a letter to apologize.



RadioShadow said:

The fact the people who paid the higher price get 20 FREE games, I'm not complaining one bit.

Unless the NES games run in PAL50. <_<



NocturnalYoshi said:

I accept his apology. This, and the ambassador program, shows that Nintendo DOES care about its fans. It takes a lot to stand up to such a large crowd and apologise. Most other CEOs usually ignore these issues and their fans complaints completely. Thank you Nintendo



fishman100 said:

Honestly the 3DS has somewhat failed to impress me thus far, but it is nice to see this apology and the Ambassador program after a mistake. Accepted



OldBoy said:

Awww.No sweat Iwata.I'm not bothered by the price drop TBH and the free games are just a great bonus. It would be a much more pleasant world if all buisness men/women had this attitude.
I can't imagine any of the w bankers responsible for the big crash last year apologising to anyone and taking a pay cut,in fact most of them gave themselves huge bonuses instead. f$&%n d£$*s
Saying that we really need to see some more games for 3DS in the near future.I mean where are the likes of FIFA and Tiger Woods etc surely they are no brainers.Not to mention F-Zero,Mario golf/tennis,Wave Race,1080° etc. A console is only as good as its games after all.



grumblebuzzz said:

This whole thing just has me really nervous about the future success of Nintendo as a company...



NoThatFamous said:

i was never mad at the price drop anyway lol and I'm grateful that we getting 20 games.

but i wish 3DS doesn't have region lock=[ I'm really tempted to buy a japanese version of red 3ds



Traxx said:

All received the SpotPass message on your 3DS? It doesn't tell you exactly you belong to the group though.



Kriedler said:

Wanna know how to win a lot of fans back? REMOVE THE REGION LOCKING. Do it. Freaking do it. I'm going to the States in September and I want to stock up on cheap games



Supremeist said:

Cool letter, I didn't really care about the price dropping, considering the 20 free games



Vehemont said:

While it is cool that he apologized I think Nintendo needs to work on getting more developers to buy into the 3DS. I know I am excited about the free games (but they should just announce all of them already!) and such but the 3DS is gonna need a lot more great software to compete with the Vita. I mean the 3DS library is pretty shallow right now....



Henmii said:

To be really honest I think the apology was not needed. Yeah, the price drop came pretty soon. But you always take a risk by buying something: The price can go down the next day!

You just have to jump in when it feels right. When you can accept the price, and the early hardware problems are over. Personally I may buy it this year, or wait untill next year.

Besides, the early adopters can enjoy the free games!



SennaKurosaki said:

I wished to be an early adopter of the new Nintendo 3DS, and I did buy the original "fat" DS very soon after it's initial release. But this time I found €244 was just too much. Also I found the screen a bit small and I am waiting for the red version. Black is ugly and blue is alright, but red is the one I'm going for. But now with the much better price point of €169 I might just buy a 3DS come August 12th.



Freeon-Leon said:

Guess I'm helping. Today I showed my 3DS to my classmates and they were shocked about the 3D and all the stuff the console has (and my games from the eShop), I also telled them how good the 3DS is and will be. I don't know, maybe I took the Nintendo Ambassador-thing a little bit too serious :3

And btw... apologize accepted Iwata-san.



SuperSonic said:

I feel like I'm around a bunch of interested people when they only forgave Nintendo because of the 20 free games... C'mon guys, Nintendo only did it cuz they needed to ensure the 3DS's life. Personally, I felt honored after reading: "Those who purchased the 3DS at the very beginning are extremely important to us." Even if they hadn't come up with the ambassador program, I would still feel that my 3DS is special, being that I got it on day one. It was completely worth my $250; I've had fun every time I played it, so I would never feel punished and I know you'd never betray me!
Wow. An an apology straight from the big N-boss himself. Wish Sony could be like that, too, huh? I feel humbled and more loyal to Nintendo knowing that the company I follow cares for me as their consumer. They know they're not perfect (though they are compared to Sony and Microsoft) and when they make a mistake cuz of pressure, they fix it. They don't do it for the money, they work to please people. This is why Nintendo is my favorite video game company

@29 Ha! I think I get the points- 1. Sony is pathetic for needing to rip off, brag, and bash 2. Sony lost any rights to bash on "overpricing" 3. Sony desperately priced the Vita low to rival the 3DS 4. Sony has no honor or respect because of bashing on competitors 5. Sony is selfish-they do it for the money and overprice and 6. Tretton is an a**hole



C-195 said:

There's no need to do that Iwata, just give me some exact release dates and add GBA games to the E-shop permanently and I might forgive you.



Cia said:

how the hell does some people make it sound like there's something wrong for apologising? And by the way, Nintendo has never been "arrogant and cocky", that image may fit to NoA but not the true nintendo. Japanese companies like this actually got honor (do you even understand what it means?).



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

D: Please do NOT commit seppuku!!! As a person of Japanese decent I know that things don't always go the way their predicted. As one of those first day 3DS owners I will be supporting you through all the hardships.

I had a couple of my classmate insult the 3DS in April. I defended you to the end. I shut them up quite well for someone who doesn't talk much. :3 So no need to apologize. Just keep up your fighting spirit!!!



Negi444 said:

this is one of the reasons i love nintendo. they are not trying to be phony or just take our money.they are a business and need to make money but they understand that the customer is a person and they should treat them as such. they could have just done the price drop and given the metaphorical finger but no they apologized for something that many feel wronged about and they offer free games to make up for it. bravo nintendo



Token_Girl said:

I think Iwata has handled this situation with so much dignity and humility, he really went above and beyond the call of duty on this one. Frankly, even early adopters will be better off with a price drop - it's obvious devs won't make games and get behind the system with the numbers they have now. With more consoles in people's hands, early adopters will get a larger game library to make the original price more worthwhile. Then there are all the free ambassador games.

Iwata doesn't need to apologize to me for this (I am still waiting for the apology for drunkenly throwing up in my pool last month though). I just snagged myself a new 3DS for $202.50 that I should receive by tomorrow. So I'm going to be enjoying both a reasonble price and a pile of awesome free games. So, I should probably write him a thank you letter!



TanookiSteven said:

K, note.
1. Nintendo took a paycut.
2. There are 20 free games coming.
3. He made this letter.

I was willing to pay no matter what, I could care less for the pay-cut. I don't care how much I paid, the fact of 20 free games, or the pay-cut. I just care that this man/company took the damn time to write this letter and actually apologize for his mistake! I had a smile on my face when I read this, and this is NOT the end of Nintendo, in fact it's the beginning of a road to make them an even better company and learn, so for all those haters out there (and jack whatever >.>), take notes because this company knows how to work things!



DrDaisy said:

How sorry are you, Iwata?! Are you really sorry?! Then get down on all fours and bark like a dog!!



mumoftwokids said:

@mandable GBA games that you are getting are not coming to the Eshop anytime soon. And the NES games that you are getting are coming to the eshop and will cost at least $5 on the eshop that's 50 bux right there.....You didn't have to buy it at launch, no one held a gun to your head. You have no one to be mad at except yourself. He didn't have to give us anything but he choose to be a stand up man and do it. And you have a right to complain why? They did nothing wrong with the console except maybe not put the internet on it at launch and if you hate them so bad why don't you sell your console?



motang said:

meh, as I see it its Nintendo choice to sell their product at the price they want, but it is our choice to see fit and buy it if we think it's worth it.

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