With the release of the OnLive gaming service fast approaching, there’s been a lot of talk about digital distribution as a primary platform for gaming. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, however, thinks digital distribution will not become a major factor in the industry for at least 20 years. Iwata points to the fact that only 35% of Japanese Wii players are connected to the internet. He believes that, for digital distribution to be taken seriously, this percentage will need to drastically rise. And he believes that such a transformation is going to take time.
It’s likely that Iwata is taking the bearish view on digital distribution because so much of the Wii’s audience consists of casual gamers who are not core users of technology. As he said himself, “Especially for the expanded audience of various people, to whom we are and will be trying to appeal, I believe their habits will change more slowly.”