Excerpt from “Console Wars” by Blake J. Harris:
[Peter] Main’s approach to sales and marketing coincided with [Minoru] Arakawa’s overarching philosophy of “quality over quantity.” As Nintendo exploded, there were plenty of opportunities to make a quick buck (hardware upgrades, unnecessary peripherals), exploit the company’s beloved characters (movies, theme parks), or dilute the brand by trying attract an audience older than Nintendo’s six-to-fourteen-year-olds. But these kinds of things didn’t interest Arakawa. He wasn’t driven by making money, at least not in the short term. What propelled him, what kept him up at night, was a desire to continually provide Nintendo’s customers with a unique and flawless user experience. As proof of this never-ending obsession, he set up a toll-free telephone line where Nintendo “Game Counselors” were available all day to help players get through difficult levels, and he initiated the Nintendo Fun Club, which sent a free newsletter to any customer who had sent in a warranty card. Both programs were very costly and could have been offset by charging small fees or obtaining sponsorship, but Arakawa believed that doing so would compromise Nintendo’s mission.
Not a whole lot has changed.