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Nintendo Finally Considers Smartphone Move After Third Straight Annual Loss

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated in a press conference that the company is now considering a "new business structure" that involves smart devices, reports Bloomberg. wii_u_controller
Wii U GamePad controller

The news comes as Nintendo reported a third consecutive annual loss, slashing the global sales forecast for its flagship Wii U game console from 9 million units to 2.8 million consoles. The company also scaled back its expectations for its 3DS portable game console from 18 million units to 13.5 million, with Iwata also claiming that there are no short term plans to reshuffle management.
"We are thinking about a new business structure," Iwata said at a press conference yesterday in Osaka, Japan. "Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone."
Nintendo has faced fierce competition from mobile platforms in recent years, with App Annie recently finding that consumer spending on games for iOS and Android rose to 4x that of dedicated gaming handhelds. In 2010, Iwata reportedly told his senior executives to regard Apple and its devices as "the enemy of the future", and also stated to CVG last August that he would "never think about providing [Nintendo’s] precious resources for other platforms at all."

Investors have also called for Nintendo to develop titles for iOS and other platforms in August 2011 after lower-than-expected demand for the 3DS. Alternatively, some also suggested that Nintendo should "buy its way into" the smartphone platforms by acquiring companies and technology or developing their own. Iwata's newest comments reveal that Nintendo is now seriously considering supporting smartphones in some manner.

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8 months ago

Unfortunately for them, they're too late for a big piece of the pie. Not sure who their target market would be....

You're not sure? One word... Mario. Forget about the hundreds of Mario games already there for Nintendo to tap. Think of all the games out there now, big selling games, with new mascots... Now drop Mario into that equation, with the Mario universe, characters, etc. The possibilities are endless. Then, when Apple finally lets us play iOS games on the Apple TV with a real controller, you now are back in the living room.

Once Nintendo loses the hand-held market, they are over. The hand-held market subsidizes their console ambitions. Nintendo could stay in the hardware business for some time, but they have a goldmine as a software developer, and could be the biggest software house for iOS/Android on day one.

This is getting very interesting...
Rating: 30 Votes
8 months ago
Its about time, its a good thing they pay those guys so much to figure out what a 5 year old could have told them 5 years ago
Rating: 28 Votes
8 months ago
Pokemon!!! #noshame
Rating: 26 Votes
8 months ago
Iwata's comments have been misrepresented and were totally blown out of proportion by the most of the mainstream media.

If you've been following his history regarding "smart devices", Iwata has in the past stated that Nintendo was looking into smartphones and tablets as an addition to their first party hardware experiences to entice new users to Nintendo consoles and handhelds.

What Iwata has suggested would be mini games made for touch devices using Nintendo characters but that major games would still be exclusive to Nintendo consoles. For example, we might see a Mario Angry Birds style game to introduce a new generation to Super Mario who would then feel compelled to buy a Nintendo console to play the main games. I believe he also made mention of a Zelda puzzle game and a Pokémon "pet" app.
Rating: 18 Votes
8 months ago
Stinks of SEGA.
Rating: 16 Votes
8 months ago
Maybe we'll finally get to see some of their top games make their way to iOS finally.
Rating: 16 Votes
8 months ago

In 2010, Iwata reportedly told his senior executives to regard ( Apple and its devices as "the enemy of the future", and also stated to CVG ( last August that he would "never think about providing [Nintendo's] precious resources for other platforms at all."

Stubbon as always, Nintendo.

I give Iwata credit for wise forethought but zero credit for not doing anything about it. It's now 2014 and Nintendo is still struggling to comprehend the definition of what online services and a proper eco-system are. There is no way that I am going to purchase the same virtual console titles TWICE for both a console and handheld device developed by the same company. Utter eco-system fail.

I wish Nintendo would get over it's self-destructive arrogance and just leave these specialized type of software developments to more capable hands. I've been a die-hard Nintendo fan since NES and I say just go third party already. At least for console gaming anyway. Just focus on game content and make it available to new audiences.
Rating: 14 Votes
8 months ago
Not so fast "Nintendo fans", 3DS still did great, being the best sold console of last year and Pokemon X and Y was one of the best selling games of December (or the year, I forget).

The loss is obviously on the Wii U side of things. They have to start delivering with their hardcore games (legend of Zelda, Starfox, F-Zero, Metroid, etc.)
Rating: 12 Votes
8 months ago
Nintendo would be foolish not to create game titles for the iPhone, and the iPad. :cool:
Rating: 11 Votes
8 months ago

Pokemon!!! #noshame

Level 100 Charizard on my iPhone. I will be unstoppable.
Rating: 10 Votes

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