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 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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Top Rated Comments
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...
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.