Nintendo Outlines Its Long-Term Survival Plans

Speaking in a shareholder briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata reaffirmed the company's commitment to Wii U and 3DS.

"I am here to tell you about our future, and to begin with, I would like to mention what Nintendo will not change," he said.

As such, Nintendo will continue to focus on console hardware and software as its core business. Moreover, the company will be pouring more cash into the research and development of future hardware.

Nonetheless, Nintendo isn't denying the importance of smartphones and tablets anymore. "We must once again change our definition of video games to keep up with the times," admitted Iwata. "Nintendo’s history definitely suggests that Nintendo has always flexibly innovated itself in line with the times."

Of course Nintendo isn't going to embrace mobile as its core business anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that it'll keep on ignoring it either.

"Many people say that releasing Nintendo's software assets for smart devices would expand our business," said Iwata. "However, we believe that we cannot show our strength as an integrated hardware-software business in this field, and therefore it would difficult to continue the same scale of business in the medium- to long term."

"We would like to, instead of directly expanding our business on smart devices, focus on achieving greater ties with our consumers on smart devices and expanding our platform business."

To that end, Nintendo is putting together "a small, select team of developers" to act as Nintendo's smartphone experimentation studio. The team has no restrictions regarding what they can produce or what Nintendo characters they can use.

In the meanwhile, Nintendo's top priority is proving Wii U gamepad's worth to gamers by releasing games that couldn't be possible without it.

"We have managed to offer several of such software titles for occasions when many people gather in one place to play, but we have not been able to offer a decisive software title that enriches the user's gameplay experience when playing alone with the GamePad," admitted Iwata. "This will be one of the top priorities of Mr. [Shigeru] Miyamoto's software development department this year."

Nintendo is also working hard to convince third party developers that "the Nintendo 3DS platform has already reached a scale with enough business potential for not only the titles invented for game devices, but also the ones originally made for other platforms." Nintendo hopes that its handheld will generate profits starting this year.

Finally, Iwata revealed that Nintendo has determined to focus on "quality of life" as its long term goal for the next 10 years.

"We decided to redefine our notion of entertainment as something that improves people's quality of life in enjoyable ways, and take a step forward in expanding our business areas," explained Iwata.

In addition to Nintendo's traditional gaming focus, this new direction entails a move into "a new business area" with the theme of health.

"Please note, however, that rather than simply setting health as our theme, Nintendo will also try to expand it in a new blue ocean," affirmed Iwata. Nintendo's first health-focused product is expected to ship in 2015. Little is known yet of the product yet, except that it is a "non-wearable technology."

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