Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave a press conference yesterday in Osaka (Japan) to admit they need a new business model. What provoked that change was the forecast of a surprise 25 billion-yen ($240 million) annual loss, instead of the original projected profit of 55 billion yen ($538 million) for the year ending March. That $778 million difference between the old and new forecasts forced Nintendo’s management to reflect on their missteps a little.
The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are have changed. If we stay in one place, we will become outdated.
The key element for Nintendo’s new strategy seems to revolve around mobile gaming outside its stellar 3DS console. In other words, the expansion of smartphones. Historically, they have rejected the idea of releasing mobile versions of their properties (Mario, Zelda, Pokémon and Donkey Kong, just to name a few).
Some even say that Nintendo should follow SEGA’s steps, ditching the hardware business and focusing only on their software skills. Fortunately (at least for me), that isn’t the path Iwata is willing to follow, and he addresses that embracing a new market (in this case, mobile) isn’t an easy move. Or, in his own words,
It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.