Nintendo openly admits the need for a new strategy

“Stay close, Mario!”

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 If we stay in one place, we will become outdated.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).

Mario runs alone. Touch the screen to jump.

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.

Source: Bloomberg via Gamasutra


4 thoughts on “Nintendo openly admits the need for a new strategy

  1. Perhaps if they bothered to actually invest some money in keeping their hardware current, instead of always being a generation behind, maybe their profit margins might be a Wii (yes it’s a pun) bit healthier. It’s hard to fork on money on a new console, when it’s only about 1% more powerful than the last generation. Also make an effort with your third party developers Big N, they’re running from you like the plague.

    Maybe it’s time to adopt Sega’s strategy, make arcade games and develop for all the platforms that will let you!

    • Thanks for your comment!

      I think having a non-optimal hardware wasn’t a problem for Nintendo before (with the Wii and the 3DS), but it was a totally different context. It’s also interesting that they sold tons of Wiis, but many of them ended up abandoned in the corner of the bedroom.

      Perhaps, one of Nintendo’s biggest mistakes had to do more with the software than with the hardware: there weren’t enough great games (outside their first-party offer) to supply their huge installed base.

      However, it’s true that an inferior hardware is a big problem with third-party developers, and no console thrives without their support.

  2. Pingback: The Gaming Bazaar | Nintendo president cuts his pay in half… and drops 2 bombs

  3. Pingback: The Gaming Bazaar | Nintendo’s first free-to-play experiments

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