Doubling down on the GamePad
Nintendo released their third quarter financial results which revealed an operating loss of over $15 million due to poor Wii U sales. While it wasn’t totally bleak in sales in some regards, the company overall failed to meet revised sales projections thus causing Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to cut his salary in half.
So now what? Iwata just held a press conference in Japan tonight and detailed what his plan of attack is to turn the company around. For starters, Iwata stated that they won’t be abandoning its hardware business, and game consoles will continue being the center of their strategy. That said, he admitted that adapting to change is necessary.
A revamp to their marketing is coming, with a big focus on the GamePad and it’s capabilities, such as pushing the NFC function (tech similar to what Skylanders/Disney Infinity does). He admitted that the Wii U’s weakness is the GamePad in that the recognition is low, and that people think it’s an accessory for the Wii. Turning this around is the company’s highest priority, such as how they’ll be revealing new NFC titles at E3. They won’t be cutting the price, however. We can also expect high-speed startups, so for instance you can instantly dive into games through the GamePad as your TV is powering up.
On the subject of smartphones and tablets, Iwata says Nintendo will actively use smart devices to “make connections with customers” in that it will serve as a method to drive potential customers to Nintendo platforms. So don’t expect Nintendo games on other platforms. Whatever this service is will launch sometime this year, and will be tied to your Nintendo ID so it’ll be more tailored to your habits rather than a general blanket for everyone.
Iwata then discussed what the next 10 years will look like for the company. Iwata sees a future where they’ll be enhancing the quality of life through entertainment through non-wearable devices that will monitor your health. Details on what that exactly means will be revealed later this year, with a launch date set for fiscal year March 2016.
Additionally, DS games are heading to the Wii U’s Virtual Console.