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Nintendo has sobered up on consoles, but is still gun shy on mobile

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A report from the Wall Street Journal shows that Nintendo is still reeling from its poor sales performance in 2013 — largely propelled by the lackluster reception of its latest flagship home console, the Wii U — but is also caught in a crossroads about where to go next.

During a press conference on Friday, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata admitted that weaker than expected console sales would force the longtime Japanese game-maker to rethink its console strategy, but that it is still hesitant to conform to many critics’ analysis and squash their hardware division entirely. Iwata pointed to the success of Nintendo’s 3DS as a sign that the company isn’t completely off-track, and shrugged off assumptions that Nintendo would move wholly into the mobile space:

“It doesn’t mean that we should put Mario on smartphones.”

However, Iwata did hint at the idea of putting Nintendo content in some form or another on iOS (s aapl) and Android (s goog), similar to the sentiments expressed by Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime late last year. It’s likely that, when Nintendo does embark on bringing content to mobile, it will focus on promotional apps or small tastes of games that will be available for Nintendo’s hardware lineup.

In the meantime, Iwata confirmed that the company is boosting the budget of its R&D sector, meaning that there’s an outside chance that a new console from Nintendo will happen sooner rather than later. One thing is for sure: the next console Nintendo creates must be a great departure from the Wii U, and a palette cleanser that justifies Nintendo’s long-standing commitment to its own devices.

3 Responses to “Nintendo has sobered up on consoles, but is still gun shy on mobile”

  1. Beatrix Tuffy

    It’s fact that Nintendo Wii U didn’t get enough sales or it’s became flop somehow in people. But, I really think that Nintendo makes great consoles and I am hoping that this year they will be definitely come with great concept.

  2. Social Net

    I’ll say skip the porting of any IP Nintendo characters to any ios/android device but rather experiment with something New for these instead is a smart idea. Nintendo needs to realize the Times we are living in and reach a wide New audience, introduce them to what they have to offer and attract them to their side. Just an experiment (walk in and walk out) take a chance for a change “Marking these new territories = more customer’s” and perhaps win back some of us who slipped away by the convenience of android/ios on our mobile device. Could be a win/win situation.

  3. Andrew Waber

    I understand the worry from Nintendo in cannibalizing their console business, but a no-nonsense solution would be provide a full, mobile version of games for iOS and Android with the purchase of the console version (e.g. via a code on the back – could restrict to 1 or 2 concurrent users at a given time)