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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.