Nintendo didn't have a stellar 2013. The Wii U continues to be a disaster and the 3DS can only do so much to offset those losses. In the face of these challenges, shareholders have called on Nintendo to forsake its own hardware in favor of making games for mobile devices. While Nintendo has repeatedly said this would never happen, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has had to address the calls to make mobile games once again.
In an open letter to shareholders and investors, Iwata says in no uncertain terms that the future of Nintendo will rely upon its tried and true "development concept of hardware and software integration." In other words, Nintendo will keep on making its own hardware because its software can only shine when it has control of its hardware as well.
Furthermore, Iwata reiterates that Nintendo will be pursuing a new quality of life initiative that will see its gaming hardware and software attempt to "improve people's QOL in enjoyable ways." Besides games, it will also attempt to establish a new business focused on health:
With a platform business that improves people's QOL in enjoyable ways, we will attempt to establish a new business area apart from our dedicated video game business. We have set "health" as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business. Through our new endeavors with the QOL-improving platform, we strive to further promote our existing strategy of expanding our user base, create an environment in which more people are conscious about their health and in turn expand Nintendo's overall user base.
At the end of his letter, Iwata says that Nintendo has always been focused on innovation since its start as a playing card company in the late 19th century. Through the years, it has revamped its business to capitalize on the next big thing - sometimes before anybody else knows it's the next big thing (e.g. Wii and DS). With its newfound focus on QOL initiatives, Nintendo believes that it will be able to surprise everyone again with an innovative product that will improve our lives, and its fortunes.
Image via Nintendo/YouTube