Nintendo Details Wii U Strategy For 2014 And BeyondBy: Zach Walton - January 30, 2014
It’s been said time and time again over the past few months – the Wii U is not doing well at all. In its Q3 financial results, Nintendo revealed that it had only sold 2.41 million Wii U units in the past nine months. In comparison, the PS4 alone sold over 4 million units in its first two months. Investors and gamers alike are concerned about the future of Nintendo and the company addressed those concerns Wednesday night at a business strategy meeting.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata initially put fears of the company abandoning hardware to rest by stating that Nintendo would still continue its business of developing hardware and software for it. That being said, he notes that it needs to adapt its traditional console business to take advantage of new technologies, like smart devices.
Before getting to that, however, Iwata finally admitted that the Wii U has an image problem. Most consumers think the Wii U Gamepad is an accessory for the original Wii and not an entirely new console. To fix that, he says that Nintendo is currently developing a number of titles that make extensive use of the Gamepad’s capabilities, including NFC. These titles will be shown off at E3 this year.
With Nintendo refocusing its efforts on its own hardware, where do smart devices fit into this? Well, the company isn’t going to be releasing games on mobile devices. Instead, Iwata wants to “make connections with customers” through mobile devices that drive them to Nintendo hardware. He didn’t exactly elaborate on what that meant, but it most likely means they will be using apps to advertise their platforms.
Interestingly enough, Iwata said Nintendo would be less strict about licensing their characters to third parties going forward in an attempt to widen their appeal. Gamers can look at this as a sign of more collaborations that birthed games like Metroid: Other M or Hyrule Warriors, but others may see it as a sign that films may be on the horizon.
At the end of the meeting, Iwata revealed that Nintendo will be actively getting into what he called the quality of life market. He cited the growing market for wearables and said that Nintendo wants to try its luck with a non-wearable health tracker. He didn’t go into details, but said the device would be unveiled later this year.
As you can imagine, Nintendo’s emergency business meeting wasn’t full of announcements. It was more about trying to calm the fears of investors to prevent their share price from tanking. That being said, the company did manage to announce two bits of news relevant to gamers. The first is that Mario Kart 8 will be out in May and the second is that Nintendo DS games will be coming to the Wii U virtual console.
Nintendo should be holding a new Nintendo Direct soon so we’ll hopefully learn more about the actual games coming from the company in 2014.
Image via Wikimedia Commons