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Nintendo plans to focus on health

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King Atem
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Nintendo plans to focus on health

Post by King Atem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:42 pm

Paging Dr. Mario. Nintendo’s big plan for the future isn't mobile games — it’s boosting your “quality of life.”

At a briefing for investors and the media held on Thursday morning, Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata outlined the company’s plan to create a third platform to sit alongside its Wii U and Nintendo 3DS game machines.

“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s [quality of life] in enjoyable ways,” Iwata said.

It’ll run software in the vein of Wii Fit and Brain Age, the self-help applications that were such a big hit for Nintendo on its Wii and DS platforms. Nintendo sold over 40 million copies of the Wii Fit games and over 33 million copies of the Brain Age games.

But, said Iwata, the aim is to create a platform that’s not a videogame machine first and foremost, but one that’s entirely focused around these “quality of life” apps. Thus, he hopes to sail the company into another “blue ocean” — an untapped market of consumers who’d never buy a videogame console, but who would buy a product focused around health instead of hijinks.

Nintendo said it plans to discuss the specific details of what it’s calling the QOL platform this year, with an eye towards releasing it during the fiscal year that begins in April 2015 and ends in March 2016. It’s a “non-wearable” device, Iwata said, but declined to give any more details on what that meant.

“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would… enable people to monitor their health,” Iwata said. “However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and… it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days.”

“This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play,” he said.




While Iwata said the QOL platform’s initial focus would be on “Health”-related software as represented by games like Wii Fit and Brain Age, it would later move into other areas like “Education” (music, painting, foreign language learning) or “Lifestyle” (cooking, etc).

Although Iwata did stress that the new platform would be a separate business unit within Nintendo, he also said that Nintendo wants to bring all of these users together. Nintendo recently connected its Nintendo 3DS and Wii U user bases under a single Nintendo Network account that straddles both platforms, so it’s most likely that the new platform would use the same login, thus bringing all of Nintendo’s customers together under a single online identity.

For Gamers, No Major Strategy Shifts.
But what does Nintendo plan to do to jumpstart its existing Wii U and 3DS gaming devices, which aren't currently performing well enough to put the company in the black?

Iwata reiterated Nintendo’s position that it will not put its games on smartphones. “Many people say that releasing Nintendo’s software assets for smart devices would expand our business. However, we believe that we cannot show our strength as an integrated hardware-software business in this field, and therefore it would difficult to continue the same scale of business in the medium- to long term,” he said.

Instead, he said, it would have a “small, select team of developers… release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings.” While Iwata said that this Nintendo application could involve games, the intent is to create a marketing tool that will drive consumers to Nintendo platforms. Specifically, Iwata said he wants to use the smartphone application to boost Nintendo’s sales of paid games for its platforms.

On its beleaguered Wii U, which Nintendo expects to only sell 2.5 million units of this fiscal year, the company is doubling down. “Our top priority task this year is to offer software titles that are made possible because of the GamePad,” Iwata said. So far, Nintendo has been struggling to present compelling games, especially single-player ones, that show why the expensive GamePad accessory, which features a screen inside the controller, is a must-have for gamers.

In particular, Iwata said that the controller’s near-field communication functionality, which has been barely used up until this point, will get a boost. At this year’s E3 Expo in June, he said, Nintendo will show off games that use the NFC capability. NFC is the technology used for Skylanders and Disney Infinity, so perhaps a Nintendo version of these toy-game hybrids is coming, although Iwata did not say this specifically.

Nintendo will also add games from its Nintendo DS platform to its Virtual Console classic game download service — but for the Wii U console, not the Nintendo 3DS handheld.
source


Hmmm... Sounds to me like a kinda risky move for Nintendo to make... Still the end result could pay off it all depends on how Nintendo decides to go with this idea really impo.


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Re: Nintendo plans to focus on health

Post by Zero Revolution on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:24 pm

Now what I think this is is a dedicated platform for the "casual gamers". They already have their game series like Wii Fit and Brain Age, and they might just be doing more with these concepts they have with those types of games. This would be so the gamers have their game console to play games on, and the others don't have to purchase an entire game console just for improving their health or brain activity and memory. Maybe not, but after looking through the information again, it almost sounds like that's the complete point in this.

But Yusei, the title is completely wrong really...this is just for their quality of life platform, Nintendo is not planning to focus on health from what I can gather. It's not like they're just completely abandoning Wii U and Nintendo 3DS (as well as their future consoles) for this new quality of life thing.


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Re: Nintendo plans to focus on health

Post by queenzelda on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:26 am

Well, tbh at the moment it doesn't seem that way. But what about in five or so years from now? Who's to say that Nintendo won't be doing gaming when they're the new face of health showing up on shows like Dr. Oz & the like? *sigh* Well, the times they are a changing folks.


Last edited by queenzelda on Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Nintendo plans to focus on health

Post by Zero Revolution on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:13 am

That really doesn't seem to be the case though. Iwata even stated in the investors meeting multiple times they would be continuing with game consoles in the future and that they aren't abandoning them. He also said future handhelds and consoles will work together more with NNIDs so they are connected to each other in more ways. Because Nintendo console life spans are generally 5-6 years, the next home console would likely release in another 5 years from now, meaning in 5 years Nintendo would still be in the same business as they currently are.

But hey I think we're probably both looking too deep into this, we should really just wait for Iwata to officially announce what this is, because they way he said all this was seriously just insane. XD

EDIT: Hey look what I just saw. Iwata is planning to stick to their current businesses IN ADDITION TO adding in these new businesses such as the quality of life thing to expand their user base. So exactly as I said in a previous post, thank god.


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