Nintendo’s new President, Tatsumi Kimishima, recently participated in an interview with Time magazine regarding Nintendo’s strategy going forward. There were some interesting nuggets of information concerning the company’s next console, code-named NX, and their future mobile strategy.
When asked about Nintendo’s iconic characters entering the mobile market, Kimishima explained their strategy:
“Nintendo has talked for years about increasing the gaming population, but to further that goal, we want to increase the population who has access to Nintendo’s IP first and foremost. Of course the smart device business is not a simple business, it is a highly competitive business, and so for us just to take our IP and drop it into the smart device business, in that existing red ocean, I believe would not be a very successful strategy to take.
We want to increase the population of those people who have access to our IP, and we also need to make the way they access our IP as simple as we can or as easy as we can. And that’s how we’re going to make the smart device business successful.”
President Kimishima then went on to stress to Time how important the soon to be rolled out Nintendo Account and My Nintendo programs are to their future, and how Miitomo will begin that process:
“So of course we need something to connect all of this together, and this is where My Nintendo as well as the Nintendo Account system comes in. So for My Nintendo, of course you’ll get points in traditional ways like through the purchase of software, but we’re also looking at nontraditional ways of getting points just by accessing our content, wherever you may find it. And you’ll be able to use those points in some way or other to get benefits at places like theme parks, or perhaps when purchasing merchandize. There will be opportunities for these points to benefit the end user.
So again, we’re looking at really strengthening the connections between My Nintendo and the Nintendo Account system, as well as—and this is I think probably our number one overall goal—connecting all of our Nintendo IP within this framework and allowing our customer base to have access to our IP via this, and gain benefits from that access and that connection. I think that will be something that no other company has to offer.”
Tatsumi Kimishima then goes on to explain how they expect Miitomo to be the program/app that kick starts this process for Nintendo:
“We believe [Miitomo] is something that’s going to get people wanting to, through the use of these very well known Mii characters, speak and communicate with their friends, and when they’re using Miitomo it’s going to be easier to do some of the Miitomo features if you have a Nintendo Account. It’ll be easier to reach out and talk to your friends. Once you have that account set up I think it’s a very easy transition for folks to want to then register for My Nintendo so they can start earning points.
So they’ll start earning points not only by using their software, but by interacting with our stuff, not just by purchasing software, but by interacting both at theme parks and also with merchandize. So something that’s again simple and easy for the consumer to accomplish. And then and only then, once we’ve established these roads by which consumers can reach our content on smart devices, then that’ll be the right timing for us to bring more of our Nintendo IP to that business.”
Finally, what most of you are here for – the Nintendo NX. President Kimishima confirms development is progressing, and that we’ll hear more about the console next year. What was exciting about his quotes though are that he confirms Nintendo’s upcoming NX console to be a “different, new experience” from the Wii and Wii U:
“NX is in development, a next step in our dedicated device strategy, the core and primary focus of our business. As far as NX goes, I’ve said it’s different and obviously a new experience. If you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It’s difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform.
That being said, I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.”