Nintendo hasn’t been having a very good time lately, have they? Wii U numbers have been largely eclipsed by the numbers pushed out by the newer PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, sales have been so terrible, Nintendo execs recently took a paycut. There’s certainly been a bunch of speculation over the future of Nintendo.
But at a Corporate Management Policy Briefing held on Thursday, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata cleared things up pretty much with one phrase.
“Nintendo will not change,” he said.
He went on to say that hardware and software will still be their main priority. So that’s that. Nintendo has not given up on consoles. You won’t see Mario on the Playstation 4. But with the way it’s been going for Nintendo, things do have to change. The Wii U, however awesome, isn’t successful.
Iwata has some short and long term plans to fix Nintendo.
Short Term: (mostly involves the Wii U’s gamepad)
• Improving the gamepad.
• More titles planned that implement the gamepad, especially ones that are single-player.
• A new quick start menu added to the gamepad (coming this summer in an update)
• Bringing the DS’s solid Virtual Console library to the Wii U’s library
• Oh, and we get Mario Kart 8 in May!!
Highlights of their long term goals:
• Better connection with past and future Nintendo gamers through Nintendo Network IDs
• You won’t see Mario on a smartphone, but Nintendo plans to somehow connect with smartphone users. They’ve got a development team on it, so maybe we’ll see some kind of Nintendo apps or software in the future? Nothing’s solid yet, they sounded like they’re still trying to figure this out.
• Potential new model for selling games. Once you buy a certain number of games, you can get future games at a discounted price.
• Improving people’s quality of life
That last one might sound pretty bold, but what Nintendo has planned is actually pretty cool.
Nintendo plans to release a new hardware in 2015 or 2016, currently dubbed “Quality-of-Life.” There wasn’t too much detail about it, but it’s not suprising given the popularity of the Wii Fit.
“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would be providing preventive measures which would require us to enable people to monitor their health and offer them appropriate propositions,” Iwata said.
Iwata went on to say that he knows that many people desire good health and make strong efforts to be healthy, but commonly give up after only a few days. Nintendo, being an entertainment company that’s built on keeping people engaged, hopes to help on this end. More details on the Quality of Life hardware will be revealed sometime this year.