Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has said in a letter to shareholders and investors that the company is not going to be shifting away from first-party hardware. His statements reiterate the stance he has made under pressure for Nintendo to abandon its current business model after a third year of underwhelming financial earnings.
“We believe we can capitalize the most on our strengths through a hardware-software integrated platform business,” his letter reads. “And therefore this type of dedicated video game platforms will remain our core focus. We will continue to value the spirit of originality described in our motto ‘the true value of entertainment lies in individuality,’ and will continue to provide products and services which pleasantly surprise people.”
To further convince investors and shareholders that “individuality” is the way of the future, Iwata further explained his plans for Nintendo and the new “health” business it will begin exploring shortly, a separate entity from its video games branch.
“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.”
However, it is the last paragraph of his letter which drives it home. Nintendo has always innovated, pioneered, and stayed the course, and has never strayed away from a market it has deemed fruitful.
“Nintendo has continued to try new things, and with a history of experiencing many failures and small successes, we managed to pioneer the home video game market. What has remained the same from the past is that we have always tried to create something new from materials and technologies available at that time, to position entertainment as our core business and to improve people’s QOL in enjoyable ways. We will continue to value self-innovation in line with the times and aim for growth.”
In this modern day culture where everything is under constant scrutiny and nothing is ever enough, there exists a poisonous belief that if you are not the best, then you shouldn’t even bother at all. The reality of the world is that nobody is on top all the time, and one look at Nintendo’s history shows they’ve been up at times and down at others.
The Wii U might be on life support, and who knows how long Nintendo will continue to support it. However, I can promise that the company will not be caving in to pressure while the current guard is on watch.
Nintendo won’t be going for the cheap buck on mobile devices, not while the Nintendo 3DS continues to thrive and piracy of its classic games run rampant on Android. It will still be turning out the same quality games and hardware worthy of their asking prices, and the new “health” angle has Nintendo written all over it.
We’ll see how this develops in the coming year.