Nintendo “Studying” How to Expand Business Model to Smartphones



Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, said the company is considering a new business model after they reported a surprising $25 billion-yen ($240 million) annual loss because of a lower-than-expected demand for the Wii U.

The company is considering entering into the smart device market after reports of a third consecutive annual loss, decreasing the global sales forecast for it Wii U console from 9 million units to 2.8 million. Nintendo has also scaled back its expectations for the 3DS from 18 million to 13.5 million.

“We are thinking about a new business structure,” Iwata said at a press conference yesterday in Osaka, Japan. “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”

The Wii U, a family focused console, is losing its appeal as casual gamers move to iOS and Android while hardcore gamers have moved to the faster and better performing Sony PS4 or the Microsoft Xbox One.

Nintendo has faced tremendous competition in recent years, from other console makers and even mobile game developers. The Wii U is a family focused console is losing its appeal as casual gamers move to iOS and Android while hardcore gamers have moved to the faster and better performing PS4, created by Sony, or the Xbox One, created by Microsoft.

With the growth of mobile gaming on iOS and Android, Nintendo’s handheld consoles are also suffering. The selection of apps and games on mobile platforms overwhelms the selection on handheld consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS. Investors have called for Nintendo to develop titles for iOS and other platforms since 2011.

The company could be planning to make its own smartphone or just move their existing collection of games to smart devices but if and when Nintendo actually enters the smart device market is still unknown.

[via Bloomberg]


  • meh

    it may already be late for this, but i guess better late than never 🙂

    heed the signs nintendo, or you end up another sega

  • winnertakesteve

    nintendo wants to stay a hardware company but they don’t seem to get what warrants an extra device these days. you either have a super-robust general purpose platform (ios/android) or you do something that they can’t do, or that you can do *much* better.

  • HelloMrSparkle

    I really hope they don’t make iOS games. The 3DS platform is far superior for gaming than any smartphone. It’s designed specifically for entertainment. I think there will always be a place for a dedicated handheld gaming device as there is still a place for consoles even with the ubiquity of PCs. Nintendo is still dominating the handheld gaming space and should not lower their IPs to the iPhone/Android gaming experience. I have nothing against Angry Birds and iOS games, but Nintendo games are very much a different product and should stay that way.

    The reason for Nintendo’s loss is very simple. The Wii U. I have one, I like it, but I’m not surprised it’s outmatched by the competition. Nintendo also did a terrible job marketing it. Get more titles on the Wii U and fix your strategy for the next gen of consoles and Nintendo will be fine again. I think the 3DS will also need a successor at some point which will drive up sales again.

  • nah

    Remove 3DS’s region lock. What is this? 20th century or what? Patch the region lock already!

  • Nick

    Port Mario to Android & iOS!

  • Erik

    This may be the perfect marriage for Blackberry/RIM. To save each other, Nintendo and RIM could use each other’s expertise.

  • +1