In a new interview, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that though the company is not moving away from gaming anytime soon, the Mario and Zelda creator sees itself as an "entertainment" company--and that doesn't mean just games, Iwata said.
Speaking with Diamond.jp (translated by CVG), Iwata said many in the public--and even some inside Nintendo--consider Nintendo to be a company that only makes video games. But he wants to change this mindset, just as his late predecessor Hiroshi Yamauchi did, Iwata said.
"A lot of people around the world think Nintendo is solely a company that makes video games, and I believe more and more of our own employees have started thinking in this way," Iwata said. "Some employees in charge of development find themselves in positions where all they are thinking about is how they can make the game in front of them more fun, so I don't think it can be helped if others outside of our company see us the same way.
"So even though we won't change the fact that our focus is on video games, I felt the need to take that occasion to state that Nintendo is a company that can do whatever it wants," he added.
Iwata's comments came in response to a reporter asking him to offer more information about his announcement in January that Nintendo was thinking about a "new business structure" that would "extend the definition of entertainment" with its upcoming quality of life platform.
"Yamauchi always said 'Nintendo is an entertainment company and should never be anything else', but he didn't necessarily think 'entertainment equals video games'," Iwata said.
"Recently the words 'quality of life' have been coming up regularly. Entertainment is there to improve people's quality of life. After your basic needs, there's entertainment. However, when it came to improving people's quality of life, I didn't know the difference between us and household appliance makers.
"At the start of this year, I finally figured that the concept of 'improving people's quality of life with fun,' with emphasis on the 'fun', would be perfect for Nintendo. And that's why I decided to focus on this during the financial results meeting in January."
We still don't know much about Nintendo's plans for its new quality of life initiative, though GameSpot editor Tom McShea says it may actually be a way in which Nintendo quietly nudges out the underperforming Wii U console. E3 2014 is right around the corner, so we may find out sooner rather than later.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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