Nintendo thinking about "new business structure," studying smartphone market

After announcement of dismal Wii U sales and diminished financial projections, president Satoru Iwata says, "If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

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Nintendo is thinking about forming a "new business structure" that could incorporate smartphone initiatives, president Satoru Iwata said today as part of a press conference addressing dismal Wii U sales. It was also during this conference that he vowed not to resign as top executive.

"We are thinking about a new business structure," Iwata said at a press conference today attended by Bloomberg. "Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business."

Nintendo has refused to release its tentpole franchises like Mario or Zelda on smartphones because it believes that offering these series on third-party devices would negatively impact the company's ability to sell its own hardware.

Iwata did not elaborate much on the bespoke "new business structure," but pointed out that addressing the smartphone market is "not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone."

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal's coverage of Iwata's presentation quotes the executive as saying people have fundamentally changed in recent years, and Nintendo must do more to keep its business practices in line with consumer expectation.

"The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are--have changed," Iwata said. "If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

Earlier today, Nintendo slashed Wii U sales projections for the year ending March 2014 from 9 million units to 2.8 million systems, a dramatic 69 percent cutback. The company also pared back sales expectations for the 3DS and downwardly revised its overall financial projections.

The Wii U has sold 3.91 million units worldwide as of September 30.

Discussion

414 comments
Juan1988
Juan1988

Back in the 90s kids asked Santa Claus for a gameboy, a SNES or new games for either console... now they ask for smartphones and tablets. Like it or not if Nintendo wants to stay relevant with the new generations they need to move to the App World!

I mean, how hard of a decision would be to port their classics of NES and SNES? Hell, the N64 had some pretty awesome stuff that kids and adults would be buying like hot cakes! 
Playing Smash Bros or Star Fox on the go would be sick, and a lot of people might even be encouraged to buy a 3DS to get the new games and better graphics. WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

goldenagegamer
goldenagegamer

You hacks at gamespot never ever stop with the constant bombardment of useless biased articles against Nintnedo

If one company that is more than likely to quit making consoles its MICROSOFT.    They already want to sell off the xbox one and the gaming division.  


You are a bunch of hacks

ryangcnx-2
ryangcnx-2

No nintendo... Wake up and realize Sony and Microsoft are your Competitors. Create a home console that rivals or exceeds theirs. No more stupid gimmicks, create an awesome standard controller ( and do NOT put the right analog stick above the buttons). While your games may not need a ton of power, third party games do. Get a competent online structure as that's needed as well. I don't need your next console to be backwards comparable with the wii and wii-u, it's nice yes, but you need a new architecture and get away from the GameCube CPU that's been reworked over and over.

I love Zelda too, but it has gotten too easy. Maybe look to the rpg genre for some ideas. Also if you adapt health and stats, you could easily add difficulty levels. I give kudos for bringing donkey kong country back, but also don't forget your other franchises metroid, star fox and so many more.

There are so many things that are obvious why the wii-u is failing. While I have one, it's rarely used and is only for those exclusive nintendo titles.

Another option, give up on a home console and just develop your games for Sony and Microsoft and let them deal with the hardware. And just pump out awesome games.

But please, no phone gaming. All you would be doing is reaching out to those casuals again who will eat it up at first, then spit you out and forget you even existed a year later.

CIA_BOSS
CIA_BOSS

Nintendo should give up and start making its silly games on the PS4 & XB1.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I think this is a forecast for Nintendo to become a software only company like Sega. 

StokeMeAClipper
StokeMeAClipper

People have always cared about how powerful a system is. I don't think people have changed "fundamentally" in that respect, and that is the biggest reason the Wii U has done so poorly. Had the Snes been halfway in specs between the Nes/Master System and the Megadrive (Genesis) it would most likely have been trounced by the Megadrive.

The Wii was successful for multiple reasons. Appeal to non-gamers and young audiences was one. Perhaps a larger part of it was the combination of pricing and timing. HD hadn't been widely adopted yet and it was a viable price to request as a Christmas present. For parents on a budget 1) A HDTV (to take advantage of one of the big selling points of the other two consoles) wasn't going to be a purchase in the immediate future. 2) The other consoles were much more expensive. I believe its success was because the right market was there for it at the time.

Hurvl
Hurvl

If they don't want to move their existing big titles to smartphones I guess they'll have to make new ones, something they have been accused of not doing. Sounds like a win-win: Nintendo gets a slice of the smartphone cake and produces new games, showing their accusers that they have no case against them (but others will find new things to dislike/accuse Nintendo of).

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

The phone gaming market is a fickle one. Casual gamers have no loyalty other than passing fads ( example the wii ), angry birds may be big now, but it won't have a long term fan base like Mario or Zelda. There's no long term security there, just a way to make fast easy money, if you know how to do it.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

An Open World Perfect Dark Cyberpunk game.

rednival
rednival

Mario and Zelda on mobile is probably unlikely, except perhaps in the form of some mini-game or sub-game.  My first thought is they would go with lesser known characters and games.  A modern take on that old Yoshi game on NES would be a GREAT game to do on mobile- and that's the sort of stuff I expect to see at first. 


They will keep their core experiences exclusive because they still have the 3DS that competes with mobile and they have to offer something special there.

snaketus
snaketus

Only thing Nintendo needs to do is the get the fucking games out for Wii U, Zelda, Mario (real 3D Mario) and Metroid and we will see some console flying of the shelves.


By entering mobile market by actually bringing those franchises to iOS and Android market would only devalue their own hardware. They are not going to do that, they can't be that stupid.

superbuuman
superbuuman

So moving out of console?...or branching out...if just moving out console then Iwata should step down. That's just his continue defeatist attitude. Sad day for me, if Nintendo move to smartphone gaming.

blaznwiipspman1
blaznwiipspman1

easy way to enter the mobile market for nintendo....make the 3ds successor have mobile capabilities, done.  IE add 3g/4g tech to the phone, sell the handheld to big companies AT&T, sprint, etc, and let those companies resell the hardware on 2 year contracts at a subsidized price.  Also make the handheld so that it is detachable sort of like the asus transformer, so you can use the handheld as a phone when you need to and add the bottom for gaming time.  Also make it so that indie games can be sold on the phone as well.

fox_fury
fox_fury

I can already see the Nintendophone 2015 flagship top-of-the-line specs: 5 inch 720p display, dual core processor, 512ram. Will run on their own OS and will run only their own games :D And it will cost as much as Galaxy S6 ;) In one word - Outdated.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Outdated... Like the hardware in the WiiU.

If they want to sell millions of each game for £1 each (and pull a profit) they need a bigger market, which is only going to happen if their devices do more... That's the key to Smartphone success, which means short of becoming a smartphone maker the only other option is to make games for smartphones.

BradBurns
BradBurns

Smartphones..scary stuff. Well, more lame than scary.

KingsofQueens
KingsofQueens

LOL at Nintendo. 

" If we stay in one place, we will become outdated"


LMFAO....they've been outdated during their N64 days. Wake the fuck up, Nintendo! You will be your own undoing! 

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

People like to shove that this means they are going mobile. Thats far from it. Nintendo can take advantage by making special apps for phones that can help encourage more sales on their hardware. Thats why he said its "not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.", because thats not the point to just shove Mario and Zelda on phone and call it a day.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

If Nintendo built their own gaming phone I'd buy one for the whole family! :D

jer_1
jer_1

These stubborn dipshits (Iwata and friends) are so late to the punch it's mind boggling. I'm sure that chalkboard has crossed out EVERYTHING but firing iwata now...the time has finally come!

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

Just make better games and get some exclusives! I bought a GameCube just for RE4! Stop thinking you will get away with putting out the same thing every couple of years.

sakaixx
sakaixx

mario cart on smartphones ? YES !

TheMudora
TheMudora

I can go on all day about Nintendo, but does it really matter? Nintendo obviously wants to do their own thing. Eventually they will learn their lesson and try to counter their weaknesses. 

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

Nintendope is already outdated and coming out with their own smartphone is not going to save them.

WR_Platinum
WR_Platinum

Sigh noooo Nintendo. Don't look at the mobile market as a solution to the problem. It is incredibly simple, acknowledge that you are competing with Sony and Microsoft for starters, then take it seriously and bring out all the games that are still not out on WiiU that everyone is waiting for.


The mobile market is not the answer, stop depending so much on the casual market so heavily please.

summersgod
summersgod

Move to 3rd party on consoles. Stick with Nintendo 3ds. Bring older portable Nintendo games to smart phones and tablets. If Pokemon fire red and leaf green came on smart phones it would sell hugely.

hystavito
hystavito

Well this was obvious and everyone suggested and/or saw it coming, anyway...


"The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are--have changed,"

I think a key addition to this quote would be that the people being referred to here are those average not so gamer types.  The ones who were Nintendo's main market, at least with the Wii anyway.  They don't really care about what games they are playing as long as everything is extremely easy for them, no effort.  That is why so many people play games on mobile, downloading/purchasing, learning to play, etc. is all super convenient requiring little effort.  To them sitting down in front of the TV with a controller and having to spend 20 minutes to learn a game is too much hassle, and they always don't have the time for it, instead they wanna sit wherever and play Candy Crush for an hour :).


These are the people that you always hear complaining about how big and bulky devices are, or how supposedly complicated they are, or things like how ugly a console looks and so they don't want to have it in their entertainment area, etc. etc.  They just don't care about gaming outside of being an occasional time killer, and so with the rise of phones and tablets Nintendo lost them.  Their Wii's were probably disconnected and put away ages ago :), or maybe some still use it for Netflix and don't notice how horrible that SD video looks blown up on their big TV :).  Anyway, you get the idea.


MDK4thewin
MDK4thewin

Make the Wii U/4DS bundle. It will be a combo system. The gamepad will be replaced by a new HD version of the 3ds which can play all old 3DS games. It will still be a mobile device, but the 3DS games can be streamed to the WII U and Wii U games can be streamed to the 4DS when using it as a second screen. Bundling the two systems together would remove the gamepad and expand it's functionality. Sell the bundled system for $199 or $250 with a game and larger internal memory. Both systems would have an expanded game library from this change. Additionally, all current versions of the Wii U can be sold without the gamepad at $150, but a 3ds would be required to play certain games (the current 3DS handhelds would get a software update to enable this). Create an online infrastructure where all titles can be downloaded straight to the mobile device or whole console. Release two new games right away that utilize the features of the 3ds being played on the Wii U. 


I'd totally buy a Wii U if I knew it came with the option to play the 3ds library. What do y'all think?

deadpen
deadpen

NNOOOOOO! Nintendo you have 6 home consoles 1 VR and many handhelds, using each console as a test bed for upcoming systems (but never use it) . With all that collected data over nearly 30 years this is the BS they come up with. 


Okay then make a smartphone that is preloaded with ALL cart based games (with game genie app) nintendo/sega have made. Make it stream to TVs when we want it to which changes the phone into a controller (actual L and R buttons on the side of the phone, which would be the top when it is tilted). Put a 45MB camera on it and keep the 2 yr contract phone price under $100.



While we are waiting on that how about making a quick buck off us by selling a Nintendo licensed ZAPPER and a proper Duck Hunt game.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Argh, sad stuff indeed. I really hope they find another way. Mobile gaming makes money, but is step down for any reputable gaming company.

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

if u go  mobile special cell phones and pity things like that well Nintendo is the worst decisión ever!!! Fare thee well its the case then!!!  is it so hard to proper games for ur console stop it with your daaaaaaamn nostalgiaaa!! is killing you!!!

nurnberg
nurnberg

Smartphones : dark place where failing gaming companies go die

Jasurim
Jasurim

Stay away, Nintendo...stay far far away... o.o

uncle5555
uncle5555

@goldenagegamerI've probably been gaming as long as you (31 years) but Gamespot goes after MS and Sony too, it's just that Nintendo has been screwing up more recently, hence the frequency of news stories about them.  


Next time try a bit harder, and you cannot deny the news, they screwed up plain and simple.

0x0100
0x0100

@CIA_BOSS The Xbox 360, maybe but not the Xbox One. And Nintendo's games are not silly. If Zelda appeared on the Xbox 360, even the hard-core zombie gamers would find it extremely difficult to resist buying it. The main problem is simply the inconvenience of buying another system. That's also why many of us still haven't bought the silly new next-gen PS4 and Xbox One, because there isn't really that much of a difference. It's all about power, but Nintendo has made great games on cheap systems for a long time. 

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@KingsofQueens 

N64 had better hardware than Playstation

GCN had slightly better hardware than PS2

So i dont see the problem here

snaketus
snaketus

@hotdiddykong This is exactly what they are going after. It would be just plain stupid to bring those games off from their own hardware.

snaketus
snaketus

@sakaixx Would be hilarious to see Mario driving in a shopping cart and then see the ad about 3ds and voice saying "So you want to race in karts instead of carts?! Only on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U"!

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

Why not? Apple and Samsung dominate the market. There is plenty of room for nintend

snaketus
snaketus

@summersgod You really think they should do that? Only thing they need to do is get those games out for Wii U that everybody is waiting for and for next generation seriously do as powerful system as those other two. They are not in Sega like stake yet.


And you say Pokemon would sell on smartphones hugely, but they should stay with 3ds, that may be the case, but that would only devalue their own hardware (3ds), why would they do that? This might be last generation for handheld consoles anyway, so they are studying mobile market for their next move.

Rotondi
Rotondi

@hystavito    "They don't really care about what games they are playing as long as everything is extremely easy for them, no effort." 

Games developed by Nintendo hands down require the most gamer skillz than games made by anyone else.  However, they are likewise quite easy to get into.  The is why Nintendo games are brilliant.  They can be enjoyed by the hardcore and the casual.

0x0100
0x0100

@MDK4thewin Also, the 4DS should use 4 geometrical dimensions, for more advanced gaming than the simple, boring 3D that we already see in real life. However, if done incorrectly, it could melt people's brains, so they should be careful about it.

fig56
fig56

I read many comments on here and I have to say that this one is by far is the most absurd comment of all. "Nostalgia is killing you"? It's like the only thing keeping them alive. Idiot.

snaketus
snaketus

@hotdiddykong @KingsofQueens He meant that N64 still used the cartridges when everyone else had moved to CD format, they lost first time some serious third party support, because of this decision. For example Squaresoft, now Square Enix, made their Final Fantasy games for PlayStation, because N64 cartridge couldn't hold enough data for FMV and CD quality music.


GameCube didn't have DVD-video playback and in that time and age was considered outdated, because people wanted "free" DVD player at the same time, DVD players cost real money back then. And again they lost third party support, because their own 8cm disc could only contain 1,5 GB of data where dual layer DVD maxed out 8,7 GB. Only nice thing about GameCube disc was CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) which helped shorten load times.


And I'm not even going to go to Wii...