Nintendo will launch a new console, not the Wii U or 3DS, in "emerging markets" as early as next year, president Satoru Iwata has revealed. Speaking with Reuters, Iwata said Nintendo will develop not only a new console, but new games as well, aimed at lower-income consumers and those with less gaming experience than people from developed countries.
"It would be difficult to enter those markets if we didn't create something new... For the mass market you need to provide something that most of the middle class can afford," Iwata said.
He wouldn't discuss specifics about Nintendo's new hardware or provide a list of countries where it will be sold, saying only that Nintendo plans to tap into "emerging markets" where video games are not yet commonplace.
Iwata went on to say that China has significant potential for gaming (there are more gamers there than the entire US population), but explained that there are a number of challenges as well.
"We think the Chinese market has a lot of potential, but I don't think the lifting of the ban has solved all of the difficulties in entering it," Iwata said. "We need to study it more."
One thing is clear, Nintendo is not going to follow the approach of Microsoft, which plans to launch the Xbox One in China this September. "For us, Microsoft's approach wouldn't work," Iwata said. China lifted its decade-long ban on consoles earlier this year, and just recently disclosed its censorship rules for games sold in the country.
The move comes as Nintendo's latest home console, the Wii U, is struggling to find its footing, having sold only 6.17 million units to date. The console continues to have a negative impact on Nintendo's financial performance, the Japanese game giant said earlier this week.