Nintendo Launching Smartphone Service, Developing New Consoles for Emerging Markets
With the recent news of Nintendo’s financial troubles, the company has started announcing ways it plans to make up for its recent shortcomings. Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, has announced that the company will not only launch a smartphone service alongside its upcoming Mario Kart 8 video game but it will also being developing completely new consoles catered and to be distributed in emerging markets.
The smartphone service Nintendo is launching has been tentatively called “Mario Kart TV” and it will let users follow their friends’ activities as well as watch videos created by other users as well as ones created by Nintendo themselves. The smartphone service will also allow users to view and follow rankings from the game through multiple devices including desktop, phone, and tablet via a cross-platform web interface. The new service is expected to launch by the end of May when Mario Kart 8 comes out but it could also launch after that and during E3 instead.
Nintendo is also in the works to release completely new consoles and games specifically meant for emerging markets. The company has decided that it will develop new hardware from scratch instead of revising and cheapening its current consoles. The new consoles from Nintendo are expected to start launching next year. As for its current roster of gaming devices, Nintendo has no plans to launch them in the same markets as the new consoles.
“We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have,” Iwata told Bloomberg. “The product and price balance must be made from scratch.”
One of the markets Nintendo is targeting includes China which has recently lifted the ban on selling foreign video game consoles. Iwata told Reuters, “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. We need to study it more.”
Additionally, the company is also releasing the Nintendo Figurine Platform, or NFP, which is a line of high-tech figurines of some of the brands most popular and iconic characters that players can use to interact with their Wii U GamePad or Nintendo 3DS (via an NFC adapter the company also intends on releasing) akin to Skylanders figurines. Nintendo will be sharing more information on NFP at the upcoming E3 conference.