Nintendo released its financial results for the first quarter of 2014, and it looks bleak so far. The company known for household names like Mario and Donkey Kong experienced a net loss of US$230 million and net sales of US$5.62 billion. In terms of its current generation console standings, it sold 2.72 million Wii U systems worldwide, which is less from its past Wii U sales of 3.45 million. That is a far cry from its 24.45 million Wiis it sold a while back.

While it’s not in really huge turmoil from a financial standpoint, it still needs to turn its marketing and business thinking around if it wishes to break ahead of the competition. Its first few steps in doing so is a small but significant one: Nintendo will launch its first smartphone service in Japan that will complement its upcoming racing game Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U this May 30.

The app will let users watch official Mario Kart 8 videos or user-generated ones, as well as follow rankings. The app will be cross-platform, so players can check them out either on their phones or tablet. There’s no info on whether the app will be for iOS or Android or for both.


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In addition, it will launch the Nintendo Figurine Platform. Here, players can use Nintendo-made toy figures and interact with them via the Wii U GamePad through all of Nintendo’s games on the Wii U platform. The first set of toys will be out this holiday season worldwide; Nintendo will post more details on both initiatives at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

These two early initiatives are what Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was referring in making entertainment that isn’t too focused on games in a previous news e27 did. Better late than never, right?