Will Nintendo move beyond video games?

The Japan-based company that made Mario says that it will always be a company for entertainment, just not solely for video games

By Jonathan Toyad

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata in-between Mario & Luigi. Image credit: Nintendo

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata in-between Mario & Luigi. Image credit: Nintendo

It’s clear as day that Nintendo is a company that perseveres (or remains stubborn, depending on your outlook), opting not to jump into the mobile gaming business directly and still sticking with its guns with first-party titles and consoles. The Japan-based company still remains adamant despite experiencing three consecutive years of losses.

But there seems to be a glimmer of change, if a recent interview of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata via (via Siliconera) is of any indication. He explained how he will be carrying out the will of the late former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, stating that the company will always be about entertainment, though not necessarily so focused on video games.

A lot of people worldwide must think that Nintendo is a company that is just for video games,” he said, “There are more and more of our own employees who think like that. Some of them [including the creative higher-ups] are in charge of making the games in front of them more fun, so it can’t be helped if others outside of our company think like that.”

Mario Kart 8 will be out on the Wii U on May 30 worldwide. Vroom vroom!

Mario Kart 8 will be out on the Wii U on May 30 worldwide. Vroom vroom!

Read Also: Tetris has been downloaded a whopping 425M times as a paid mobile game

Iwata said that even if its focus on video games isn’t changing, he declared that Nintendo is a company ‘that can do whatever it wants’. “Our surroundings are greatly changing. We need to redefine what Nintendo must do from this point on.”

“The words ‘quality of life’ have come up,” Iwata said, “Entertainment is there to improve people’s quality of life. After your basic needs, there’s entertainment. However, when it comes to ‘improving people’s quality of life’, I didn’t know the difference between us and household appliance makers.”

Iwata figured out that the aforementioned ‘improving people’s quality of life’ can be done with improving entertainment and fun, something Nintendo claims to be perfect at. We felt that Nintendo’s previous idea of expanding its ties with consumers via smartphones and tablets, announced early January, sounded vague at best. Will it work on an app, a game, or even both featuring Nintendo properties like Mario, Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing? Perhaps a throwback to Game N’ Watch but using smartphone tech? Or even some augmented reality smartphone gimmick using upcoming games like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8?

The guessing game can keep going on. But at the very least, the company is aware that a change in its entertainment scope is needed so that it can be ahead of the new console and smart device curve.

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