Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said Thursday that the company is expanding the smartphone games with the first titles to come by the end of the year. The company will also delay the introduction of a new game player designed for emerging markets. Nintendo announced a business alliance with DeNA on March 17 in order to enable the company compete in the smart device space. They announced an "integrated membership service," with the mission of establishing a bridge between smart devices and dedicated game systems. The membership service will encompass multiple devices such as our existing Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, the dedicated game system NX, which is currently under development, smart devices and PCs. Consumers will be able to use a single ID across multiple devices.
Nintendo will start the service for the first game application by the end of this calendar year.
"..if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result. If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment," Iwata said.
Regarding the number of the titles, Iwata said that Nintendo will will release approximately five titles by the end of the next fiscal year, which is the end of March 2017.
"You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business," he commented.
A year ago, Iwata said the Kyoto-based company would develop completely new hardware in 2015 for emerging markets rather than sell cheaper versions of existing devices such as the Wii U console. Since then, the company announced plans to use its iconic characters in smartphone games, giving it a cheaper way to explore new markets.
"Launching a new console in an emerging market and risking failure is not something investors would welcome now," said Yasuaki Kogure, chief investment officer at SBI Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. "Mobile not only offers an existing platform in developing counties, but also a low-cost way of testing the market."