Despite having some interesting and noteworthy titles coming out in 2014, there have been numerous reports that Nintendo are reporting significant losses, as well as experiencing issues in selling the WiiU to consumers. This was a recurring theme in Nintendo’s end of financial year report, in which CEO Satoru Iwata revealed quite a few tidbits of the company’s future.
Firstly, Nintendo are planning to enrich the value of the Wii U Gamepad with a number of different initiatives. In addition to developing more software that takes advantage of the Gamepads features, Nintendo plan to utilize the NFC functionality of the Gamepad more, with Japanese users being able to use their Suica (think Myki) at an unannounced point in 2014, with more details to come at this years E3. An update for the WiiU will also introduce a “Quick Start” feature, which aims to cut down initial load times on games as much as half. To add to this, Nintendo announced that original Nintendo DS games will be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, demonstrating Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training running on the WiiU Gamepad. Finally, Mario Kart 8 was confirmed to be hitting Worldwide in May 2014.
Iwata also addressed the recent reports that Nintendo were looking into developing games for smartphones, but not completely dismissing it, but by explaining that Nintendo are looking into using smart devices in some capacity. At the moment, Nintendo are planning to start a new service that allows them to communicate with consumers via smart devices, and have a team dedicated to exploring the smart device space. Nintendo are also more actively expanding their Character Licensing business, by partnering with companies they believe can bring out their characters the best.
Finally, Iwata announced that Nintendo are pursuing development of software they describe as improving “Quality of Life”, and attempting to incorporate it in future software. He describes it as very similar to the Touch Generations line of DS software, with the initial focus on health. Iwata also mentioned they wanted to shy away from using wearable devices in developing this new approach. The belief he has is that it will bring in an entirely new audience, but wasn’t able to explain more. He explains that we’ll know more later in 2014, but this new venture will begin proper in Nintendo’s 2015 Fiscal Year (beginning April 2015)