Nintendo is entering a unique phase in its existance, a period where its rivals not only include Microsoft and Sony, but also Apple and Google. Despite Nintendo's best efforts to deny the threat, mobile and social gaming is most definitely on the rise, and many predict that the traditional console market will suffer as a result.
Another concern is the move towards convergence, where your games console is no longer just for playing the latest action adventure, but also for surfing the web, watching movies, listening to music and looking at family photos. Consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360 have already taken bold steps in becoming the entertainment and media hub of the entire home, and Nintendo is doing the same with its much-hyped Nintendo TVii service.
Keen to state his company's position in this shifting arena, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime had this to say to The Seattle Times:
We’ve always been an entertainment company. I think what the Wii U does is further show that our vision is this broader entertainment landscape. Because in the end the time that consumer spends in any form of entertainment that’s not on our device is a missed opportunity for us.
Whether they’re 95 years old or 5 years old, we want to create entertainment that’s going to speak to that consumer. In our view whether we deliver it in a handheld device or in their home, it’s an opportunity to engage with that consumer, make them smile, give them something positive.
You look at the way we’ve managed the Mario franchise, the Zelda franchise, all our of our key franchise characters, utilizing a variety of different gameplay styles – it’s always been about driving entertainment.
I think that we already see ourselves as an entertainment company. I think that certainly as we launch the Wii U, as consumers experience Nintendo TV, I think consumers will also see us as a broader entertainment company.