Nintendo "Would Like to Enrich" Its Virtual Console Lineup
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Will also aim to utilise smartphones outside of games
Not too long ago we published a Soapbox article that argued it's high time for the Wii U Virtual Console to freshen up, after the arrival of a number of low profile and disappointing titles on the service; beyond that, we've also already seen many of the better games to grace the service on the Wii equivalent. It's not all bad, of course, but could be better.
It seems that Nintendo is aware of the need for more enticing offerings on its service, as Satoru Iwata touched on the subject when asked about Nintendo utilising its assets in the recent financial briefing Q & A; of course, the subject of retro classics on smartphones was raised.
In terms of taking greater advantage of our previous assets, I feel that there are two points to consider. As we first began to do on Wii, one method would be to release games for our previous consoles, such as Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo Entertainment System, on other Nintendo consoles as Virtual Console games. While Wii U and Nintendo 3DS already offer Virtual Console software, I feel that we have not been able to take full advantage of our assets yet, so we would like to enrich our Virtual Console lineup. As the ability to digitally offer our products has given us greater flexibility in offering new propositions to our consumers, we should naturally consider these possibilities in the future. The other point is, as you mentioned, whether we should release our games on smart devices. At the moment, however, we believe a more balanced approach would be to use our content to increase the value of our hardware as opposed to distributing it on smart devices, and therefore, we have no plans to release Nintendo content on smart devices.
Somewhat echoing recent comments by Reggie Fils-Aime on Nintendo's strategy with mobiles, in an earlier answer Iwata-san made clear that the company is interested in utilising smartphones and their communities to build buzz around its games.
...I believe that the era has ended when people play all kinds of games only on dedicated gaming systems. For example, I think it is natural that many people feel that it is more convenient to use smart devices, as opposed to dedicated gaming systems, to play games to kill a bit of time. That is to say, there are some areas in which dedicated gaming systems were once used that now have greater potential on smart devices. On the other hand, dedicated gaming systems are developed by considering the software that is designed to run on the hardware, enabling us to make unique propositions. With that in mind, my view is that the gaming market will be segregated to a fair degree. However, this does not mean that smart devices will simply compete with dedicated gaming systems. Given their growth, I feel that we should make an effort to take advantage of their existence. For instance, we already made it possible to browse Wii U’s networking service called Miiverse on smart devices. Starting with this attempt, we are discussing among us how we can expand the use of smart devices to help drive the business of dedicated gaming systems. Smart devices have already played a central role in creating buzz among consumers above a certain age with respect to, for example, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” “Monster Hunter 4” or “Pokémon X/Pokémon Y.” Twitter timelines filled with tweets about Monster Hunter and Pokémon can certainly help create awareness for the products, and we also know that many watch Nintendo Direct on their smart devices. Rather than simply viewing smart devices as competitors, we should consider ways in which we can use them for our business.
We certainly hope to see the offerings on the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console step up in future months, as Nintendo does have a wealth of excellent material to work with. As for smartphones, the more Nintendo can utilise the social aspects of these devices, then surely all the better for its fortunes.