News Article

Feature: Breaking Down What Nintendo's QOL Platform Could Mean

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Potentially a large, developing market

Satoru Iwata's Investor Briefing this week included a few surprises and, in limited detail, some of Nintendo's key strategies for the coming year and beyond. Yet it was the final announcement that caused the most head-scratching and, not surprisingly, didn't prompt investors to rush to buy up Nintendo shares; Nintendo does plan to buy up to ten million shares before 1st April, so perhaps that'll be unintentionally beneficial. Satoru Iwata gave an exceptionally vague outline of a Quality of Life (QOL) business platform, with an emphasis on "non-wearable technology". While the Nintendo President likely didn't literally nudge and wink, that was the effect of the tease, with the statement that this platform will be entirely separate (at least initially) from Nintendo's console business, demonstrating that the company is ready to diversify its portfolio of products.

The language around the announcement was undoubtedly positive, and Nintendo seems confident that this product could be a major worldwide success, as Iwata-san highlighted how the exceptional popularity of the Wii and DS — with unique related software such as Brain Training and Wii Fit — had formed new audiences through innovation. The term "Blue Ocean" was used multiple times, and most strikingly the promise is that this product will bypass current technology trends, being neither console, smart device or "wearable" technology. As this QOL platform will be focused on health and well-being, that immediately brings to mind the current wearable trends of pedometers, sensors and various gadgets (from prominent companies such as Nike) typically strapped to the arm or elsewhere when exercising. Beyond that, Google Glass is all the rage, for those that like the idea being "connected" all of the time — that seams like another step towards an Orwellian dystopia, with the NSA no doubt spying on your eyeballs, but we digress.

This health-focused platform from Nintendo isn't a particularly distant project, either, with confirmation that'll it'll be revealed in detail this year, along with a planned release in the 2015 / 2016 financial year — in the 12 months after 1st April 2015, in other words. And so it won't be long before we're contemplating Nintendo's innovation and anticipating a market-disrupting product, or wondering if it's a platform destined to struggle. With Nintendo, it can be exceptionally difficult to speculate on what's next.

Yet still, we've done a little digging and considered what "non-wearable" technology could mean in this Quality Of Life context, and explored how Nintendo may bring its expertise as an entertainment business to existing and developing health products that fall under that context.

If you can bear with us, let's consider some technology and platforms that are relatively recent innovations in health care, and which appear relevant to what Nintendo seems to be aiming to achieve. We'll consider two major companies and their products — Alere Ltd and Johnson & Johnson.

You've likely heard of the second name, as Johnson & Johnson is a major player in mainstream consumer products, including shampoos, cosmetics etc. Beyond that public face, however, is a significant business in medical devices, with corporate and public health products. One example of its various health products relates to managing diabetes with easy to use testing equipment for checking blood sugar / glucose levels. For those suffering from diabetes, checking these levels is absolutely vital for day-to-day well-being, and portable, instant results devices have been around for a number of years.

However, as you can see in the video below, new products such as the OneTouch Verio Sync allow users to not only record their results over a number of days, but to check trends and results in a smart device app while also being able to easily send data to others by text or email, be they friends, family or medical professionals.

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Now, let's move onto Alere Ltd. One primary part of its business is Telehealth Managed Services; in basic terms this is a combination of hardware and software (online-enabled, particularly) that opens up possibilities for patients to use equipment for monitoring conditions in the home, and the device in question automatically sends the results to the relevant nurses and doctors. It's a little like OneTouch Verio Sync, but focused more on automation and replacing trips to clinics and hospitals with a remote diagnostics approach. For example, someone with a heart condition can measure key symptoms with an easy-to-use piece of equipment in the home, and if any results are of concern the relevant medical professionals see the data and can act accordingly. In some case nurses may visit homes to use the technology, but the emphasis is increasingly shifting to patients using the equipment themselves.

For an example of how this approach is becoming a reality, Alere Ltd products are being implemented in the UK with Local Care Direct, with the below text being a mission statement, of sorts, for its Telehealth service.

Local Care Direct is leading the way in the development of innovative services to support people with long term conditions at home, empowering them to manage their own health and avoiding unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions.

What do these technologies and products mean for Nintendo? Well, let's take "non-wearable" a little less literally, and consider that this could relate to activities being unimpeded by any gadgetry, and then equipment coming into play at key points — in the home — to assess progress. With the medical industry having portable devices for measuring aspects from blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate and various key areas of diagnosis, perhaps this Health product from Nintendo will focus on specific areas after prompting the user to do various activities as they please, and then check-in with their QOL hardware — which is set to be entirely separate from the Wii U and 3DS, remember — to get results, readings and participate in activities.

In fact, these ideas sound like a more hi-tech, actually useful version of the much-maligned and never-released Wii Vitality Sensor. Let's not forget that only last Summer Satoru Iwata highlighted that the sensor was dropped in its initial form as the technology wasn't reliable enough — it only worked roughly 90 out of 100 times — but that Nintendo would "like to launch it into the market if technology advancements enable 999 of 1,000 people to use it". This wasn't a wearable device that you'd wear all of the time, but one you'd access at appropriate moments.

We're not suggesting that the Vitality Sensor is this QOL platform — especially as it was to be a Wii accessory, not a standalone platform — but that it was an early indication of the product ideas within Nintendo over a number of years. Technology has advanced a great deal since then, and with major medical device companies producing ever-cheaper, multi-functional and small devices that measure key aspects of our bodies and their health, Iwata-san's words about working in more detailed collaborations with other companies provide a potential indication of what's happening behind the scenes; this, again, is from this week's Investor Briefing.

After Nintendo started the manufacture and sale of Hanafuda (traditional Japanese playing cards) 125 years ago, it has innovated itself from a playing card company to a toy company, a toy company to an electronic toy company and an electronic toy company to a company running video game platforms. What has remained the same, however, was we always tried to create something new from materials and technologies available at that time and to position entertainment as our core business.

...In addition to self-innovation, we have shaped our future by collaborating with various outside partners which we saw as appropriate at the time in order to adapt to environmental changes. Such collaboration has been a part of all our operations from research and development to manufacture and sales. In addition to our own efforts, collaborating with good partners will be one important way to adapt to the recent dynamic changes surrounding video games.

And below, a key segment about the goal of this new product.

However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and, as I am sure that many of you have experienced this, it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days. This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play, assisted by the non-wearable feature, which is the biggest differentiator of this new business field, as well as user experiences that integrate into people's daily lives, all of which help us overcome this difficulty. If we do indeed succeed in doing so, we will be able to provide feedback to our consumers on a continual basis, and our approach will be to redefine the notion of health-consciousness, and eventually increase the fit population.

While it's indeed reasonable to speculate that this QOL product could be a Kinect-style camera that tracks the consumer during exercises, there are two aspects that make that seem unlikely. It wouldn't be much of an innovation and market-changer, and Nintendo repeatedly states that it seeks to innovate and go its own way. In addition, that would seem more like a Wii U add-on, not an entirely new platform.

And so, the non-wearable medical technology we've referenced seems like a reasonable deduction, based on what's been said. Satoru Iwata has made a number of key points central in his briefing.

  • The company is developing a new "Blue Ocean" platform that will be innovative, and separate from existing Nintendo hardware.
  • It will focus on Quality Of Life and Health, will be "non-wearable" technology.
  • Nintendo will utilise its experience as an entertainment company to keep users engaged with the technology.
  • He emphasized that Nintendo has a history of innovating with available technology.
  • It was made clear that Nintendo will continue to form partnerships and work with external companies, utilising their expertise.

We may be entirely wrong, as Nintendo can be notoriously difficult to predict in the Satoru Iwata era, but these ideas of small, accessible devices in the home for checking an individual's health is an industry increasing in size. From a medical device perspective, companies such as Alere Ltd and Johnson & Johnson — along with others — are reacting to increasingly strained health-sectors around the world. Populations are increasing, people are living longer, and unhealthy lifestyles increasingly make issues such as obesity expensive to treat. Hospitals, clinics and medical professionalw will continue to face increasing demand and stretched resources, so it's no wonder that devices that allow patients to monitor themselves from home are valuable; it frees up time for doctors and nurses, and is invaluable to patients that can't easily travel, in particular. With wireless communication, hardware and software, procedures that used to require patient visits can now be performed remotely, quickly and with far greater convenience.

Nintendo, for its part, is an entertainment company, but these trends and technologies could conceivably lead to a platform that helps consumers to monitor their health, aligned to enjoyable exercises. It could be like a more advanced, multi-dimensional Wii Fit Meter, in practice — that device, with the software, takes your steps and exercise data and converts them into a mini-game of walking to virtual landmarks. Nintendo's idea is likely to be far more bold, but the concept of taking what can be a dull experience of monitoring health and applying the process of gamification — to make everyday activities more fun — certainly has potential. The fact it'll be its own platform will also allow Nintendo to broaden its horizons and, importantly, make the product accessible to everyone. By not limiting the technology to console owners, it could be that "Blue Ocean" product that Nintendo desires.

If Nintendo can make improving and monitoring an individual's health "fun", while utilising technology that is convenient and unobtrusive in day-to-day lives, then we certainly have interesting times ahead.

From the web

User Comments (100)



unrandomsam said:

I don't think that is what it means at all. (It is implied that it is a totally new thing with equivalent significance to releasing the NES). What is in the article has too much in common with what they already have. I suppose we will see what happens.



Minotaurgamer said:

Interesting points but to be honest, the way they give it was very ambiguous and could be interpreted in many ways.

Still, you can see how nerds, geeks, otakus, "hardcore" bros and journalits are pissed off with this.

And that's a good thing.

Gaming should be for the masses. Not for some few with previligies. That's what was wonderful about the Wii. It has games that made people play with others (wii sports, mario kart, NSMBW), make them stay healthy (Wii Fit) and made them fit in their lives instead of taking them away from their lives. It was the blue ocean concept that put them right on track. They started to go downhill when they ditched it and returned to their Gamecube vices.

I feel very optimistic so far. Of cpurse we wont know anything about this QOL platform until next year. But is good to see Nintendo returning to their old self again.



GuSolarFlare said:

so.... instead of making games with quality of life attributes they're making a quality of life device with game attributes?



Zyph said:

For what I understand, health is just one side of the coin..or multiple coins for that matter. When I read the briefings and as the last image above states, it's not just about health and can be many more. QOL can mean more than just health and can be in any of the lifestyle categories. Pretty anxious to see how this turns out for them...and of course for us.



Sparx said:

I am still as lost as when I started reading

though I am now insanely curious XD



Jimmy_G_Buckets said:

So Nintendo wants to diversify as a company. That's fine. But concerning Nintendo, all I care about is games, I so far I don't see any benefits coming from this new technology that interests me.



LittleIrves said:

I share @minotaurgamer's optimism and curiosity. And I agree that anything angering those people hunkered down into their exclusive little bunkers of gamedom is a positive sign for making something with wide, broad appeal. I'd much rather make a million people unexpectedly happy (and healthier!) than give a thousand people what they think they want.



mamp said:

IDK if this is a good idea, I mean going from videogames to QOL productst kind of a big transition.



ThomasBW84 said:

@minotaurgamer I agree, this is just a perspective based on the terminology used, and the fact it'll for all intents and purposes be a new and separate platform from games hardware. As I said in the article this may be wrong, but after speaking to those in the know with medical devices and heard the term "non-wearable" technology before Iwata said it, this is what I put together

Just research from that point of view, but it seems Nintendo knows it needs to broaden its horizons to go back to major profits. If additional products are needed to keep Nintendo in rude health and making games, I'm personally all for it.



Squiggle55 said:

I am worried about this risk they plan on taking. Instead of focusing on correcting their already struggling business, they plan on overextending themselves further into completely uncharted territory for them. I'm worried that this idea comes from the same braintrust behind the relentless gimmickry we have been bombarded with recently. Im worried that it won't catch on and Nintendo will hurt themselves even more. Another clever idea that doesn't sell like they anticipate. What happens then?



Gioku said:

I am telling you guys, it's

Brain Implants!

It's the wave of the future, I'm telling you! The new blue ocean!



Sceptic said:

"Leapfrog strategy" is just a buzzword. There is no "non wearable" blue ocean beyond "wearable". If there is (or was), then we already have had it for at least a decade. And it came before mobiles and wearables. Remember when fitness sites were just that? Before Endomodo and MyFitnessCoach and what not. Non wearable!

They are just trying to glaze over is the fact that they have nothing to offer the current big and evolving trends which are mobile and wearable hard and software, so they're acting like that's some brilliant business move.

"Non wearable" sounds exactly like the encumbrance that it is.

The man is insane. Somebody needs to stop him.



rjejr said:

Since it's "non-wearable" I think they'll be selling us all our own personal drones to follow us around and record our every movement. And if we stop to eat lunch at a fast food place it will shoot us w/ a taser.

As much as I am interested in all of the Nintendo company news this week I'm really looking forward to getting back to games. Hopefully next week will be a Nintendo Direct. Or a Tweet saying a Mario Kart 8 demo is now available to download from the eShop. I'm all for abandoning the Nintendo Direct concept and just let them put out news as it becomes available via Facebook or Twitter or their website. Though they can save a big Nintendo Direct for E3, the other 11 months I just want news, not 40 minutes of Iwata apologizing for delays. .



jakysnakydx said:

So I know my comments are going to get dwarfed in the grand scheme but it's worth noting still that Nintendo ha the opportunity to move into the 'way of life' if not only quality of life. For example, much like an iPad can be used to look up recipes while in the kitchen or a host of other things, so too can Nintendo do something (and i'm not specifically talking about Wii U or the Gamepad). Make a nutrition program in Wii FIt, combine the fun and feel of Cooking Mama with the use of actual cooking. Make life easier, in other words, or at least make it more fun!



scrubbyscum999 said:

@Sceptic I wouldn't be so quick to call Iwata insane. We are random gamers, he is the CEO of a iconic company. He knows more than your giving credit for. They have access to information we don't see. Not saying he is right about this, but hold your horses man.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

Question.Is Nintendo planning on leaving the video game industry? This ambiguous reveal during the investor meeting doesn't seem like a bad idea, unless this means Nintendo is abandoning the video game industry after the Wii U and 3DS in order to focus on QoL products, because if they are I'll be jumping ship after the current gen since I already live healthy so I have no need for such a product.



Sceptic said:

@scrubbyscum999: I sure hope you're right. But I have yet to read of anybody - I mean anybody - even remotely making sense of what he portrayed as 'The Great Nintendo Rebound Plan'.

It sounds like another utter misinterpretation of the past WiiFit success and a lot of delusion. But hey, we'll see. I'd like to see some actual concepts and plans though, not more "please, unterstand."



NintyMan said:

All this is is reaching out to the "casual" people again like Nintendo did with Wii, simple as that. At the moment, though, I'm not surprised by all the confusion, and Iwata did say that Nintendo would explain this more throughout this year until its release next year.



Tsurii said:

@rjejr maybe they managed to create Pokemon xD
THAT would definitely increase our quality of life, wouldn't it?



SlayerG said:

I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo is looking at ways to move something like Wii Fit out in the real world even more than the Wii Fit sensor does. When I read this article I thought of Nintendo partnering with companies like Nordic Track to build a workout machine that allows interactive gaming to happen while you are working out. They could make games that help motivate and entertain you while you workout on a fitness machine. You could have your phone hooked up to the machine via BlueTooth, and post workout this machine would then send all the stats for your workout session to a Nintendo produced app for smart phones.

If the machines took off they could partner with large corporate Gym's to get these machines into their workout gym's. You could then sync your phone with these machines so they know your history, your info, preferences etc. This way no matter where you workout you will keep all your info with you, whether you are working out at home, or whatever gym you are at (so long as they have these workout machines).

Additionally, the phone app could also keep track of your distance walked, elevation change, speed and time of the walk/run, etc so that you could get that added to your stats. Just a thought.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

@Sceptic I agree it sounded a little broken in the translation, but hopefully if Nintendo makes a casual-only platform that is separate from the Wii U and 3DS they will finally be able to focus on hardcore titles for their two current gaming consoles?



rbmoura85 said:

im excited by this as i like to take care of my health and the prospect of doing so through game like activities is very inviting to me

I love how nintendo is so much more concerned with adult needs while the so called mature gamer is more interested in being the rambo of space, the rambo of medieval fantasy land, the rambo of the crime under world, or batman, whatever... (not that i dont like these games)



Stu13 said:

I eat well and work out 6 days a week. Please just give me a new Metroid game.



GuSolarFlare said:

@Baum897 if they created Pokémon, people would screw Quality of Life and be living to the fullest(probably even over the tops!!! xD)



3MonthBeef said:

Sounds like they're going into the urinal-pissing-games market. Hey if they can make me aim just a little bit better through play then why not? Only in Japan.



sinalefa said:

I don't blame Iwata for being unclear, he obviously does not want copycats trying to steal his thunder.

The only thing I know for sure is that whenever they present this project and start selling it, gamers everywhere will make fun of them. In the meantime, I won't waste my time with speculations.



Stu13 said:

And just when Luigi's first foray into the for-profit healthcare industry was starting to take off...



Darknyht said:

Sounds like Nintendo wants to get into the quantified self business. But to do that, they need something better than a Wii U Fit Meter.



DanMan82 said:

I don't know what to make of this, but hopefully it works out well for them. I'm not going to give my opinion until we see more concrete evidence.



JtotheY said:

I hope it will succeed, whatever it is. It would be nice to see Nintendo get income from other sources than games. They can never be big enough in my eyes.



LetsGoRetro said:

I own a Wii U and a PS4 and hven't touched either in 2 months besides a game of nbs2k14. These last 2 months I've been playing suikoden 3, wild arms 3, banjo kazooie and dk64. That's right, ps2 and n64. Does this generation suck or am I just getting old?



Collz said:

What a load of crap, I feel like I've wandered into an episode of "The Office"

Just give us a decent account system & quality hardware (not last gen) & for the love of god just give the people the games they want!!!
Zelda HD, MarioKart 8, SSB, F Zero, Metroid, N64 VC, GameCube VC.



GustavoMaciel said:

I'd bet in something like a standalone Wii Fit scale with a screen with games and goals and stuff.



unrandomsam said:

If it is a piece of gym equipment with a console built into it then that might be pretty good. (Cycling machines are boring).



Falkor said:

"Beyond that, Google Glass is all the rage, for those that like the idea being "connected" all of the time — that seams like another step towards an Orwellian dystopia, with the NSA no doubt spying on your eyeballs, but we digress."

Couldn't have said it better myself, Thomas. Let's just hope that this new, unannounced Nintendo product isn't something along these lines.



kereke12 said:

What are they going to do, become a technology company? I simply do not get this article.



TruenoGT said:

It's smart to diversify. You think Microsoft and Sony could keep their loss leading consoles afloat without profits from other markets? No way. If these endeavors allow Nintendo to bolster their fortunes and maintain their gaming independence and creativity, I'm all for it. Should be interesting to see Nintendo 3.0 in action.



ajcismo said:

I always thought Mario could stand to lose a pound or two. (Kilo to our metric friends)



LoveSugoi said:

Hmmm, this is all quite intriguing. One could say that diversifying their brand has been long overdue, that they've been in the business this long with a mostly singular focus on video games is quite admirable. I feel as though they're trying to go back into Yamauchi's mindset because this feels exactly like something he would do in the face of all this turmoil. It's quite clear this generation more than ever that Nintendo is alone when it comes to their game consoles. I hope this venture is successful for them as to bring in more cash and resources to pump out more software support.



dumedum said:

Prediction : Nintendo's QOL product is going to be huge. Everybody will buy one. It will be Pokemon and Mario and Wii all together - 500 million units sold for $30 a piece.



IxnayontheCK said:

No offence, but I fear Nintendo is just too Japanese for their stuff to be successful in the west. The seem to be outta touch. Vitality sensor...did anyone want that?! I have worries....



IxnayontheCK said:

@GuSilverFlame you're right, a lot of stuff in west is cut n paste and that's why i love Nintendo and their creativity but they still seem to struggle keeping up with the times



WingedSnagret said:

It sounds to me like they are starting to create a new branch of business, which is a good thing in my book provided they execute it well.



FJOJR said:

Stick Mario, Samus or Link on the cover of whatever this is and I'll most likely buy it.



unrandomsam said:

@GuSilverFlame Nintendo has taken on some traditionally Western ideas (Games that are so easy you never need to improve at. Traditionally Japanese games were made easier as part of the porting process.



Frank90 said:

Anyone noticed how good are Whitehead's articles?
It's good read something not dumb or stupid on internet.

"Yeah Science!" Yeah Mr. White(head)"



rjejr said:

@Baum897 - "maybe they managed to create Pokemon xD
THAT would definitely increase our quality of life, wouldn't it?"

Unless we get them wet or feed them after midnight, then it's all downhill from there



Agent721 said:

So Nintendo, who's lost the trust of many gamers, is now focusing on non games? This is their answer? This is a Damn joke. This company's focus is what, exactly? Look out below, the shares will keep falling. $10 is the entry point in the US on it!



element187 said:

1. Hold investor meeting
2. Be ambiguous, say a lot without saying much (must have been taking notes from Obama's latest SOTUS speech)
3. ??????
4. Profit



element187 said:

@Agent721 focusing on non games is a good thing. These "gamers" you speak of already told Nintendo their opinion with their collective wallets, and Nintendo got the message loud and clear that they need to search else where to grow their business..... Blame yourselves. It's the same concept behind by Starfox and F-Zero why they haven't been seen in over a decade, because the fans of these series spoke with their wallets, telling Nintendo they don't want these games anymore.



Obito_Sigma said:

@unrandomsam Same here, buddy. Exactly what I thought the very seconds that I saw that first picture on the original article where Nintendo was skipping Mobile and Wearable. I would like to play CoD in Virtual Reality... that would be amazing!



Agent721 said:

No, blame Nintendo for not adjusting to the market & forcing gamers to look elsewhere. The only non Nintendo consoles I've ever owned are the 2600 & the Dreamcast, prior to the last gen. Nintendo's lack of compelling adult games forced me to buy a 360 & later, a PS3. I now love uncharted & have become a huge fan of Naughty Dog games. I subscribe to PSN & Xbox Live. To say it's the fans fault tells me you have a severe lack of understanding of how free markets work. Blaiming the fans is utterly insane. It's not for the fans to support Nintendo, it's for Nintendo to ATTRACT the fans via products they want. As an FYI, I love the Wii U...but if I were of limited means, I would recommend a PS3 any day off the week for a full having experience. Nintendo has let us down & has forced us to game elsewhere. I even bought an original NES 3 weeks ago, as even the VC sucks & I can't get the OG games I want. That's pathetic!!!



TheKachoMan said:

Non-wearable... It sounds as if it is tech integrated into your being... via implant or input signals directed into the body/mind??? Creepy. Time will tell.



hotlfusion said:

This is all coming late in 2014 - maybe later. Time will tell if it works and I wish them luck. Personally I believe console fitness "games" gimmick died with the wii version of the wii fit games and trying to recapture that particular bolt of lightning is a lost cause. Similar to trying to recapture the wii owners with the wii u.

In the meantime the poor wii u sales continue with no additional marketing or major promotions. No enticement for anyone to buy the console. No new announcements. Maybe they have a whole lot of faith in MK and SSB being its savior.



micronean said:

The problem with this stuff is that, where I'm from, people couldn't care less about being healthy. They care more about adding another serving of dessert, or another 10 bacon slices to their burger.
This is another Japanese mentality venture (one that will sell in Japan), but irrelevant to people in the west.



Nomad said:

@element187 how is it a good thing for a Video Game company to focus on non - game things? That's part of the problem with Nintendo in the first place, they shifted their focus from hardcore gaming to more casual stuff and lost half the market. Don't blame gamers for Nintendo's questionable business decisions. Nintendo took the first step away from gamers, not the other way around.



DinoFett said:

If there will someday exist a Nintendo home or household products all linked together then they will recieve my $$$$



BetweenTheTrees said:

Nintendo had lost me. I tried so hard to be optimistic and keep a good attitude but they have lost me. I just can't keep interest. gaming I guess just is no longer Nintendo. it seems like all they focus on is virtual console which is nice but I want new games not old games. I mean what is Nintendo even doing with their time? hitting their heads against a table it seems and that is all. i'll probably buy 4 maybe 5 more wii u games for the duration of it's life. time to focus on something that will actually bring me enjoyment not disappointment. my ps4. goodbye Nintendo, unless they can actually turn themselves around and do something useful, anything at all. but I doubt it.



ICHIkatakuri said:

They're working on some drug or other, possibly released under the guise of "super Nintendo entertainment heroin" which is the same as normal heroin but altered to compel you to buy a Wii U every time you take it. Mark my words, more than 9 million will be sold (or stolen) that year.



Sean_Aaron said:

I think people are forgetting that this is a company that's been around for over a century so a good executive will take the long view. If game consoles aren't going to keep the company going in the short-term then rather than investing in a series of failed products until the company sinks (like Atari did) or quitting hardware to shrink into a mid-tier software company (like Sega), Iwata is seeing one of the biggest Wii successes and thinking about turning it into a standalone product.

They sold two taped-together bathroom scales to tens of millions of people. Letting that market go because they aren't interested in buying the newest console would be a poor decision indeed. He's probably also right in thinking that if a lifestyle product like that wasn't tethered to a console it might have sold multiple times as many units.

I think it's a good hedge built upon a proven success to try to make a standalone lifestyle product with appeal beyond their traditional audience which doesn't seem to be enough to maintain growth in the company - and no, even if they made a machine that ran every last third party release, whatever new machine Nintendo made would not have equaled the success of the Wii. The Wii was a success IN SPITE of gamers - not because of them, let's not forget that.

I could see Nintendo dropping out of making pure play gaming rigs for years - even a generation, to focus on lifestyle products and maybe do some software for other platforms on the side. The focus of the executives at Nintendo is maintaining the growth of the company - not on fulfilling the wishes of a gaming community which might not be able to keep the company afloat. We may not like it, but I'd rather Nintendo was a successful company that was still around to entertain us in twenty years or more rather than a casualty of limiting itself to a shrinking marketplace.



MadAdam81 said:

I can picture it now - if your cholesterol is too high, you lose all your lives. The better the reading is, the more lives you have to play whatever game, maybe a cross between Tetris & Candy Crush type games, or anything really.



AJ_Lethal said:

Wow, I already see people feeling "betrayed", even when Nintendo stated they will stick with consoles and handhelds.

This reminds me when Porsche released the Cayenne SUV and people claimed they have sold out and the 911 will die or something. The 911 didn't die. In fact, it got better because the Cayenne provided them enough money to keep building and improving the 911. Heck, it even help to fund their halo cars (Carrera GT and the 918).

This is pretty much a similar strategy: looking for another bigger market to fund its flagship one.



MadAdam81 said:

@Sean_Aaron Exactly. They made card games for an insane amount of time, but the card game market was really slowing so they made games and imported others, and then made video games & consoles. In fact, when their previous President started, Nintendo were just a card game company.
Nintendo need to diversify, so if a video game crash happens, they will be insulated, and could end up being the only console maker left, as I can't see Sony or MS surviving a video game crash.



HAL9000 said:

This is a brilliant move by Nintendo. It diversifies their portfolio, and taps into a hugely profitable industry of health care. The number of retirees is going to skyrocket once the baby-boom generation retires in next 10 years, this is going to be a major population shift. Much larger than gamers alone.

Any monitoring that can be done in home is a trip saved to the hospital. Taking care of my elders has taught me a lot about the health industry. Huge untapped market.



Kicked2TheKirb said:

@Agent721 exactly. you're someone who understands. It's Nintendo's job to attract fans. sell me a product i feel i need. must have. don't sell crap and blame the consumer for not supporting you. fans aint their mother, we're not gonna tell them everything they make is wonderful.
we are consumers. and you said it perfectly... they drove fans to game elsewhere. sad. Yes ! i got an N64 a year ago.. love that thing.. in fact it's really the last console Nintendo made that i had the most fun on.. because of the wide range of games available. The Wii Sucked in my opinion... they lost my business when Wii Fit came out. ... i thought man... what a crap gimmick.
now the wii u is here... i thought all right!... this will be cool
the 3DS is pretty good though.. i haven't loved a handheld as much since gameboy color released.



Kicked2TheKirb said:

Wow... if Nintendo does this... and continues this trend and investors don't demand someone else in charge. Nintendo will run itself into the ground. This sounds like the dumbest thing they could possibly do.
retarded. they lost me. i think... i think they just lost me forever.



Kirk said:

From what I can gather I expect it's probably just something like Kinect that's focused on health, education and lifestyle "games".

To me, I get the impression Nintendo is doing a lot of stuff in all these seperate little ways but is so clueless it can't actually see that Microsoft has managed the same basic thing in principle but in it's main actual entertainment console rather than requiring all new hardware etc.

Basically, I'm suggesting Microsoft was actually the real forward thinking company here, when it comes to the hardware solution, and that Nintendo is just coming up with convoluted ways of doing something the competition could do in a much more convenient way that only adds even more value to it's current-gen home console rather than take away from it.

That's what i'm thinking anyway.

It's just like how Nintendo is about going down this whole accounts/services route at some random point in the future, as though it's the next big thing in entertainment business models (which it sort of is), except it seems kind of obvlivious that both Sony and Microsoft have been slowly but sure implementing this strategy in their own console services approach since at least last generation. Nintendo thinks I'm supposed to be interested that it's going to do this at some point in the future, probably not in time for Wii U, but It's so far behind the curve it's not even funny.

It's stuff like the above, and a lot more, why I see a much better future in Microsoft's and Sony's entertainment vision going forward that I do Nintendo's and why the Wii U such a disappointing console to me.



mcusc5435 said:

Reading some of these comments make me laugh because people like @Agent721 and @RedFireTiger keep on slamming Nintendo for their decisions. I am pretty sure Nintendo is a lot more knowledgeable in the video game industry since they've been in it for so long than others who are not even in it and never been it. Nintendo is focusing on a wider audience, not a couple individuals who want a select few things. Yes I would like Nintendo to have a few more third party titles but I have enjoyed their Wii U and 3DS games completely including the family titles. I'm not going to get on sites and bash Nintendo and announce to everyone that I'm leaving the brand because their not catering to my individual wants. Nobody really cares and it doesn't help drive the discussion of the intended topic which the comments section is for... Happy Gaming!!!

And by the way I thought the article was extremely good @ThomasBW84 just like all the others you write!!!



Benjelo said:

This article cleared some concepts and blurred some others. When I look at the technological advancements being made all the time, it is hard to keep up. Even looking individually at Nintendo, let's see... at home consoles we started with NEs, SNES, N64, NGC, wii, wii u. The advancements with those consoles were color, larger storage 3demensional fields(ex. Mario 64), then wi-fi, motion control, then HD. Those were a lot of advancements! But the handhelds expand the advancements even more! there was handheld color, and handheld 3demensional playing fields, touch screens, cameras, non glasses 3d, handheld wi-fi. With all this in mind it is not surprising that nintendo plans to expand even further. Especially recently I have been amazed with certain features. "Non glasses 3d?" "Motion controls?" I was amazed when I first experienced these things. I'm not sure what this "non-wearable technology" will be, but I'm sure it'll be great.



UTXGamer said:

I'm thinking more and more this QOL technology will be a partnership with a company. The key point with QOL/AAL technology is: ease of use, something Nintendo is very good at. They also have experience in gamification(with Wii Fit obviously as well as Brain Age, etc) and bring brand name recognition.



Agent721 said:

I never said I abandoned Nintendo. I said I started using other consoles as Nintendo only gaming leaves you out of the loop on some great games. GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Battlefield, Gears of War, Allan Wake, Last of Us...I could go on. If you want to miss out on those, have at it. I luckily can afford to buy what I want & when I want, no matter what console it's on, including 12 Wii U games that I own. Being successful gives you that freedom. HAPPY GAMING



mcusc5435 said:

@Agent721 I wouldn't play 5 out of those 6 games if the console and game were given to me for free... And I am happy for you that you are so successful that you have the freedom to purchase whatever you please



Agent721 said:

That's odd...They're great games. It's too bad the divide between Nintendo gamers & others exist. I hope you truly don't like them for real reasons & not just because they're not on a Nintendo console. Either way, enjoy your console of choice.



mcusc5435 said:

@Agent721 I have an Xbox 360 so I'm not completely Nintendo, just mostly but I basically have my 360 for sports games cause I'm a big fan of them... I also love to play Battlefield 3 and 4 sometimes as well, but the others don't really catch my interest that much even though they may be great games



Mr_Wii said:

I know what Nintendo QOL non-wearable thingy looks like. It's an attachment that connects your 3ds to your bicycle using a new piece of docking hardware that has gps built-in to it. The 3ds becomes a display for a speedometer, a navigation device and an extension of the activity meter (AM)... Don't forget the 3ds has an IR receiver and blaster for communication with the AM.



Kirk said:

The fact that this is clearly going to require additional hardware, maybe even multiple little devices that each cost another little bit of extra cash, means it's probably not going to be for me. I don't give one crap about all these fitness armbands and running apps on my phone etc and I'm certainly not going to spend anything above and beyond my normal daily living and entertainment costs to experience them..



onex said:

JiBO anyone? the robot age is upon us.
"Robot And Frank" - another great example.

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