Nintendo's stock market value and current financial results may be a long way short of the recent glory days of the Wii and DS era, yet despite that drop in fortunes the company still has substantial cash reserves and is emphasizing plans to evolve its business and return to significant success. The 3DS continues to perform — arguably — above expectations, the Wii U is struggling and awaiting the results of major releases and new strategies, while the mysterious Quality of Life (QOL) platform will see Nintendo launch a new branch of its business.
Despite the pressures and calls for action Nintendo is continuing to evolve and adjust in a way it sees fit. The company still has fans in high places for its business moves, too, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently citing Nintendo as a positive role model for the progress he seeks for the country's overall economy. He gave the example of how Nintendo evolved its business in a dramatic way to find new sources of success as its hanafuda card business shrunk.
Over there, they made hanafuda cards, but gradually the people playing hanafuda decreased. However, that company called Nintendo makes hanafuda cards and whatnot, and I believe that only by doing that, it wasn't able to protect hanafuda.
Abe-san then emphasized how moving into video games and leading that industry was vital to the company's survival.
And at the same time, it is keeping the traditional hanafuda cards. For sure, I think this is something that we can learn from.
Though referencing a key phase of the 1980s, in particular, Abe-san's words certainly have some relevance to Nintendo's current challenges in 2014. While balancing the success of the 3DS with efforts to revive the Wii U, the company is making plans to "redefine" entertainment both through games and the QOL project. Nintendo is once again reacting to shifting sands, and the results will be fascinating to see.
Image credit: The Telegraph