In an interview today with Reuters, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the company is planning to introduce new hardware and software for unspecified "emerging markets" over the next two years to take advantage of a rising middle class in many parts of the world; China immediately comes to mind, but this could also include emerging economies like India and Brazil. Iwata said this new console will not be the 3DS or Wii U, but something entirely different:
It would be difficult to enter those markets if we didn't create something new... For the mass market you need to provide something that most of the middle class can afford.
Iwata-san explained the new products will be aimed at "consumers with lower incomes and less gaming experience than those in developed countries;" as the Wii U continues to struggle, it's important for Nintendo to gain a foothold in these markets that will increase exponentially in buying power over the coming years. However, Nintendo will not follow Microsoft's lead after China recently lifted its game console ban, as Microsoft announced last month it will release the Xbox One through a Chinese affiliate in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone this September. Iwata-san elaborated:
We think the Chinese market has a lot of potential, but I don't think the lifting of the ban has solved all of the difficulties in entering it. We need to study it more... For us, Microsoft's approach wouldn't work.
Releasing hardware and games in China will be an arduous process, although it's not Nintendo's first foray into the country: since 2002, Nintendo has released select games in a limited capacity through iQue, a joint venture with a Chinese entrepreneur. Nintendo has not provided any more details, but could Iwata-san's comments today have something to do with the enigmatic "Quality of Life" platform he's been so crazy about lately? How do you think Nintendo should enter the market in China and other emerging nations? Let us know in the comments.