Following the recent investor briefing given by Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, the company has now published official transcripts of its investor Q & A in which Nintendo's senior management was quizzed on key issues. Compared to some past iterations it's a rather short, non-committal set of answers, but there are still some nuggets of information.
For starters it's been confirmed that despite Miitomo being free-to-play it'll likely have some microtransactions through in-app items such as clothing, though it's not 100% confirmed. Kimishima-san said the following:
Miitomo is a free-to-start type application which can be downloaded free of charge. Regarding monetization, we are considering to distribute paid content such as clothes for Mii, etc. For the smart device applications that we will be releasing after Miitomo, we are considering monetization methods optimal for each application, including charging a fixed amount at point of purchase.
Shinya Takahashi and Shigeru Miyamoto were also on hand, and tackled a question about how Nintendo would make its mark in the crowded iOS and Android markets. Direct interactions between smart device games and dedicated systems like Wii U, 3DS and NX seem to be on the cards.
Takahashi: Other than this first application called Miitomo, we are planning other applications that will work with Nintendo's dedicated video game systems. For our applications that will be enjoyed only on smart devices, we are creating ideas so that even those smart device users who do not usually play with applications can enjoy them.
Miyamoto: Just as you mentioned, the situation of the smart device application market is that an enormous amount of titles exist and there are several established styles that are popular with users.
If we can expand to smart devices what we have been challenging ourselves with on Nintendo's dedicated game systems by taking advantage of the unique characteristics of smart devices, we believe that Nintendo will be able to create a new style of games and spread them all around the world.
By asking DeNA to support us in as many of the operational aspects as possible, Nintendo would like to focus on "creating new things."
While it is important for us to earn profits from our smart device business alone, our primary objective is to encourage smart device users to be interested in and to play with our dedicated video game systems, and we are focused on this goal.
Kimishima-san went on to highlight that smart device games will bring valuable revenue, but that the dedicated gaming market is still Nintendo's core business.
While we have not changed our policy of wanting to grow our smart device business into one of the pillars for revenue, the dedicated video game system business remains to be the core of Nintendo's business, and we do not expect our smart device business to immediately constitute half of our revenue.
It remains to be seen how well Miitomo will perform for Nintendo, but the smart device arena is going to be an intriguing area for the company in 2016 and beyond.
Let us know what you think of these comments from Nintendo's senior management - are you optimistic about the company's move into smart device apps?