Wii U Iwata

After a couple of weeks of rampant speculation and opinionated musings around the web, Satoru Iwata stepped out following Nintendo's financial results reveal and put forward some plans, ideological shifts and teases to indicate, loosely in various cases, what the company would do to revive the Wii U and return to significant profitability. Reactions around the web seemed mixed and Nintendo's share prices declined during the briefing and, in relatively minor numbers, in the days that have followed.

We're not sure how concerned Nintendo will be by the muted reaction, and would speculate that it won't be overly affected. Satoru Iwata's briefing was a reminder that his leadership won't see Nintendo jumping to match perceived trends or mimic competitors, with great emphasis placed on the company's individuality and ability to innovate. So there will be services on smart devices and a team dedicated to that area, but don't expect major releases or Virtual Console games to be officially released on Android or iOS any time soon. The GamePad will be a focus for Wii U this year, as Nintendo backs itself to affectively sell the concept and make a success of the controller and its system, and the description of a new separate platform focused on "Quality Of Life", initially with a Health theme, was suitably vague that interpretations on what it could mean are likely to be varied until Nintendo reveals more.

With the major policy decisions and announcements of that briefing, we want to know what you think. Below are the important points, as we see it, with brief summaries and links to the original articles; more importantly, below each are polls awaiting your votes.

A New "Quality Of Life" Platform Focused on Health to be Revealed in 2014

As highlighted above, details on this new platform are vague, yet it is clear that it'll be separate platform, forming a new business arm for Nintendo. It'll feature "non-wearable" technology and be released after 1st April 2015, with Satoru Iwata expressing optimism that it'll be a major "blue ocean" product to attract a large audience around the world.

Are you optimistic about Nintendo's "Quality Of Life" Platform? (881 votes)

  1. Definitely, I trust Nintendo to make a success of it11%
  2. Yes, but I need to learn more on what it is33%
  3. Not sure, I'm still wrapping my head around it41%
  4. No, Nintendo should focus on games only15%

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Nintendo Confirms a Dedicated Development Team for Smart Device Services

There were loud calls in some quarters for Nintendo to bring substantial content to smart devices, by which many meant major games. Perhaps as expected the company is resisting that move, but Satoru Iwata has set up a team dedicated to creating software to engage gamers on their smartphones / tablets and attract them to Nintendo's hardware and games. Games in some form aren't ruled out, though Iwata-san said it'd be inaccurate to say it will "release Mario on smart devices"; we'll see what these "services" entail this year.

Were you pleased with Nintendo's smart device policy announcement? (841 votes)

  1. Absolutely, it seems to be the right way to go20%
  2. Yes, but I need to see what's actually released45%
  3. Not really, I don't think the announcement was very bold or interesting26%
  4. No, Nintendo should bring lots of content to smart devices2%
  5. I can't decide7%

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A GamePad Focus and DS Games on the Wii U Virtual Console

The role of the GamePad on the Wii U, and the cost it inevitably adds to the system, was certainly on the agenda throughout January. Satoru Iwata has made clear that it's going nowhere, however, emphasizing that the GamePad would be a focus for the company this year. A Summer system update will introduce a quick-start GamePad option to open games with haste, while NFC will be a theme at E3 2014. Most notably, it was confirmed that DS games would be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, utilising the GamePad touch screen.

Are you looking forward to the GamePad quick-start feature? (862 votes)

  1. Yeah, I think it looks brilliant39%
  2. I am, though it's not that big a deal35%
  3. I'm not bothered about it, to be honest15%
  4. I don't see a big benefit, so it's a waste of resources10%
  5. I'm not sure2%

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Are you excited to see more of NFC on the GamePad at E3? (821 votes)

  1. Definitely, and it's about time26%
  2. I'm intrigued, so look forward to seeing more35%
  3. Not particularly, I'm not worried about NFC22%
  4. No, I don't think NFC is worthwhile or exciting15%
  5. I can't decide3%

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Do you look forward to DS games on the Wii U Virtual Console? (862 votes)

  1. Absolutely, I can't wait37%
  2. Yes, though I'm curious to see how well it actually works37%
  3. Not sure, I'm still wrapping my head around it9%
  4. Not really, I'm not sure whether it'll work12%
  5. No, it's a bad idea6%

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Nintendo to be More Open to Licensing Opportunities

The big N is sometimes accused of not exploiting the variety and depth of its franchises, particularly away from the core business of hardware and games. With brands such as Angry Birds so prominent in toy stores and beyond, Satoru Iwata's statement that the company plans to expand its licensed merchandise with partners is welcome, and there was even a crack in the door for digital products that are "win-win".

Do you think Nintendo needs to up its game with licensed products? (846 votes)

  1. Definitely, much more merchandise and licensed items are needed58%
  2. It's decent just now, but there's room for improvement24%
  3. I don't really have an opinion on this12%
  4. Not really, the merchandising seems fine6%

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Mario Kart 8 confirmed for May release

Previously loosely pegged for Spring, Mario Kart 8 carries a lot of responsibility for boosting Wii U sales — the successes of its predecessors highlight the brand's value. We can expect plenty of coverage of this title in the coming months.

Are you happy with the May release for Mario Kart 8? (856 votes)

  1. Oh yes, that's an ideal release month36%
  2. Yes, but I'd hoped it'd be sooner41%
  3. I think it's a little too late8%
  4. No, Nintendo should have had this ready sooner8%
  5. I'm not actually bothered about Mario Kart 87%

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Nintendo Planning Flexible Price Points for Games

Evolution was a buzz word in Satoru Iwata's briefing, and he made clear that the standard practice of charging retail prices for all major releases is becoming a thing of the past. The main principle seems to be to offer lower prices to those that buy more games, and similar incentives for others that successfully convert others to buy particular products. We've seen hints at these ideas in promotions, with the goal of rewarding loyalty, and the indication is that early experiments with pushing through new pricing structures will start on the Wii U at an "early stage".

Are you pleased about the idea of flexible pricing? (856 votes)

  1. Definitely, it's smart to reward loyal gamers77%
  2. Yes, but I need to see more information on what this will mean21%
  3. I actually think prices are fine, so it seems unnecessary1%
  4. No, I think Nintendo should leave pricing as it is  0.8%

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Share your views with some votes and comments, there's plenty to discuss.