In Nintendo's recent investor Q&A, Genyo Takeda described the possible directions Nintendo is considering for its future hardware:
The integration of architecture is our fundamental policy, and we have been making progress. Now that our new hardware systems are on the market, I would need to comment in terms of our next hardware, but I’m afraid I have to refrain from talking about that today. However, one thing I can confirm today, even though this is something relating more to the software side, is that we have not put any restrictions on the technological fields that we research. We have even been studying software development methods and technologies used for smart devices and other products from the viewpoint of how we may be able to establish applicable content to be programmed and produced efficiently at a low cost. Apart from the business models used by smart devices, we are actively researching and learning about a variety of different technological fields.
This response came about when the Nintendo management were probed about the cost of development and the currently slower rate of games production. It seems that the smart device gaming market hasn't gone unnoticed by Nintendo, and it's interesting to know that they're not adamant about a future such devices in their sights.
Whilst it's all speculation for the moment, it could be that Nintendo are considering a gaming system that would appeal to the same market as smart devices, with their pick-up-and-play style appeal that Nintendo dominated with the original Game Boy back in the late 80s and early to mid 90s.
Satoru Iwata also highlighted how important the smart device is in Nintendo's advertising strategies:
While TV media advertising was considered the only way to reach the mass audience in the past, even without TV ads these days, many consumers are proactive about obtaining information from us thanks to the popularization of the Internet and smart devices. For example, when Nintendo produces a film to introduce games or makes new TV commercials, consumers take the time to view our YouTube programs or visit the Nintendo websites.
This would explain the lack of television adverts for Nintendo's products recently, and the increase of YouTube adverts for titles such as Bayonetta 2.
Do you have an theory about what direction Nintendo may take in the coming years? Let us know by leaving a comment in the usual place.