Following Nintendo's annual financial reports recently, Satoru Iwata provided his standard President's Presentation and tackled an Investor's Q & A session. The details of these have largely been covered prior to now, but with the recent publication of the official English Q & A translation we found one answer that helped to expand upon previous comments around the upcoming Club Nintendo successor.
This successor is considered as part of a "core system", and it's with that context that it becomes increasingly clear that it'll be far more substantial than the existing Club Nintendo service. In the lengthy excerpt below Iwata-san explains the importance of interconnectivity in the future loyalty programme.
So far, Nintendo has built its official website, started the Club Nintendo membership service, made its dedicated video game systems network compatible, started Miiverse and has constructed other online services one at a time. When we constructed each one of them, we were trying to create a certain solution to achieve a certain goal or to address to a certain issue. In other words, we did not have an overall vision as to what the final and comprehensive format should be like and, as a result, we cannot say each of these services was connected to one another in an ideal way. Also, when we were designing them, we did not have the idea of building a bridge between smart devices and dedicated video game systems and, at least five years ago, we could not foresee that smart devices would have increased in significance to be the dominant window through which consumers connect with one another and society. When we look at Nintendo's current network services from this perspective and others, they look like patchwork. They are not ideally designed for user convenience, and when we try to improve one, we have to modify not only the portion directly related to that service but also other seemingly unrelated components, so it cannot be done easily. In other words, we have many ideas that we would like to realize but we have not been able to execute them as smoothly as we had hoped.
...As you pointed out, this project has neither been widely reported nor covered, and although it might not have captured a lot of media attention yet, I believe this is going to be a very important challenge for us. The better the system can operate, the more smoothly and frequently our consumers will be able to travel between smart devices and dedicated game systems. It will increase the number of reasons for our consumers to keep on playing games or to keep on playing with their friends and relatives, increase the opportunities where one can recommend some games to others and vice versa or where people can exchange game-related information. Today, the speed at which information can spread is extremely fast. Anything that experiences a boom in today's world is almost always riding on the wave of this information spread, so we have to construct a system which matches today's environment. In the past, TV ads and word of mouth might have been the main components of that system, but today, people argue how we should add the Internet to a system and how we should combine these efforts with smart devices, and we are aiming to construct such kind of comprehensive system. So far, we have been offering a loyalty program in which we offer corresponding points to those who have purchased our products, and we have been offering some rewards based on these points. What we are aiming to establish is not a simple extension of the existing loyalty program but a loyalty program with, say, the entertainment elements where the members feel that they have received certain rewards as a result of not only their purchases but also the history of their gameplay and how each consumer has interacted with others. Since it is impossible to define the requirements for this sort of loyalty program 100 percent in advance, we see it very advantageous that we are able to work with DeNA who will be able to flexibly deal with such requirements.
DeNA certainly has strengths in networking and infrastructure, and we already know that the future programme will operate across smart devices and Nintendo's systems. Descriptions of rewards and activity based on games bought, played and even interactions on our systems certainly sounds promising, and could change the way we relate to our gaming experiences.
We'll see how it turns out, but Nintendo appears to have bold plans for this programme, which will hopefully arrive in the Fall period.