The Nintendo Financial Results are due to be announced on 28th October. Can you feel the tingle of excitement, the buzz, the hype, the uncontrollable giddiness? No? Well, fair enough, but you should have a bit of anticipation for the next couple of days.
Every three months Nintendo gives its quarterly financial results update - this starts off with a PDF that we lovingly summarise, in which Nintendo gives a minor status briefing on major recent releases, shows whether it made a profit and provides updated hardware sales figures. All interesting stuff if you're that way inclined, while an extra document occasionally includes updated release windows for upcoming games.
Naturally we cover all of that when it drops, but it's what happens in the hours and days that follow that can be more interesting. Typically there's a President's Presentation and then the Investor Q & A, published in that order. The latter can be fascinating courtesy of the detailed answers given on topics such as company strategy, yet it's the President's briefing that can actually contain key reveals.
Don't believe us? Well, examples of previous reveals in these presentations include the Mario Kart 8 release date, DS games for the Wii U Virtual Console, the Wii U GamePad quick start update, and perhaps most notably amiibo - when it was still called the Nintendo Figurine Platform. Quality of Life - as a concept - can also be counted in that list, and let's not forget that the first mention of NX was in a briefing for the DeNA partnership announcement; the latter wasn't a financial presentation, to be fair, but similar in terms of the nature of the event.
So while there won't be the volume of reveals seen in a Nintendo Direct, the timing for this one does point to some potentially interesting details to emerge; so we've decided to pick some out in a short list. You may notice immediately that NX isn't on this list - Nintendo has stated over and over again that this system will be revealed in 2016, so we have no reason to doubt that as yet; it may get a cursory "please be patient" mention, but we'll see. We also doubt the next Nintendo Direct - assuming it's coming - will be announced either, as there's simply no precedent for that.
So, onto the list.
1. Nintendo and DeNA's first smart device game
This seems like the safest bet for multiple reasons. The timing is correct, for one thing, with DeNA making noises of details being close and the fact that this first game from the partnership has repeatedly been stated as a 2015 arrival. As it's nearly November an announcement to preface some pre-launch hype is to be expected.
This is also an announcement perfectly tailored to investors. Let's not forget that Nintendo's healthy share value has come about largely off investor excitement in the potential revenues from Nintendo franchises appearing in iOS and Android games. The NX announcement earlier in the year will have contributed too but, let's not kid ourselves, the financial markets have shown extra enthusiasm for Nintendo shares when its DeNA agreement or Pokémon Go have been on the agenda.
We'd be very surprised if this isn't the most notable announcement made by Tatsumi Kimishima in his first President's Presentation.
2. Details on the Club Nintendo successor
The timing is certainly right for this, and depending on the nature of this loyalty program it could certainly be outlined this week. With DeNA's involvement in bringing this together - due to its expertise in online services - this could well feature in presentations around the progress of that partnership, as an addition to the first smart device game highlighted above.
This is also 'due' as well, with Club Nintendo closing down quite some time ago in North America and a little more recently in PAL territories; the 'Fall' window originally announced for the successor is rapidly closing.
As for what form this will take, it's probably safe to assume - based on concept diagrams from Nintendo earlier in the year - that it'll link directly into Nintendo Network IDs and have online services that are nicely optimised for accessing on smart devices. Unlike the legacy of the old Club Nintendo being somewhat separate from NNIDs and the eShop stores, a substantial level of integration and - hopefully - easy accessibility should be at the core of this.
3. Quality of Life and the 'Sleep Sensor'
Quality of Life (QoL), the separate business area previously announced to broaden Nintendo's scope, has been largely posted missing in recent times. Last year Nintendo announced that a sleep sensor would be an early product of this health-driven product range, but there's been little said since. Investors who were told this would become a useful new revenue stream for Nintendo from 2016 onwards are sure to be curious to see more.
If QoL is outlined in some detail, it'll be intriguing to see whether that sleep sensor concept has evolved, and also to gain an understanding of whether this range will interact - in any way - with other Nintendo hardware. As products the goal is likely to be to ensure that they can work in a standalone capacity - perhaps utilising smartphone apps as accompaniments - but it'll be interesting to see whether optional interaction with the 3DS, for example, features.
4. Statements of intent, or otherwise, for Wii U and 3DS
Wii U and 3DS owners are likely to watch the wording around statements on the systems closely, in order to determine just how much love the systems will still get. Nintendo's in a tricky spot as it's no doubt invested substantial resources into the NX, but on the flipside won't want to upset existing customers too much.
Our gut instinct is that Nintendo will try to emphasize the slate of games already confirmed for 2016, which is fairly packed on 3DS and has titles like Star Fox Zero and Pokkén Tournament on Wii U. Close attention will also likely be paid to any talk of 'leveraging popular titles' or phrases of the like, in light of feverish and persistent talk of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and more Wii games supposedly in line for the eShop.
The worst case scenario for current-gen fans is that the Wii U and 3DS will only get brief, minimal mentions in the President's Presentation; considering the fact investors are the intended audience here, that's a possibility.
5. Details on more IP tie-ins and licensing
Nintendo's been pretty busy in the licensing area, announcing plans to team up with Universal Studios and even securing special amiibo editions for Skylanders SuperChargers. There's certainly more activity from the company in terms of toys and merchandise, along with film cameos in the critically-panned Pixels, so the company has clearly been focused on this area.
We suspect this will get a little bit of focus both in Kimishima-san's presentation and in investor questions, as strengthening the Nintendo brand - which has declined a little since the Wii / DS era, it's fair to say - to win over consumers for many years to come is surely a priority. Nintendo still has plenty of clout and valuable IPs, and there'll be an expectation that they'll be maximised in high-profile partnerships.
Those are some key topics we think could be covered in the upcoming financial results releases and presentations. By the end of the week we may have a different picture of some important Nintendo areas; it'll be fascinating to follow.
I'm iffy on 2 and 3. I don't expect details on the Club Nintendo successor, though I can't tell you exactly why. Maybe because I'm looking forward to it so much and I'm used to not getting the info I want from Nintendo, haha. Or maybe I think it will be so integrated in the NX that we won't get info until we know more about the system.
Then with 3 I'm only skeptical because I'm starting to think this is going to be another Vitality Sensor sort of thing. It doesn't feel like Nintendo wants to do the QoL thing anymore. Though maybe I'm just being impatient and it feels like it's taking so long because they announced it before they had even started.
Let's be real, #1 is why investors will bother getting up that morning. Every major Japanese game publisher has had it's excitement for the mobile market to bring fresh business and Nintendo's investor's excitement may just top them all at this stage of the game.
Good article, all of it sounds about right
I don't really care a bit about any of these. I'm all about good games, and DeNA, QOL, and the CN successor won't bring them. All I can do is hope for a better outlook by the end of the year.
I can't wait for this TPHD thing to be resolved. I'm doubting it big time, but if it happens at least we can get on with it already. It's also weird to think how deep in this generation of consoles we're in. It felt like it wasn't as long ago that the WiiU & 3DS were new.
@Arlo the QoL thing was Iwata's so maybe that is why it hasn't been talked about lately.
I hate video game company investors. Hardly any of them know or give a damn about video games as an art or respect consumers
Only 7 comments? I guess everybody i watching the Sony PGS event.
Darn I was hoping they would be releasing pikmin 4 3ds X(
Generally investors meetings are by the books and numbers so I wouldn't dig in too much in terms of games or entertainment things. This is more about how Kimishima will lead Nintendo with his mindset on the future. But you know what is fun? Looking back at the past and trying to find ways in what would have happened. Hopefully you guys have some great ideas and wanted to talk about how I would have run Nintendo if I was president, just for fun. And if you guys have your fantasy booked as president I would love to hear those! Since I highly doubt we'll hear anything too earth shattering!
yeah, I doubt there will be anything on qol.
Pixels was great by the way... not sure what else anyone could have wanted from that type of movie?
@spurgeonryan Woah, Spurge! Didn't know you were on Nintendo Life too. XD
With all the 3DS games and the new system I bought I would certainly be interested in what they're replacing Club Nintendo with and how they'll reward old users who have still been supporting their games.
Good list. I would be hoping that maybe we hear better release date information on Star Fox Zero (better than "Q1 2016") and Zelda (better than "2016").
I've been wondering the same thing.
WiiU price cut or go home.
@shigulicious Yeah, Wii U price cut, and maybe even the 3DS line which is now 4 years old w/o a price cut, 3 years for XL, should be #0 on the list.
Kinda sucks we gotta do this. Just watched the Sony event in Paris and everybody in the Live stream was complaining about how lame all the games they showed were, some of them new and impressive looking, some just impressive looking, and all I could think was - man, try being a Ntinedo fan living on deleted Tweets.
And Nintendo Life already reported that QoL was done 2 months ago. Even referencing the vitality sensor.
Don't you dare announce anything about the NX Nintendo! I just bought your damn nintendo 3ds xl for my son last Christmas. No more systems. Support the ones people have bought now or gtfo of the gaming industry and go back to making toys and cards only! (Throws phone across the office)
@rjejr I was definitely watching it. Decent showing. Nothing mind blowing. I'm curious to see which game comes out first: Mighty No 9, or No Man's Sky? Feel like both are on constant delay.
The Street Fighter producer asking people to forget anything they heard in the past few hours in the SFV leaks was amusing.
I'd like to have some sort of reassurance that the wii u has a few games in development that will be released in 2017. They don't have to be big AAA games but at least something to keep the Wii U audience happy. I'm sure anyone buying a Wii U for the holidays would feel better with their purchase if they knew it was going to be supported past next year.
As some people have already said, it'd be nice to hear about a price cut. Wii U needs to sell more and all the NX talking just make it more difficult for the console. I think the timing is right as of now.
And of course a new reward system along with a new network enviroment would be very nice.
I want to see an announcement of Zelda U's title and release date, which I speculate to be in May.
They'll announce that they are abandoning Wii U and 3DS
@amiiboacid Their recent trend that I've noticed has been along the lines of: 1.) A major release right at the end of May (Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon being the last two of this kind). 2.) A major release at the tail-end of October (in NA we've gotten Bayonetta and Yoshi's Woolly World at this same time). 3.) Something big JUST before Black Friday (We would have had Star Fox this year and Smash last year, but alas Star Fox.... which seems likely to have a delay similar to DKC:TF. I guess we still have Mario Tennis this year....?). I'm expecting that if Zelda hits next year, it'd be safe to put money on one of those big dates that major Wii U titles have hit in the past 2 years: very late-May, 3rd week of October, and pre-Black Friday in NA.
It's about damn time we hear about the DeNA game. I can't wait. Hopefully these predictions are spot on. They seem pretty safe except I doubt we will hear about QoL.
@jeb_leeds Pikmin would look horrid on the low-res screens of the 3DS.
If they announce their first mobile game Fire emblem.......the series is done for if they do what mobile devs do.
sigh and to think that the series will live on to be the true experience of TRPG's.
Hm...I'd say all of these are possible, though I'm not too sure about the QoL part.
Not holding my breath for anything substantial, tbh. Maybe a release date for the first mobile game. Do the investors even care what they do with the Wii U at this point?
Nintendo is pretty much obliged to talk about #1, as there stock in the coming 24-48 hours will rely on that announcement.
#2 will hopefully be detailed, as Nintendo has been promising this for a while. #3 probably won't be talked about much, since it seems to be an effort to attract more casual gamers that can be done with Nintendo's smartphone titles. I honestly expect QoL to be scrapped, unless it is something completely revolutionary and redefines what a sleep sensor can be or do.
#4 will hopefully be talked about as well. Maybe a little bit of #5.
The DeNA mobile game will definitely be talked about. The Club Nintendo replacement might be mentioned - perhaps a timeframe of when we can expect to see it. QoL might be dead, but I'm not entirely sure either way. #4 and #5 are certainly possible.
As for NX, I'm certain that investors will try to pry some information out of them. Perhaps we'll get a general timeframe of when in 2016 we can expect to see information? Kinda doubt it though.
As far as the financial results go, I'm curious to see the life-to-date sales for games like Splatoon.
Honestly all I really want is details on the new Club Nintendo successor. Everything else is secondary to me.
I would expect more details on DeNA and maybe a price cut, but everything else seems to be a stretch. In some ways I think hearing more on the NX is more likely than the other stuff.
@Acein210 you have children and act like this? Poor poor kids....
New games for wiiu
BTW I am expecting Nintendo's first mobile games to be Nintendogs and Brain Training. Those are the perfect candidates for mobile. They are simple, highly approachable, were once huge (Nintendogs and the Brain Training games sold over 15 million copies in 2008, years after their initial release), and most importantly, can easily be monetized via free-to-play mechanics.
Some games for the Wii U, that shows that there will be more than just a few retail titles coming in 2016 would be nice...especially if they hope to sell any around the holidays. With more and more people hearing about the NX, they're not even going to want a Wii U due to this...show that you actually care about the system and it's customers, and show some games that will be coming out...and not just 4 or 5, but show enough that's not just 3rd party Skylanders and Just Dance titles, and not titles that are also coming out on PS4 and XONE...nintendo needs to show off their own games for the Wii U (and not Zelda and Star Fox), but actual games that are coming way to the end of 2016, or they're just showing that they are done with the system.
@JLPick They pretty much are done with the Wii U and the 3DS. In fact, there's not one internally developed 1st party game in the pipeline for the 3DS anymore that we know about. Triforce Heroes was the last one (not counting pending localisations). At least the Wii U has Star Fox and Zelda coming.
Both systems are winding down. We know most of the 2016 lineup already, just not any concrete dates.
@MarioPhD When the game was delayed, they said it might not release this year, as if they were unsure. So at one point there was a bit of chance of it coming out this year when they realized they needed more times. That means it wasn't supposed to take much time to finish. This means a full year delay is unlikely. A six month delay, which would land it in their blockbuster game slot seems like the most likely outcome.
@IceClimbers I'm curious about Splatoon sales as well.
i want to see what the first mobile game is
Nintendo Sleep Sensor:
Nintendo watches you sleep. And it broadcasts directly into your brain.
"Buy more amiibo" "dream of buying more ambiios"
I'm ready for these reveals to troll everyone. lol
Club Nintendo successor and QoL update is more likely in my opinion, they were long due for update now. Statement of intent is obvious, NX is still quite far away as we'll only get the detail next year, so they don't want to lose any Wii U and 3DS sales yet.
DeNA games, nah, don't think so, wasn't a good place for game reveal, but maybe just mention to stay tune for news very soon. Tie-in and licensing, it's possible.
I'm more interested in sales figure, especially Fire Emblem and some other. But most likely we'll only get statement for strong performance of Splatoon and Super Mario Maker, while for 3DS... umm, what's 3DS big releases again in last 3 months? AC:HHD?
Club Nintendo successor plz!
oh and Disney Magical World 2 coming NA/PAL (wasn't that announced at this event before? or i'm i missing something.)
edit: http://nintendoeverything.com/tag/disney-magical-world/page/4/ nope that was annouced on something else, oh well. i'll have my final judge on this when ever this is done
If they are looking at the loyalty program, then they should also look at the whole user account system. I want my online purchases linked to my NNID and not to the hardware!
A PROPER ACCOUNT SYSTEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
(Yes, this is somewhat covered under the heading for the Club Nintendo successor, but A PROPER ACCOUNT SYSTEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.)
EDIT: what Vriess said.
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