Nintendo Mario thinking
Image: Nintendo Life

The times are a-changin' for Nintendo, it seems. Nobody would doubt that the company has been video game-focused for the past few decades, but with theme parks, movies, and mobile apps popping up all over the place, it seems that the Big-N is moving in a slightly different direction.

This was echoed by Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser in a recent interview with the Washington Post, in which he stated that Nintendo is now "evolving into being an entertainment company with gaming as a nucleus of the overall business model." This will come as no surprise to many of us — you can't walk through town without seeing Mario DVDs, toys, and LEGO sets at the moment — and having put all of its hardware eggs in one basket by uniting its handheld and home console lines with Switch, diversification into arenas beyond the creation of video game systems and software makes sense.

But the question is, hasn't Nintendo always been an entertainment company? Are the firm's recent shenanigans of buying up animation studios and expressing a desire to make more movies really all that surprising? Remember, this is the company that started out life making playing cards before moving into toys and running love hotels, after all...

Being an 'entertainment' company doesn't necessarily mean having your financial fingers in many production pies. It's true, Nintendo's main focus since the '80s has been video games, but the figurehead of Mario has long transcended the titles in which he has appeared — much like people recognise Mickey Mouse without having ever watched Steamboat Willie.

Doug Bowser is gesturing towards Nintendo's move towards becoming a Disney-like powerhouse whose reach extends far beyond its main product, but it is nonetheless interesting to consider just how we have all perceived the company for all these years.

So, what do you reckon? Has Nintendo always been in the larger 'entertainment' business, or is this a sign of a bold new direction? Fill in the following poll to let us know which side you fall on, and then take to the comments to share your thoughts.

Has Nintendo always been an 'entertainment' company?