CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, recently had the opportunity to speak to many investors on what the future lies for the Japanese giant. With the text officially translated into English, we know have a better understanding on what exactly was mentioned.
Satoru Iwata recently spoke about Nintendo’s future regarding smartphone, and him mentioned the recently announced Mii app coming to smart devices in 2015. Here’s Iwata’s full comments below.
Basically, Nintendo’s utilization of smart devices means to “make a stronger bond with our consumers through the use of smart devices,” instead of to “do business directly on smart devices.” We are continuously considering what we should do and what we can do to achieve that goal. Although this is not directly related to the application (for smart devices) you are referring to, even now if you access Nintendo’s Japanese website from a smart device, it is not in a layout for smart devices. It is rather embarrassing that we are so behind on this compatibility, but we plan to optimize our Japanese website for smart devices within 2014. In addition, we opened a website called “Play Nintendo” in the U.S. this month that introduces Nintendo characters to children and their parents, assuming that many of them will access it from their smart devices. This website is available at play.nintendo.com (please use the newest browser), so please take a look if you are interested. This service is currently only available in the U.S., but Mr. Miyamoto and I would like to make this kind of service available on a global scale.
The application under development that I said we would like to release within this year at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in January is one that utilizes Mii on smart devices. I think many people know what a Mii is, but they are virtual characters users can create on Nintendo video game systems that appear in games and resemble the user, or their family or friends. We introduced Mii with the release of Wii, and now you can use them on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Using Mii becomes more interesting as the Mii population expands and as more interesting look-alike Mii are made. They appear in “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” and “Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.” Many consumers have enjoyed playing “StreetPass Mii Plaza,” and “Tomodachi Life” is a game that would not have been developed if Mii did not exist. It can be said that Mii was originally born in the development process of “Tomodachi Collection” (Japanese title) for Nintendo DS. I showed it to Mr. Miyamoto and asked him, “Isn’t this what you wanted to create?” since I had heard that he wanted to do something similar to this. If we were able to expand the Mii population and Mii were usable on consumers’ smart devices, for example, if consumers were able to create their profile icons on social media using Mii, we believe consumers would be happy, and we are developing something like it now. However, it is clear that the main pillars of this year-end sales season for us will be the “Super Smash Bros.” and “Pokémon” games, and when we started designing the Mii application, we realized that by refining various elements, we could end up with a better final product, so we decided that we should release it when we are confident it is capable of making a solid bond with our consumers. When Nintendo first releases its application for smart devices, I believe that many people will be interested in it enough to try it. In order to make the most of this opportunity, instead of releasing it within this year when we feel there is still room for improvement, we would like to release a more polished version. We are positive that we can make a stronger bond with our consumers using Mii, and that our consumers will enjoy and activate the application from time to time if such an application is created, but we would like to release it next year, instead of this year.