Through an exclusive interview with TIME Magazine, Nintendo’s new president Tatsumi Kimishima has revealed quite a bit of new information about the company’s future regarding smart devices, the NX and his presidency.
Entering the mobile world
Ever since the announcement of Pokémon GO, and then later Miitomo, I think one of Nintendo fans’ biggest questions has been where Nintendo is going with its plans for smart devices. Adamant in its stance that it wants to move towards these platforms as well, Kimishima has assured us that Nintendo doesn’t plan to port its IP to mobile platforms. In fact, he’s taken a stand against it.
Nintendo’s goal with mobile is to increase the gaming population altogether, so Kimishima doesn’t think that dropping ported IP into the realm of existing mobile games is a smart move. Instead, Nintendo is focusing on making access to its IP as easy as possible. Additionally, Kimishima mentions that Nintendo’s work with smart devices is just “one piece of a bigger puzzle.” Mentioning that he wants to increase the overall frequency at which people encounter Nintendo’s IP, he says that Nintendo hopes to do this with not only smart devices, but merchandise, visual interactions or theme parks. With the latter, I’m hoping he’s talking about the deal Nintendo and Universal made earlier in the year, especially after Universal’s purchasing of 450 additional acres of land.
Connecting everything Nintendo
Kimishima also elaborates on Nintendo’s new account systems, “Nintendo Account” and “My Nintendo.” The goal with these two accounts is to connect everything Nintendo, from Nintendo devices to smart devices to PCs and computers, and more. The rewards program, My Nintendo, will act as a system to replace Club Nintendo, but in a much broader way. You’ll earn points for everything, from buying games to accessing content in more nontraditional ways, and you’ll be able to use those points for benefits in different ways.
Of course, in order for people to make accounts on these new systems, Nintendo has to make consumers want to, and its plan for that is through Miitomo, which is due out in March. While an account won’t be necessary, some of the app’s features will be easier to access with an account, and hopefully after new fans have started making Nintendo Accounts, they’ll be eager to sign up for My Nintendo to start earning points. This is why Nintendo has made the decision to broaden its rewards program– interacting with Nintendo related stuff is much easier than having to buy products, especially for consumers who aren’t as dedicated to the company. Once Nintendo has established this framework, it plans to release more software for smart devices.
Unfortunately, Kimishima is afraid that Nintendo hasn’t done a great job of explaining Miitomo, and isn’t sure if Western consumers will quite understand it. However, this is the reason Miitomo was delayed: Nintendo plans on really promoting its new app, despite advertising not being traditional in the realm of mobile applications.
Moving into something more traditional, Kimishima has acknowledged the issues with the Wii U, but has assured us that the company doesn’t plan on halting production of its software any time soon. In fact, he goes to say that even though it’s been working on the NX, its goal first and foremost is to support the consumers who have bought a Wii U by making sure that they have games to play.
Moving forward with amiibo
Also, as it turns out, none of us have been using amiibo correctly. I kid, of course, but only to an extent. Kimishima stresses in his interview that the main goal of amiibo really was to increase connectivity to software, and that instead they’re being seen mostly as collection items. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, but Nintendo wants to continue to make amiibo functionality better so that they can truly be seen as an enhancement to its software. He did make a point to say that he understands that the American market is very, very crowded, though, so that this is difficult. Ultimately, however, Nintendo’s goal is to have people see amiibo and tie them back to the game experience, and not just a collection.
Roles within Nintendo
Some of you may remember that recently, Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda were named “creative fellow” and “technology fellow” of Nintendo, respectively. However, the roles of these titles were never revealed to us. Kimishima elaborates on this, saying that these new “fellowship” positions were created to ensure Nintendo’s future, by leveraging the experience and knowledge the two men have. He mentions that Miyamoto has been working with developers, but also with Universal Theme Parks to help design the experience that will evolve there. (He mentions we might see Nintendo characters more often in the clothing that people wear.) Additionally, the two men are working with Nintendo’s staff to help foster their creative talents and help nurture that creative force.
Though we never had much detail about it, Nintendo’s late president Satoru Iwata had mentioned Nintendo’s “quality of life initiative.” No more details or announcement could be made about it at this time, but Kimishima has confirmed that it is still underway.
I think the thing that Nintendo fans want to hear about the most, though, is the NX. As Nintendo’s next home console, Kimishima has assured us that Nintendo’s dedicated game platforms are still its number one priority, and that not only is it in development, but there will be more to say about it next year. However, he does tell us that it is a complete departure from the Wii and the Wii U. Where the Wii U was similar enough to the Wii that Nintendo had a hard time explaining the difference to consumers, and therefore selling more units, the NX is said to be a completely new and unique experience. He’s also confirmed that the codename “NX” doesn’t have much to do with the console itself– he has no idea where the codename actually came from.
Lastly, our new president has stated that he’s here to stay. There was some confusion upon his initial promotion if he was going to stick around for good, or if he was there as more of an emergency replacement, but he assures us that everything he’s talked about are his initiatives and responsibilities, and plans to see them to fruition. He also mentions that he wants to work with the younger staff at Nintendo and ensure that everyone gets the experience and knowledge they need to be able to take over management positions in the future.Leave a Comment