Nintendo has never been interested in the mobile space when it comes to bringing its franchises to such platforms. President Satoru Iwata has continually denied pressure and requests posed by analysts, investors, and others to make the move to smartphones.
Iwata once again downplayed smartphones in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He said:
“If I was only concerned about managing Nintendo for this year and next year—and not about what the company would be like in 10 or 20 years—then I’d probably say that my point of view is nonsense. But if we think 20 years down the line, we may look back at the decision not to supply Nintendo games to smartphones and think that is the reason why the company is still here.”
Amid Nintendo’s drops in share price, Iwata went on to acknowledge in the interview that “there are some in the market who are more supportive of doing things differently than the way we are doing it.”
“I understand the reality that there are some in the market who are more supportive of doing things differently than the way we are doing it. If you want to make short-term profits from the stock price, then I am a very bad president. But I don’t think I’m so bad for maximizing the long-term value of Nintendo.”
Iwata later spoke about Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Games such as Animal Crossing show that compelling experiences can motivate consumers to purchase new hardware, he believes.
“People will buy hardware just to buy a single game if the game is really compelling. The hurdle has gotten higher, but if we can clear it, then we think the games can still sell.”
Finally, Iwata spoke about the need to pack video game hardware with features that smart devices are incapable of replicating. It is when “we can no longer think of anything” that “we can’t continue the game-machine business.”
“The capability of smart devices is growing and what a game machine can do uniquely is getting more narrow if we don’t do anything. So game machines need to expand into things that smart devices cannot do. Once we can no longer think of anything, that’s the point we can’t continue the game-machine business.”