From next year Nintendo plans to expand into emerging markets with completely new gaming devices, reports Bloomberg. Yes, this doesn't just mean cheaper versions of the Wii, Wii U or its handhelds but completely new games consoles. These ideas emerge hot on the heels of the posting of a Q4 net loss and the third annual loss reported in three years. Also recently we have heard that China has lifted its ban on games consoles which was in place for the previous 13 years.
As reported by the Guardian, sales of current Nintendo games hardware isn't doing that well. In January, Nintendo reduced its Wii U sales estimates for the year from 9 million to 2.8 million. Likewise the 3DS had its sales estimates cut, for the financial year that has just ended, from 18 million to 13.5 million. Nintendo managed to undershoot both these figures and has published sales of 2.72 million Wii Us and 12.24 million 3DS consoles for the last year.
The result is that Nintendo has announced a disappointing annual loss of $229 million. The Wii U, which has been on the market for well over a year has a cumulative sales figure of 6.17 million units. Sony has overtaken that total, reaching seven million PS4s sold, in about five months.
"We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told Bloomberg reporters in Tokyo earlier today. "The product and price balance must be made from scratch." With China recently lifting its video game console ban perhaps Nintendo has it specifically in mind for the release of such a new console system. Iwata confirmed Nintendo is studying the Chinese regulations for entry to that market.
Also planned are some game character figurines with NFC for game information transfer. The Wii U controller has an NFC reader built-in. Upcoming games are aiming to make more compelling use of the unique controller including its display and NFC figurine interactivity.
Looking at mobile Nintendo still doesn't want to get into the smartphone gaming arena in anything but a marginal way. An example of what will happen on mobiles is a new companion app which will be launched with Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U at the end of this month. App users will be able to "to track progress and watch videos of games played by friends," via this app, reports Bloomberg.