After another dismal year of console sales, Nintendo is finally looking to broach uncharted territory in order to give its floundering business a much needed boost. Bloomberg reports that Nintendo is preparing to launch new consoles in emerging markets as early as next year, potentially capitalizing on China’s recently lifted ban on game consoles. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, China’s game industry could generate $10 billion in sales in 2015.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said in an interview that the consoles released in emerging markets would be entirely new products, as opposed to budget rehashes of the Wii U and 3DS. “We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have,” Iwata said. “The product and price balance must be made from scratch.”
As Nintendo struggles to reclaim the audience that made the Wii a smash hit in 2006, many critics and analysts have suggested that Nintendo should look into mobile gaming to supplement its home console business. Iwata has heard these suggestions, but believes that “the smartphone market is probably more competitive than the console business,” and after 30 years in the console business, transitioning to mobile would be very difficult.
Of course, just because Nintendo doesn’t plan to develop full mobile titles doesn’t mean the company is unaware of the potential for second screen functionality. Nintendo will be releasing a Mario Kart TV companion app for Mario Kart 8, allowing players to watch videos and track their progress on their mobile devices.
With fresh hardware for emerging markets and a long-awaited dive into mobile apps, Nintendo is finally showing signs of life. Hopefully these new strategies, along with the release of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, will give the company a chance to recover.