Satoru Iwata will face a hefty pay cut as an offering to the board and shareholders, but Nintendo will not abandon its hardware roots. This is what he announced on the 29th along with a plan of action that will have Nintendo finally implement the unified account system consumers have been asking for since the Wii and DS hit the market.
Among the more surprising announcements was that Nintendo will consider relaxing their tight grip on their intellectual properties and allow more third party access to icons like Mario and company. They have already done this in the past with Metroid other M and the Metroid Prime series, as well as even letting Phillips have a go at the Mario and Zelda franchises, but very few of these outings would be called a success. Still, a lot of people have been calling for this change as the Metroid Prime series is considered some of the best Nintendo games of a generation and F-Zero GX, handled by Sega, is arguably the best entry into the F-Zero series.
There was also a mention of moving into the health care market in an unspecified way, which may harken back to the days before the Nintendo Entertainment System when they made products in all sorts of markets besides gaming. They also might dip their toe in the mobile markets with some kind of account management application, but they gave a hard no to porting their titles directly to other hardware. We will be seeing DS games in the Virtual Console market for the Wii U, making use of the Wii U touch pad as the second screen on the DS.
Despite the stock fluctuations and reduced sales forecasts, no one truly believes Nintendo is dire straits. Nintendo has one of the most beloved and prolific software libraries in the industry and unarguably the best brand recognition, they just need to start leveraging those advantages. In recent years they haven’t jumped on the retro revolution nor have they really done a lot of advertising at all. If they put some of that software to work, by dumping their back catalog in full on a digital marketplace that can be accessed by any and all of their hardware offerings, they could rake in untold riches and come out on top for sure. Sprinkle in some third party support and finally start working on an online gaming platform comparable to PSN and Xbox Live, and they may yet come out on top once all is said and done.
Right now Nintendo is the only thing holding back Nintendo, and if this dip has shaken the tree hard enough they might finally wake up and take a good look at the world around them.