The lights are on
As we suspected, Nintendo is planning to engage with users via one or more smartphone applications. President Satoru Iwata revealed some details during an investor briefing currently taking place.
Analyst David Gibson is present and translating in real time via Twitter, and the Wall Street Journal is updating a liveblog. During his presentation, Iwata suggested that the Nintendo Network ID will have a role in the future, but that Nintendo wants to now change the way it works so that it is user-based rather than device-based.
Nintendo won’t be porting its games to mobile devices, but it wants to connect with users on their smart devices. This will go beyond advertising, as Gibson relays Iwata’s recognition that the engagement must be fun. This hints at the minigames and other activities that have recently been reported on, though no specific examples seem to have been given.
[Source: @gibbogame, Wall Street Journal]
Our TakeNintendo is walking a tightrope with this mobile strategy. It can’t give too much, or else it devalues its existing business model. It can’t do too little, or it won’t entice customers to use the app at all. I’m unsure how Nintendo will transition untapped audience to use the app at all, nor how it will hook those people enough to make them customers.