The lights are on
Shortly after its disappointing third quarter financial report. Nintendo conducted an investor meeting during which it revealed an upcoming focus on health and quality of life.
Today, company president CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the new quality of life-focused unit would be separate from the traditional console division. “Through our new endeavors with the QOL-improving platform, we strive to further promote our existing strategy of expanding our user base, create an environment in which more people are conscious about their health and in turn expand Nintendo's overall user base,” Iwata said.
Nintendo has dabbled in health-related endeavors before. Wii Fit, the PokéWalker wearable for SoulSilver and Heart Gold, and the since abandoned Vitality Sensor, could all play into Nintendo’s approach to wellness. It’s likely that the health products will be tied in some way to Nintendo’s core competency of entertainment.
“With a platform business that improves people's QOL in enjoyable ways, we will attempt to establish a new business area apart from our dedicated video game business,” Iwata writes. “We have set ‘health’ as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business.”
Our TakeThis answers one major question we had following Nintendo’s quality of life announcements. We were unsure if this marked a new direction or a new offshoot of the business.
As the 3DS thrives, it’s possible we’ll see greater interplay between wellness and gaming (like the PokéWalker), but I also expect Nintendo to branch into strictly health-focused devices like FitBit and Nike Fuel. There are ways to make those social and entertaining, and Nintendo will no doubt capitalize on its experience there.