A while back, Nintendo announced that it was creating a new division within the company focused on consumer health and quality of life. According to CEO and president Satoru Iwata, the move was an example of how while the company has made a name for itself with games, it sees itself as providing more.

Iwata told Diamond.jp that the new division was fully in line with his predecessor, Hiroshi Yamauchi's, philosophy that Nintendo is and always should be an entertainment company. In the past, Iwata says, the prevailing interpretation of that was that Nintendo made video games – end of story. With this new quality of life initiative, Iwata says he decided to look at entertainment in a slightly different way.

"Recently the words 'quality of life' have been coming up regularly," he said. "Entertainment is there to improve people's quality of life. After your basic needs, there's entertainment. However, when it came to improving people's quality of life, I didn't know the difference between us and household appliance makers."

"At the start of this year, I finally figured that the concept of 'improving people's quality of life with fun,' with emphasis on the 'fun', would be perfect for Nintendo. And that's why I decided to focus on this during the financial results meeting in January."

Nintendo won't be completely steering its focus away from video games, according to Iwata, however this move shows that the company's focus on entertainment is broader than them. "I felt the need to take that occasion to state that Nintendo is a company that can do whatever it wants."

This new division's first step will focus on health-related products, which they've done before in products including Wii Fit. 

[Source: Diamond.jp via CVG]


Our Take
Technology and fitness are closely intertwined these days, with products including the Nike FuelBand, the FitBit, and Jawbone's Up device helping users track and monitor their fitness goals. Nintendo already has strong name recognition with its Wii Fit brand, which gives the company's new division a much-needed head start.