Why Nintendo Changed its Tune

Nintendo’s first smartphone game, Miitomo, has been released in the US and Europe, following its Japanese launch in March. Nintendo games like Pokémon have seemed ideally suited to the smartphone environment, but the company has resisted entering the market for years.

An analysis of Nintendo’s software sales by Statista has highlighted the reason for the company’s recent change in attitude. Sales peaked in 2009, but fell sharply between 2010 and 2015: down 81% for home consoles and 57% for handhelds.

Analyst Comment

Nintendo has traditionally acted as both a publisher and hardware developer, with its games only appearing on its proprietary hardware. However, with so much competition on the market today – and a history of producing the least-powerful console of its generation, dating back to the Gamecube (2001) – Nintendo cannot afford to ignore the billions of smartphone owners.

The company announced development of Pokémon Go last year, an AR game for Android and iOS devices, which is being beta-tested now. Is this is the new direction for Nintendo?

Not necessarily. We have known about Nintendo’s new console, the Nintendo NX, since 2015. Our friend Jon Peddie is of the opinion that it might not even make sense for the company to stay in the console market. Time will tell – the NX is rumoured to be released this year, with a showing at E3 in June. (TA)