Nintendo has been a major player in the video game industry for decades, but lately they’ve been talking about expanding into other areas of entertainment. Before his passing, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata talked a lot about redefining entertainment as anything that improves “quality of life,” and in this spirit, Nintendo was planning to release health and fitness devices that kept people entertained. However, according to a pair of analysts, it’s possible that Nintendo has cancelled their plans for QOL devices in order to focus on mobile gaming.
IDC research director Lewis Ward and Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter had this to say when asked about Nintendo’s QOL plans.
“I think it’s been pushed to the back burner. It’s supposed to be released in the U.S. by the end of March , but I haven’t heard anything. … [However,] I do think Nintendo has always had an interest in ‘Blue Ocean’ markets and health care and the intersection with their hardware and their software is something they’ve viewed as an opportunity.”
— Lewis Ward
“I think it’s probably dead. just like the Wii Vitality Sensor was before and they didn’t tell anybody. They have been completely invisible as a company since [Iwata] got sick. The whole point of helping with lifestyle was getting people to buy more Nintendo devices—and I think they’re hurting so badly in devices that they’re trying to [stop] the hemorrhaging there. … I would say they’re probably focused on just getting their mobile initiative working. That’s far more important than [QOL].”
— Michael Pachter
While these two both have industry connections that could be giving them more information than what’s available to the general public, there’s been no outward sign that Nintendo will abandon QOL. A patent surfaced for a QOL device just last month, and Nintendo’s recent CSR Report contains a message about QOL written by Iwata before his death. If the plans are cancelled, Nintendo isn’t giving any indication.