While Nintendo’s upcoming year is focused on expanding what can be done with Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo is eyeing much more diversified plans for the future. In 2016 and 2017 Nintendo intends to roll out health and fitness quality of life (QOL) enhancing products in a subscription-based model.
Naturally, Nintendo’s investors have a lot of questions and doubts regarding this new venture, and Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata addressed these concerns for the future by pointing to Nintendo’s history. Iwata is holding off on revealing too many specifics at this time, but he sees the situation as being very similar to last generation’s consoles. People initially doubted the concept, but eventually they showed massive potential.
When we start any new business, we do not think it makes sense to tell you about the scale of the business before details of the business model and the pricing structure are disclosed, … so I will refrain from sharing any numbers today. When Nintendo began to talk about “Gaming Population Expansion” in the past, no one would have believed us if we had shown “Brain Age” and “Wii Fit,” and said that they would create a new market of this or that size before they actually started to sell. Therefore, this time, we would appreciate it if you could consider what has happened repeatedly in our history where our offerings created a very large market in the end when generally people’s initial impression was “What will Nintendo do with such a product?”
— Satoru Iwata
When DS and Wii were announced, many analysts predicted that these less powerful machines would be bested by the competition, but they ended up selling a combined 250 million hardware units and greatly expanding the general public’s interest in video games with titles like
Wii Sports and Brain Age. Iwata believes Nintendo’s QOL devices can do the same thing for the health and fitness market.