Nintendo recently released their annual report for 2013, and it holds a peek at the past and a promise for the future. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Famicon’s (Nintendo Entertainment System’s) release in Japan, and the report has many images commemorating this anniversary. On the not-so-nostalgia filled side are the sales numbers that Nintendo has posted for the last fiscal year, which show an operating loss for the company. This news just adds to all of the bad news surrounding the Wii U, but not everyone has lost hope.
Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s President, has not at all lost hope in his company and their prospects for the future. Past all of the commemorative images in the report, but before all of the sales numbers, is a hopeful message from Iwata himself. One of the highlights of the message is that Iwata wants “to regain ‘Nintendo-like’ profits” for the current fiscal year. The rest of the message is below, and it is well worth a read.
“Since the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983, Nintendo has been offering the world unique and original entertainment products under the development concept of hardware and software integration. In the field of home entertainment, where there are few Japanese world-class industries, Nintendo has established a well-known brand truly representing video game culture throughout the world. Our basic strategy is the expansion of the gaming population, which is to encourage as many people in the world as possible, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience, to embrace and enjoy playing video games.
The Nintendo 3DS system, which we launched in 2011 as the successor of Nintendo DS, has such features as 3D gameplay without the need for any special glasses and various communication functions, and thus offers a wide range of entertainment. Also, we released the Wii U system, the successor of Wii, in the year-end sales season of 2012. Wii U has a new controller named the Wii U GamePad with a 6.2 inch touch screen. The Wii U GamePad enables a variety of gameplay, and proposes deeper game experiences and new entertainment that people have never had the opportunity to enjoy before. We will continue to offer software and services that take advantage of the unique features of our video game systems and strive to accelerate the sales pace of our platforms by communicating their unique value to a wide audience.
Regarding our network strategy, we introduced a network communication system called Miiverse where game fans around the world can share and discuss their game experiences, and have opportunities to empathize with one another. Furthermore, for the purpose of adapting to the changes in the environment surrounding the video game market and increasing our business opportunities, we are continuing to expand our digital business by offering paid add-on content, digitally distributing packaged software and so forth.
We reorganized our development divisions in order to make hardware and software development more efficient. In order to offer various software titles, we advance joint development with outside software developers and build an environment, such as Nintendo Web Framework, which provides a way of developing the Wii U software using web technologies. Thus, we strive to strengthen our medium and long-term competitiveness.
Nintendo posted an operating loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. However, we strive to regain “Nintendo-like” profits for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 by providing many people with fascinating games and services. We continue to make brand-new and unique proposals, and make efforts for the growth of the home entertainment industry with a mission that is to pleasantly surprise people and put smiles on the faces of everyone Nintendo touches.” — Satoru Iwata
I especially like that last line there; Iwata wants to bring people happiness, and I can say that Nintendo has brought me countless hours with a smile on my face. Here’s hoping that Nintendo can recover from its current woes and continue into a bright future.