Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has been talking a lot this year about expanding the Nintendo brand beyond just video games and into a broader range of entertainment. One such way Nintendo hopes to branch out is with “Quality of Life” (QOL) devices. We don’t know exactly what these will be, but recent patents by Nintendo suggest that they could work in tandem with existing Nintendo hardware like 3DS and Wii U. In a special message released along with Nintendo’s quarterly report, Iwata talked a little more about QOL devices and his goal to “redefine entertainment” in the future.
In a section entitled “Redefine Entertainment” Iwata explained that he sees entertainment as activities that improve your quality of life in enjoyable ways.
During the past decade, we have focused on our basic strategy of expanding the gaming population by offering products that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, gender or gaming experience. By extending the definition of games, we were able to pursue new consumers who were formerly apathetic toward video games. At the same time, we have offered products and services with the belief that the purpose of entertainment is to put smiles on people’s faces.
However, as the business environment around us has shifted with the times, I also felt that we needed to more closely examine why entertainment companies exist in the first place. We concluded that we needed to redefine entertainment as activities that improve people’s “Quality of Life” (QOL) in enjoyable ways.
Activities that improve QOL often require perseverance. They must be done every day and they are not always fun. If we can capitalize on our experience and strength as an entertainment company to make self-improvement enjoyable, we are confident that we will be able to put smiles on consumers’ faces in a wider range of business fields. — Satoru Iwata
Iwata has previously stated that these QOL devices are planned to improve health, but clarified that this doesn’t necessarily mean something in the same vein as Wii Fit. Whatever these QOL devices focus on (and it could be a wide range of ideas), Nintendo’s goal is to keep people interested in them so that self-improvement can be enjoyable.