As one of the giants of the video game industry, Nintendo has also created products in other markets throughout its long, storied history. The company started out as a playing card manufacturer and then moved on to become a toy company before finally becoming the game company we know and love. In recent years, Nintendo has also used its expertise in video games as a platform to create products that bridge the gap between gaming and health care. Recently, Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, talked with Asahi News about where he sees Nintendo’s future going in the realm of health care.
In the interview, Iwata outlined Nintendo’s three main pillars: game hardware, game software, and health care. The inclusion of the health care pillar shows that Nintendo seems to be looking at turning healthcare into a separate specialized business. This change is also backed by the fact that, last year, Nintendo mentioned that they were working on a new health platform. They also introduced a sleep sensor that same year.
In the interview, Iwata had this to say: “It’s not necessary to be particular about game hardware.” This seems to mean that Iwata does not think that Nintendo’s work in health care has to be connected to its video game consoles. For instance, Nintendo is planning on using the sleep sensor to analyze data from the user and give them feedback about exercising and eating right.
Although the two markets may be separating in physicality, the video game blood of Nintendo will run deep in the new health care products. Iwata confirmed this in the Asahi interview by saying, “Leveraging our video game know-how, we’ll make it so even those who have trouble following through can stick with this program and have fun.”
Nintendo is hoping that their new health care products will help them reclaim old customers. The Wii had appeal to casual gamers that also wanted a good work out, so maybe this is Nintendo’s way of drawing those people back to their company. Nintendo also seems to be looking into ways to get into the education market as well.
What do you think about this new direction Nintendo is taking? Do you think this will help the company grow, or will it ultimately be a failure? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!