If there’s one thing fans have been clambering for, it’s Pokemon on the Wii U. Bring us a Pokemon MMO through the Wii U and you might just cause a global economic crisis as everyone spends all their money in game and completely stops working. Could Nintendo be considering this? Well, at least they seem to know of the potential.
In a translated Q&A with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, he lays out the future of Nintendo. First of all, we can expect some new hardware, but not all that soon:
As to whether our philosophy has changed or not, the basic idea that consumers reluctantly purchase hardware only because they want to play with appealing software remains unchanged.[...] In this sense, instead of seeing a great and sudden recovery in our profitability in the next fiscal year, I am rather expecting to be able to report Nintendo-like profits from around the following fiscal year. [...] Moreover, I feel that we will be able to further stimulate our platform business by taking advantage of smart devices, and I think that we will be able to provide detailed information on this as well as some concrete results between the current and the next fiscal years. Also, the idea I mentioned about redefining the definition of video game platforms will also require approximately two years. This is how we would like to talk more about our mid-term measures and lead them to actual results. However, we will not be able to create a good environment for the company unless projects are undertaken simultaneously, so this is the kind of timeframe that we have in mind.
Iwata explains that as soon as a new platform is launched, they naturally begin to prepare for the next one. However, he doesn’t believe that it’s wise to simply launch a new platform of the users of existing hardware aren’t satisfied. As a result, Nintendo will continue to focus on software and finding that killer app that finally makes it all worthwhile. There is a new focus on the Quality of Life (QOL) initiatives from Nintendo, and Iwata confirmed that this is going to form a core part of the company’s future. However, it seems that the killer app (a game that will single handedly make the platform a success) is very present in Iwata’s mind:
The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title. As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy. But the Pokémon game singlehandedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system.
Okay Iwata, if you know about that example and remember it well, why don’t you make it happen on the Wii U. I think then Nintendo would know, once and for all, if the Wii U could have been a success. If they released an HD Pokemon game on that console and it still didn’t move off the shelves, they could officially write off the Wii U. However, I’m convinced that the Pokemon fans would outpace Wii U manufacturing and demand would be explosive.
However, will Nintendo actually do it? They continually surprise me, both in their backwards nature, and their ability to come out with something that completely changes gaming. I’m not sure how many more tricks they have in their hats, or if they’re willing to be revolutionary anymore. Are they just a relic of the past, or could they still prove their worth in the future?