During the corporate management policy briefing held this morning in Tokyo, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced that the company is looking for ways to expand its user base, and one of the most relevant methods they identified is enhancing the “active use ratio” on their consoles.
Iwata-san explained that the business model for games hasn’t changed too much since 30 years ago. Consoles cost two or three hundred dollars and packaged games are sold for thirty or fifty dollars. Nintendo feels that it can’t expect this model to work forever.
Thanks to the account-based connection with games created by the Nintendo Network ID, Nintendo plans to sell games at a cheaper price point to users that satisfy certain conditions. During the presentation two examples were brought: users that purchase many games and those that invite their friends to play a particular game.
Nintendo has found that its customers normally plays only two or three titles a year. With this new sales mechanism the aim is to encourage them to play more games without necessarily spending more money, creating a new business model that will be beneficial both to customers and software developers, and will enhance the activity ratio on the platforms at the same time
While the aim is to work on this project on the medium term, Nintendo plans to start experimenting on it with the Wii U at an early stage.