Iwata: “Doesn’t Make Sense” to do Business in Smartphones, Wii U Gamepad is System’s “Weakness”

Iwata: “Doesn’t Make Sense” to do Business in Smartphones, Wii U Gamepad is System’s “Weakness”

The highly anticipated Nintendo investor’s press conference is underway, and already it seems that Iwata has cut to the meat of the matter, so to speak.

As Macquarie Securities Senior Research Analyst David Gibson reports on Twitter (integrated by the liveblog on the Wall Street Journal), Iwata says Nintendo will “actively” use smart devices to “make connections with customers.” That is, they’ll use smart devices as a method to encourage customers to use its Nintendo platforms, not publish games on the platforms. Nintendo has also been thinking of launching this smartphone service sometime this year, as an “on demand service.” He further revealed that this service’s goal is not to make money but to communicate to users in a “fun and engaging” way.

The company president also has a vision in mind for Nintendo: enhancing the quality of life through entertainment, specifically health. Citing a flood of wearable devices already on the market, Iwata states that Nintendo is trying out something new: non-wearable devices to monitor your health. Nintendo will be revealing more details in 2014 concerning this new strategy.

He stated that the Wii U’s weakness is the Gamepad, since “recognition is low” and many consumers believe it to be a mere accessory for Nintendo’s previous and far more successful console, the Wii. He also stated that the Gamepad’s profile needs to be increased and that this will be achieved with Mario Kart 8‘s release in May, as well as a faster start up of Gamepad so it can play without TV quickly.

It seems that Iwata has also began to view Nintendo’s situation a bit more realistically. He commented that while the 3DS will drive profits for next fiscal year, Wii U software titles will drive the system’s restoration instead. In other words, he’s acknowledging that Wii U hardware sales won’t provide much profit but that its software will make up for that.