Nintendo released the official translation for their recent financial meeting, which reiterated plenty of information for shareholders (including the Zelda Wii U title), as well as revealed some new tidbits concerning the company and smartphones.
A question pertaining to Nintendo’s strategy concerning the ever growing and dangerous smartphone market was asked during the meeting. Shigeru Miyamoto responded with this:
The entertainment business inherently has a lot of ups and downs. When I joined the company over 30 years ago, Nintendo had a great amount of debt loans. Now, it is sometimes said that Nintendo is too cash-rich, but this is essential for us to try new endeavors. I am sorry for the shareholder who just asked this question, but I cannot predict what is going to happen 10 years from now. It is true that I have a sense of fear in that “hand-me-down smartphones,” as pointed out by another shareholder, are becoming hardware systems on which to play games due to their prices being lower than that of our most inexpensive video game system in our history. However, I do not believe that will completely control the future of video games. Of course, it is important to gain profit in effective ways, but Nintendo always has to take seriously, for example, network security for children. Taking into consideration that more and more children have a good command of these kinds of media, which help these media to spread, the most important task for Nintendo is how to provide new styles of entertainment by using these technologies, and how to make these new kinds of entertainment yield significant sales and profits.
Genyo Takeda (Senior Managing Director and General Manager of Integrated Research & Development Division) added his own piece:
Nintendo is in the entertainment business; our products are not daily necessities. Therefore, we have experienced many ups and downs so far, but we have also provided a lot of surprises to the world. The hardware-software integrated platform business, as we always mention, specifically means that we integrate software technology, hardware technology, ideas, art, music, graphics and even elements of psychology to produce our entertainment products.
It seems that Nintendo is finally acknowledging the presence of the smartphone market and what it means for Nintendo. However, it seems that Nintendo is also holding fast to their own ideals and role concerning the gaming industry. We’ll see whether Miyamoto and Takeda’s statements will hold true for the company in the long term.