Nintendo’s new business strategy to target health and “Quality of Life”


Nintendo have outlined plans for their new business strategy, seeing entertainment as “something that improves people’s quality of life in enjoyable ways.”

This will be a clear goal for Nintendo over the coming years, although whilst competitors have focused on “wearable” technologies the company will differentiate themselves be crafting their own “non-wearable” alternatives.

Such concept will target health-conscious individuals, using Nintendo’s products to keep them entertained – such inspiration drawn from their successes with titles such as Wii Fit and Brain Age.

“This time, we decided to redefine our notion of entertainment as something that improves people’s quality of life in enjoyable ways, and take a step forward in expanding our business areas,” Iwata discussed. “Being an entertainment company, making ‘enjoyable improvements’ is something that Nintendo excels at, and this definition provides us with a clear distinction from simply ‘improving QOL.’

“Ever since Nintendo was founded 125 years ago as a manufacturer of Hanafuda, Nintendo has continued to transform itself into offering various propositions to consumers from toys, electronic toys, and then video games, improving, in my view, people’s QOL in enjoyable ways. What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways.”

He continues, “This definition includes, of course, dedicated video game platforms. While we will continue to devote our energy to dedicated video game platforms, what I see as our first step into a new business area in our endeavour to improve QOL is, the theme of ‘health.’ Of course, defining a new entertainment business that seeks to improve QOL creates various possibilities for the future such as ‘learning’ and ‘lifestyle,’ but it is our intention to take ‘health’ as our first step.

“Please note, however, that rather than simply setting health as our theme, Nintendo will also try to expand it in a new blue ocean… we wish to achieve an integrated hardware-software platform business that, instead of providing mobile or wearable features, will be characterised by a new area of what we like to call ‘non-wearable’ technology. When we use ‘health’ as the keyword, some may inevitably think about ‘Wii Fit.’ However, we are considering themes that we have not incorporated to games for our existing platforms. Including the hardware that will enable such an idea, we will aim to establish a blue ocean.”

This will see those suffering from illness being able to monitor their health, the non-wearable feature allowing consumers to receive feedback continuously. Nintendo will take advantage of their experiences in developing Brain Age, Wii Fit and Art Academy to do so.

“As all dedicated video game platforms ever since Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1983 have continued to expand the gaming population as well as Nintendo’s user base, our QOL-improving platform will attempt to create an environment in which we can expand the population of those who are conscious about their health and use that expansion to expand Nintendo’s user base,” Iwata closed.

Nintendo will share further details about such business this year, with plans to launch it during the April 2015 – March 2016 fiscal year.

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