Nintendo had a rough year. The most recent one ended with the company’s first ever loss on record, and it wasn’t a small figure. Headwinds in the mobile sector caused Nintendo to take unprecedented measures, and slash the price of the 3DS less than a year after it being on the market. Nintendo expects to return to profitability this year, but one analyst is calling for even more proactive measures by the Kyoto games giant.
Nanako Imazu thinks that within the next few years, Nintendo will have no alternative but to start releasing its most popular properties, like the Super Mario Bros franchise, on smartphones and tablets. The company is facing major changes in the industry, says Imazu in a recent interview with the New York Times.
“Nintendo has to deal with the change and let Mario games be played on non-Nintendo devices. But, I think it will take at least a couple of years to see that,” Imazu told the newspaper.
This isn’t a new topic of course. Analysts and journalists alike have been asking Nintendo this age-old question for decades. If you’re old enough, there was a time that Mario and Sonic would never have ever been conceived to be appearing on the same console, let alone the same game. But times change, market forces pick the winners and the losers, and smart companies make the changes necessary for survival. Considering the competition from Apple in the mobile space, Nintendo is faring particularly well there.
The Nintendo 3DS is selling well, which is likely being spurred on by the price reduction. As their manufacturing costs begin to recede, the company will once again be making money on each unit sold, and oddly, given the climate you would think that mobile would be their biggest concern. But its not. An untested new console, and a fickle gaming consumer will soon be hands on with their latest invention, the Wii U. Nintendo’s return to profitability hangs in the balance with the Wii U.