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Nintendo Quality of Life unit to be separate from console business

Monday, 3rd March 2014 22:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo has confirmed its new Quality of Life business will be spearheaded by a new team, separate from its console business unit.

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In a new message to investors, president Satoru Iwata gave us our first bit of information regarding Nintendo’s Quality of Life unit since its brief introduction at a January investor meeting.

“As the business environment around us has shifted with the times, we have decided to redefine entertainment as something that improves people’s quality of life (‘QOL’) in enjoyable ways and expand our business areas. What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways,” he said.

Iwata went on to say that Nintendo will retain its “core focus” on dedicated video game platforms, and will spin the QOL team off as a separate unit to existing console business.

“With a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways, we will attempt to establish a new business area apart from our dedicated video game business,” he said.

“We have set ‘health’ as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business. Through our new endeavors with the QOL-improving platform, we strive to further promote our existing strategy of expanding our user base, create an environment in which more people are conscious about their health and in turn expand Nintendo’s overall user base.”

It doesn’t sound terribly different to Nintendo’s past activities with the enormously popular Wii Fit and aborted Vitality Sensor endeavour. Iwata described the new business as a natural extension of its entertainment business – since the goal of entertainment is to improve QOL by putting a smile on people’s faces.

“What has remained the same from the past is that we have always tried to create something new from materials and technologies available at that time, to position entertainment as our core business and to improve people’s QOL in enjoyable ways. We will continue to value self-innovation in line with the times and aim for growth,” Iwata said.

Thanks, GameInformer.

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3 Comments

  1. salarta

    Well, this is better than how things looked with the prior recent announcement. That one made it sound like Nintendo was going to make health industry interests into their overall top priority and try to force that into their video game presence. This one sounds more like the video game side will continue to make entertainment their core focus, but this will be a potentially very profitable side business that builds on perceptions of the company as family-friendly.

    It doesn’t mean Nintendo’s safe, though. There are still a lot of problems with the company and how it’s trying to handle the video game market. But at least we know they’re not sliding even more backward than they already have, and this might be beneficial for the company as an overall entity rather than for the company as part of the video game industry.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Dragon

    @salarta,
    They never said health industry, and they couldn’t do that. That requires too much initial investment for a newcomer.
    I am assuming something along the lines of Wii, but more “health” and less “game”.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. salarta

    @Dragon Nintendo said themselves, right up there, that the unit is about Quality of Life with health as the theme of their first step. They literally said they are moving into the health industry.

    I don’t know what you’re thinking “health industry” means here. Fitness tapes are part of the health industry. EKG machines are part of the health industry. Diet plans are part of the health industry. There’s a broad spectrum of what constitutes the health industry, and Nintendo has already shown their desire to break into it long before this announcement through Wii Fit and the scrapped Wii Vitality Sensor. Anything that has to do with emphasizing a person’s health (not necessarily improving it, though any good company should be doing that) is part of the health industry.

    My expectation is that Nintendo is trying to make money off the physical fitness market, angling for both people that want to work out and for hospital geriatric and rehabilitation matters. The Wii got a lot of buzz for its use in both areas when it first came out. Nintendo will very likely try to incorporate some of the health-conscious messaging in the more general audience and video game products, but not to the same extent.

    I also, frankly, expect that this new focus is heavily inspired by their inability to compete with Sony and Microsoft where it counts when it comes to video games. They already said with the Wii that their goal was to offer something different rather than directly compete with Sony and Microsoft. While I’m saying that, I expect future and even current consoles to start focusing on offering functions for more than one market.

    #3 5 months ago

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