Nintendo catering to smartphone apps to bolster Wii U sales

By on May 6, 2013, 11:30 AM
nintendo, smartphone, wii u, apps

Nintendo is reportedly working to modify their Wii U gaming console to work with third party smartphone apps. The struggling video game giant is said to be banking on the idea that this will help drive console sales according to anonymous sources as reported by The Japan Times.

The idea it seems is that increased access via smartphones will help generate sales of popular titles on the Wii U. What’s more, the report points out that Nintendo is also focused on developing new software internally.

Nintendo recently posted a net profit of 7.1 billion yen ($71 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 – falling well below the company’s forecast of 17 billion yen ($142 million). Additionally, Nintendo announced a full year operating loss of 36.4 billion yen ($366.4 million) due largely in part to poor sales of the Wii U. The operating loss is the second in a row for Mario and company.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently announced a number of hit titles were due out for the Wii U starting this summer and leading into next year. It’s good news for Nintendo and gamers alike but pending consoles from Nintendo’s two largest rivals look to rain on its already damp parade.

Sony announced the PlayStation 4 at a media event back in February and Microsoft is planning a similar reveal event later this month. Not much is really known about that the Xbox event has in store but we expect to actually see what the console will look like and get a glimpse of Call of Duty: Ghosts, if nothing else. Both consoles are expected to launch in the US in time for the holidays.




User Comments: 10

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Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Looks like Nintendo are trying pretty hard to clean up their mess. I just can't see anything in this Wii U.

customcarvin customcarvin said:

I think it may be time for Nintendo to take the path of Sega, where they develop cross platform games... It seems as though they're running out of hardware gimmicks to try to monopolize on.

JC713 JC713 said:

RIP Nintendo. My favorite gaming company. I feel like they should have waited to see what the PS4 and next gen Xbox will bring to the table before jumping in with a new console. An updated Wii with better graphics would have gained them enough time. CoD Ghosts doesnt even support the Wii U (yet). That is a big blow to the company. I think Nintendo should develop mobile games (for iOS and Android).

Guest said:

Nintendo isn't really struggling. The WiiU is selling less than expected, but it doesn't matter, the thing only needs to sell as well as the Gamecube to be a success, a few amazing new exclusives and it'll move tons of units. And the 3DS has sold very well now and has a boatload of great games out already and tons more on the way.

People look at new gaming products today and see that they're not selling 20million units on release day and that the companies don't make as much as Apple and think the companies are struggling. The Big N has something like 10billion dollars in the bank, they're fine.

Nintendo would be crazy to license out their properties to other platforms, their IP's are legendary and can sell systems on their own if necessary lol.

1 person liked this | Ravik Ravik said:

Nintendo isn't really struggling...the thing only needs to seel as well as the Gamecube to be a success...

You're right. Nintendo is not struggling financially--however, they did take some unnecessary risks with their latest console that is going to put them in an unnecessarily difficult position for the longterm game.

Had Nintendo simply released a Wii 2.0 with 1080p graphics with a simple Wii / Virtual Console compatibility, the system would have sold like hot-cakes and it would have put them in a much better position to release a "trendy" system the next time around. Better still...they could have spent more configuring their 3rd-party peripheral integration system and let the market dicatate the innovation support for the system!

Instead, we got the Wii-U, which feels very much like a pair of famous plumbers were asked to use their plungers to cram every new innovation in the works into a single system in an attempt to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time!

Unfortunately, it would seem that Nintendo doesn't fully understand the root for their own successes with the Wii and the DS. The Wii and the DS innovation were both successful becuase they came at a time when innovation in video gaming was growing very stale. Console + controller + couch = console, and Screen + thumbs = Portable.

The Wii and the DS broke these trends, and inspired new innovations. Plus, it caused rival companies (like Microsoft and Sony)--who were previously unintersted in this type of innovation--to build it into their business models just so they could compete with Nintendo's overwhelming success! Innovation became a staple for new systems overnight, and you will see it in most new systems for years to come.

But innovation alone is not the motivating factor for a system. It all boils down to 1) games, and 2) a quality system. Nintendo botched both of these with the Wii-U launch, failing to deliver a solid catalog of supporting titles at the system's initial launch, and by failing to deliver a system that people couldn't live without. The OS UI is a nightmare to use, and even with the updates it's still unnecessarily slow.

I've said before that the Wii-U has great hardware specs...but Nintendo's going to have to do more than cut a bit of red-tape to fix this system. If I were them, I'd merge the Wii and Wii-U OS UI immediately. No more two UIs within one system. If you're going to provide Wii compatibility...then provide it without having to go into "retro" mode. By doing this you would immediately be able to add 1,000+ Wii, VC, and WiiWare games to the console's library! This one is simply a no-brainer...

-Ravik-

Guest said:

I'm surprised that Lego "GTA" style game isn't pushing more hardware, that game makes me want a WiiU!! Quite the exclusive, they should try this thing called 'advertising' for it, seems to be the biggest problem with WiiU, no advertising. Can't remember the last time I saw an ad for anything Nintendo.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Am I the only one that loves the wii U here?

Tvii is an amazing feature, watching youtube and netflix is great and I only have one game but it's the reason I bought the wii U.

Ravik Ravik said:

Am I the only one that loves the wii U here?

Tvii is an amazing feature, watching youtube and netflix is great and I only have one game but it's the reason I bought the wii U.

Don't get me wrong...the Wii-U's media features are good. But if the only reason you bought a Wii-U was for the TV features, then I would suggest that there was an accidental shift in Nintendo's marketing strategy--furthermore, I think your comment that "I only have one game" states the problem quite plainly. The fact is Nintendo is first and foremost a video game company (by their own admition). If people aren't buying their systems for games, then they have a *real* problem on their hands that they need to address.

As I said in my previous post, if Nintendo simply merged (or at least simplified) their Wii and Wii-U OS UIs they'd be doing themselves a HUGE favor. People want to be able to boot straight into their games without having to navigate a clumsy, multi-step labyrinth that requires the switching of controllers, etc. Even the recent "Hold B at Boot" update didn't improve anything--it's still a hassle because you have to switch controllers and go through several more steps to load your game. This problem should be fixed STAT before Microsoft and Sony release their systems later this year...

FYI: I enjoy all systems equally...but I have special fondness for just about anything Nintendo does. So don't get me wrong--I'm a supporter. I would just love to see them pull out of this depression they're in.

-Ravik-

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Well, Being a dedicated monster hunter fan, I won't simply NEED another game for a long time! I'm anticipating some new titles but for now I'm satisfied, and I consider the other features a bonus. (I don't even have cable/can't utilize tvii) I've used it at my brothers before and thought it was the shit. But I love being able to control my entire TV from my bed before I go to sleep and having my TV be off when I wake up.

Guest said:

I think it may be time for Nintendo to take the path of Sega, where they develop cross platform games... It seems as though they're running out of hardware gimmicks to try to monopolize on.

I think it's a bad idea cause last time I remember, the quality of Sega's games went downhill after they exited the hardware business.

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