During Nintendo’s latest earnings briefing, the company discusses the central figure of its next smartphone game and its plans on using virtual reality.
Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima – the company’s new president and successor to Satoru Iwata – recently revealed that the firm’s next video game for mobile devices will feature a well-known character from its huge roster of beloved figures. Unfortunately, Kimishima didn’t give any additional information regarding exactly which franchise the character is from, leaving many Nintendo fans to speculate who it could be.
Kimishima did, however, explain that the forthcoming smartphone title “will not be a communication app” like the company’s first mobile game release known as Miitomo, which is set to come out in March of this year. Bearing that in mind, even with the aforementioned details in place, the actual contents of the next installment in Nintendo’s foray into the mobile gaming world is really anyone’s guess, as it could be a platformer starring Mario, an action-adventure release focusing on Link, or even a Pokémon-related title featuring Pikachu.
During the earnings briefing, Nintendo’s CEO also shared his thoughts on the company utilizing virtual reality for its releases in the future. As seen in the tweets below, The Wall Street Journal‘s Tokyo tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki asked Kimishima on the matter, and discovered that Nintendo is currently looking into the technology, but it doesn’t have any concrete plans at the moment for a VR release.
I asked Kimishima: u interested in VR? He said: yes. well, as head of game firm, I guess no one can say "not interested" (to part 2)— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) February 2, 2016
(cont'd) I guess Nintendo isn't planning anything VR in the near future because he said more time and efforts needed to assess technology.— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) February 2, 2016
Several months ago, when discussing the possibility of the company developing VR titles, Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aimé, expressed a disinterest in moving into the market, as he said that current virtual reality is “not fun”. Of course, now that some time has passed and developers have seemingly gotten a better handle on the technology, it’s possible for Fils-Aimé to have a different opinion. Nevertheless, even if he didn’t, with Kimishima being the company’s CEO, his word on the issue supersedes the Nintendo of America president’s.
Nintendo’s decision to explore different gaming markets is a wise one, as the financial figures for its current console is far behind its competitors in PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Although it was recently revealed that Wii U sales have surpassed 12 million units sold worldwide, which is an admirable, albeit modest figure in comparison to Sony’s and Microsoft’s systems, Nintendo’s overall revenue took a nosedive, declining 3.9 percent while profit plunged by 36.5 percent.
In order for Nintendo to return to its former glory, the company’s jump into on-the-go gaming will need to be a rousing success. Sure, shares rose 33 percent last year when it was announced that free-to-play smartphone games would be developed for mobile devices, but Miitomo and the following lineup will need to knock it out of the park upon release. Furthermore, the details involving the new Nintendo console codenamed NX might need to start getting talked up by the company sooner rather than later in order to renew fans’ and investors’ interests in its products.
Nintendo‘s first mobile game entitled Miitomo is on track to come out sometime in March 2016, with subsequent free-to-play games’ availability lacking official release dates.