Ninteno Hope Smartphone Games Will Drive Console Sales
For the first time in five years, Nintendo reported an operating profit for the first half of its fiscal year, as hit game titles helped sales of its game machines.
Known of late for their Nintendo Wii gaming console and their action packed games Nintendo believe that by having Nintendo games available on smartphones consumers will visit retail stores to buy consoles.
“There are tough times ahead for Nintendo, because rivals are already moving on to next-generation technology, such as virtual reality,” said Osamu Kamada, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities.
Nintendo, which long resisted using its rich collection of characters for smartphone games, reversed course in March, when it announced a partnership with DeNA Co., a Tokyo-based mobile-game operator.
The companies said they would release their first game by the end of this year and five in total by March 2017.
The Wall Street Journal said that Nintendo has built anticipation for the smartphone game by keeping the identity of the franchise it features secret. Nintendo has scheduled a meeting with investors for today.
Analysts say the new smartphone game business could generate meaningful sales for Nintendo because the company specializes in reaching so-called casual gamers, who have also been attracted to mobile games. The smartphone game market has expanded rapidly, but competition is fierce, with countless games available free of charge.
“One strategy might be to use smartphone games not primarily to earn profits, but to boost awareness of game characters, which could drive sales of console games in the future,” said Hiroyasu Eguchi, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Nintendo hasn’t given up on the console business and has a next-generation system under development. Mr. Kimishima said Wednesday that he might touch on the project Thursday but wouldn’t disclose sensitive details.
Mr. Kimishima said the company would maintain one initiative begun by his predecessor as president, Satoru Iwata, who died in July. The company plans a “Nintendo Direct” online presentation-a traditional way for the company to introduce new products or services-by the end of the year, he said.