Video game enthusiasts are generally always curious about what Nintendo's up to, but we're going to be staring at the company particularly hard through 2016.
This is the year we'll learn more about the mysterious NX (and maybe even get the chance to buy it), watch Nintendo build up its presence on mobile platforms, and see its properties expand to mediums beyond their respective games.
But Nintendo is actually on-track to make the next few years interesting. As in "Increase our operating profits by 100 billion yen / $855 million per year" interesting. That's about four times what Nintendo earned in 2015.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently revealed Nintendo's long-term plans for growth. One noteworthy point is that the NX is reportedly "a departure from existing game hardware."
The NX is also being developed with input from Japanese mobile network giant DeNA (which is collaborating with Nintendo to help deliver the former's mobile presence). It's possible said input centers around the NX's networking software.
We already know Nintendo is gearing up to hit mobile, though we still don't know a lot about those plans beyond the impending launch of the social networking game / app Miitomo.
Arguably, the most interesting (and potentially lucrative) part of Nintendo's business plan is its upcoming push to feature its mascots and properties outside of games. Sure, you can buy shirts with Mario on them, and Pokémon has kind of existed everywhere since 1998. But we're talking about far more ambitious projects: Movies, TV shows, and the planned Universal theme park.
Imagine watching a sprawling Zelda movie trilogy to rival Lord of the Rings. Imagine reading a dark novel series inspired by Metroid. Imagine eating too many theme park turkey legs, boarding "Kid Icarus's Flight," and throwing up on a plastic facsimile of Pit's head.
Though Kimishima delivered the news about Nintendo's future goals, it's likely he's carrying out the plans former President Satoru Iwata formulated for the company before his death last July. Unfortunately, we'll probably never know for sure where Iwata's wishes end and where Kimishima's new vision begins.
That said, it's interesting how Nintendo's legacy as a company is coming full-circle. These days, people automatically think about video games when they hear the word "Nintendo" (which is remarkable -- not even Sony or Microsoft are known exclusively for video games), but Nintendo dabbled in a great deal of ventures throughout its 127-year history.
Most Nintendo fans know about the Hanafuda cards, the toys, and the infamous love hotels, but there was even more than that: Ramen, a taxi service, and even foldable lightweight baby strollers with a penchant for pinching.
It needs to be mentioned that many of Nintendo's early business ventures were failures; you can't make a product that injures toddlers and expect to come out looking like the good guy.
Still, positive and negative experiences are both valuable for a company, especially one that's looking to re-visit its roots. We should see some interesting things from Nintendo in 2016 and beyond, even if its profits don't actually quadruple.