Nintendo will not be selling the upcoming NX console at a loss, according to statements made by Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima at a recent investors call. Kimishima says the Wii U was sold at a time when the Japanese yen was strong and Nintendo is looking to sell the new console at a profit.
"We are not thinking of launching the hardware at a loss," said Kimishima. "When Wii U was launched, the yen was very strong. I am assuming that situation will not repeat itself. Selling at a loss at launch would not support the business, so we are keeping that mind in developing NX."
Back in 2012, prior to the launch of the Wii U, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that the Wii U was priced for consumers, not based on production costs. Selling consoles at a loss is actually rather normal in the game industry, where platform holders look towards software sales to make a profit. At the time, Nintendo was bucking the trend with the Wii and the 3DS, both of which were profitable at launch.
"The Wii U hardware will have a negative impact on Nintendo's profits early after the launch because rather than determining a price based on its manufacturing cost, we selected one that consumers would consider to be reasonable," Iwata said at the time.
By August 2013, the Wii U was still being sold at a loss; the system didn't become profitable until May of 2014. With the NX, Nintendo is far more conservative, compared to the company that was coming off the success of the Nintendo Wii.
Kimishima also explained that Nintendo is looking to make mobile gaming one of the company's pillars moving forward. The company launched Miitomo for Android and iOS recently and followed that with the announcement of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games for mobile platforms.
"As we have reiterated, we want to grow smart device gaming as one of the pillars of Nintendo's revenue stream," said Kimishima. "As for shifting managerial resources in that direction, we have very capable developers who are working on development of games for smart devices, as you already know."
"Of course, Mr. Miyamoto, our Creative Fellow, is also supporting the business for smart devices from a company-wide perspective. To explain the level of engagement of Mr. Miyamoto, he is having specific talks with developers of games for smart devices on what would be desirable overall. In that sense, what you see from the outside may be markedly different from what we see on the inside. As I have said, we want this to be one of the pillars of our business."