Nintendo's Iwata Preparing to "Redefine" Company's Focus

Nintendo's Iwata Preparing to "Redefine" Company's Focus

Satoru Iwata says the company focus on games isn't changing, but Nintendo won't be held back by its heritage.

The Wii U is still flailing around until Mario Kart 8 touches down, but the 3DS still has an iron grip on the portable market, so it's best not to count Nintendo out. Back in January, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the company would focus on improving the "quality of life" of its consumers. Some wondered if that mean leaving behind gaming, but those people obviously don't know Nintendo.

"Surely, a lot of people around the world must think 'Nintendo is a company that is just for video games,' about us, and I believe that there are more and more of our own employees who've begun to think like that," Iwata told Diamond.jp in an interview translated by Siliconera. "Even if the fact that our focus is videogames won't be changing, I felt the need to take this occasion to say 'Nintendo is a company that can do whatever they want'."

Iwata said the expansion of Nintendo's focus to general entertainment came about with the passing of former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi.

"This subject came to light when Yamauchi passed away, but I felt 'our surroundings are greatly changing. We need to redefine what Nintendo must do, from this point on.' However, I felt that saying 'Nintendo will do anything,' was also the wrong idea for the company," explained Iwata. "Yamauchi was one to always say 'Nintendo is a company for entertainment, and it shouldn't be for anything else,' and he didn't necessarily think that 'entertainment = video games'. I've been wondering how to express Yamauchi's feelings, and I've been thinking about it non-stop, even during the New Year's holiday break."

He further defined how Nintendo view the term "quality of life", with an emphasis on using fun to make people's lives better.

"Lately, the words 'QOL' (quality of life) have come up," said Iwata. "Entertainment is there to improve people's quality of life. After your basic needs, there's entertainment. However, when it comes to 'improving people's quality of life,' I didn't know the difference between us and household appliance makers. At the start of this year, I finally figured that 'improving people's quality of life with fun,' with emphasis to the 'fun' would be perfect for Nintendo."

Of course, how this will cause Nintendo to change its present course and right the ship is still indeterminate. The company has gotten some flack from not changing with the times as quick as its shareholders would like, but it continues to implement new features in its own unique style. Back in January, Iwata said that "health" is the first target for Nintendo's new quality-of-life platform, possibly relating to a new incarnation of the Wii Fit brand.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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