After a frustrating fiscal year for Nintendo, the Wii U is falling behind the Xbox One and PS4, even though the Wii U was the first to hit the market. (more in depth statistics and price points here). President Satoru Iwata has realized that Nintendo is looked upon differently and is taking a different approach:
“For the mass market you need to provide something that most of the middle class can afford.”
This statement seems to be the antithesis of the rest of the gaming market, placing their consoles at $600 a piece and $60 for the base game with large amounts of downloadable content and expansions that can rack the price up to $100 or above.
In his interview with Reuters, Iwata repeatedly uses the phrase “Emerging markets”.
He describes these middle-class markets and cheaper gaming systems in a way that suggests he’s planning on moving into countries where video games are not yet a common commodity.
For a gaming system that’s seen as elementary and primarily for casual gamers, this is a seemingly natural move, but it’s being done in a brilliant way.
Iwata plans on pursing China as his main market, where a decade long ban on consoles has recently been lifted. It’s completed censorship rules have been released for game companies. When asked about the ban, Iwata had this to say: “I don’t think the lifting of the ban has solved all of the difficulties in entering it, we need to study it more.”
He’s even gone so far as to criticize Microsoft’s approach to this new market with the immediate release of Xbox One and its ever-expanding lineup of games. “For us, Microsoft’s approach wouldn’t work,” Iwata said.
The plan is to do more research and gradually introduce games that have been proven to work in a Chinese market rather than dump in their way of doing things and expect China to jump on board.
Cautious, his approach is seemingly better for the market he’s joining and there is something to be said about the confident way Nintendo is handling their losses versus projected numbers over the last year.
Could this be the move to catch Nintendo up in the consoles game? Will slow and steady win the race? We don’t know yet, but we will. Follow our banners for Nintendo news as more information surfaces.