In an interview with Asahi Shimbun, Nintendo’s President Tatsumi Kimishima talked about getting into the movie business again(you can read about that here), he also spoke of games going to mobile phones, but more interestingly he spoke of the NX and said it isn’t a direct replacement for the Wii U and 3DS, here are parts of the interview:
Q.) You’re currently working to invest your IP in new fields. In April Nintendo sold its stake in the Seattle Mariners; are you putting the income from that to use?
A.) We aren’t looking to make money simply by directly licensing our characters, but we must invest heavily in new areas such as film production going forward. When we’ve finalized that sale, we’d like to use part of the proceeds in these areas.
Q.) By film production, you mean movies?
A.) The most common meaning is films, but there’s a variety of opportunities such as video content. We’re currently talking with a number of partners, and I think we’ll be able to finalize something in the not-too-distant future.
Q.) In the past, there was a live-action Super Mario Brothers movie, correct?
A.) That live-action film didn’t do particularly well at the box office. From now on we’d like to do things ourselves more than just license something.
Q.) Your next apps will be the two games announced for release this fall, correct?
A.) That’s right.
Q.) The Animal Crossing series, where players enjoy creating fantasy towns, has fans from children to adults. Is the plan to have the smartphone app connect with games on traditional hardware?
A.) We aim to have our smartphone games work in synergy with our traditional hardware, so we’d like to make something like that a reality. I feel that we at Nintendo are well-suited for that sort of thing.
Q.) Do you mean interacting with the 3DS?
A.) Considering the sales numbers for the platform, I don’t think you would be wrong to imagine as much.
Q.) Fire Emblem is more popular amongst hard-boiled fans. It’s a SRPG where you direct an army, after all.
A.) It’s precisely because of that that we felt it was a good fit for smartphones. But if we were to bring it over 1:1 it would feel a bit pointless. So the question is, what parts of Fire Emblem would be enjoyable to bring to smartphones? That was the key question, and while I’m afraid the answer to that is an industry secret, we’re keeping it in mind as we develop.
Q.) In your future apps the plan is to have more monetization, but is there any concern about the increasing number of people who spend too much on smartphone games?
A.) At the moment, we have no official reports on that. However, the players of Nintendo games are not simply made up of people who can splurge on any amount of DLC. We’re working for a solution that can satisfy everyone.
Q.) What are your thoughts on your next-generation console, NX?
A.) It’s something very new. The hardware, the software lineup, all of it is something I’d like to play for the first time myself.
Q.) By releasing in March 2017, you’re missing end-of-year sales. Isn’t that a bit late?
A.) It’s for the purposes of our game development schedule. When people finish the launch titles, they’ll want things to buy in spring, on summer break, at Christmas. As such, it’s not simply a question of when the hardware’s ready; rather, we need to ensure our software lineup is also in a good place.
Q.) Is that in response to criticisms that the Wii U stalled out due to lack of games?
A.) That was indeed a learning experience for us. However, it’s also true that we were struggling with the exchange rate at the time as well.
Q.) Given the NX will be released next March, won’t that cause people to stop buying consoles this year?
A.) Our business is a lively one. Of course, if you compare the Wii U to the Wii, you understand that situation. When the NX is released, the Wii U business will slow. But the 3DS has Pokemon coming this autumn, and that’s such a big hit that I can’t imagine the NX will have a negative impact on the 3DS.
Q.) It seems more to me that the NX will have an effect on the Wii U due to the fact that both will be consoles.
A.) I suppose it can be seen that way. However, the NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It’s a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don’t feel it’s a pure replacement for the Wii U.