Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 3, 2015

Kimishima Interview from Time

Now things are beginning to cook! Kimishima spoke to Time magazine. What Nintendo doesn’t realize is that my microphones were secretly there! Oh yes. If the Reader would be quiet for a moment, we will be able to hear what Kimishima says…

“Nintendo has talked for years about increasing the gaming population,” says Kimishima. “But to further that goal, we want to increase the population who has access to Nintendo’s IP first and foremost. Of course the smart device business is not a simple business, it is a highly competitive business, and so for us just to take our IP and drop it into the smart device business, in that existing red ocean, I believe would not be a very successful strategy to take.”

“We want to increase the population of those people who have access to our IP, and we also need to make the way they access our IP as simple as we can or as easy as we can. And that’s how we’re going to make the smart device business successful.”

Oh my goodness, reader! I almost had a heart attack reading this. It has been a long time since I heard Nintendo talk about GROWING the gaming population. All I’ve heard from Iwata during 8th Generation was 3d! 3d! 3d! and MORE PROFITS (e.g. Amiibos).

Can the reader see what was in bold? It is Blue Ocean talk! When was the last time Nintendo has talked Blue Ocean? I follow what Nintendo says, and I would have to go back YEARS.

Above: Mandatory reading for anyone interested in Nintendo’s business maneuvers.

Kimishima is saying, in a way that doesn’t confuse the Time reporter, that Nintendo’s mobile strategy is primarily a marketing strategy for their IPs. Nintendo is using mobile games to market their IPs. This is no different from Nintendo using cartoon shows or cereal to market their IPs in the 1980s.

Above: Nintendo Cereal. Part of a nutritious breakfast!

Kimishima is not done. He continues:

“What we really want to do is we want people to want to interact with our IP,” he says. “And so we want to increase the frequency with which they encounter our IP, whether that’s through them parks, or merchandize with our IP, or just images and visual interactions with Nintendo IP.”

It’s a marketing strategy. Sure they want it to make money, but Nintendo is seeing that its IPs are its asset.

“And so of course we need something to connect all of this together, and this is where My Nintendo as well as the Nintendo Account system comes in,” he says, describing Nintendo Account as a strategy to unify all of Nintendo’s properties across pretty much every platform, from Nintendo’s own devices to tablets and smartphones to PCs and beyond.

Oh, be still my heart!

“So for My Nintendo, of course you’ll get points in traditional ways like through the purchase of software,” Kimishima explains. “But we’re also looking at nontraditional ways of getting points just by accessing our content, wherever you may find it. And you’ll be able to use those points in some way or other to get benefits at places like theme parks, or perhaps when purchasing merchandize. There will be opportunities for these points to benefit the end user.”

Gaming goes through trends. There was the 3d trend where EVERY GAME had to be 3d even when it didn’t need to be (like Tetris). There was the cinematic trend where EVERY GAME had to be a cinematic experience even when it didn’t need to be (like Tetris). Currently, we have an experience trend where EVERY GAME has experience bars even when you don’t them to be (I’m sure a Tetris of this type is in the works). The achievement system has turned in to the experience bars system where we have experience bars all over the place. I should probably add experience bars to my website so the more people come here, the higher their experience bars go! Then they can say, “What!? You are only Level 12 Malstrom Reader? I am Level 56 Malstrom Reader! You need to get your act together!” And what can critics say to that!? I am only following what the Game Industry is doing!

I can see the… uh… Nintendo rabid… running around to every theme park, every merchandise, to get all these ‘points’. These ‘points’ trend is to create consistent Nintendo shoppers. I don’t like it, but I’m the ‘too savvy’ consumer to be affected by it.

“So again, we’re looking at really strengthening the connections between My Nintendo and the Nintendo Account system, as well as—and this is I think probably our number one overall goal—connecting all of our Nintendo IP within this framework and allowing our customer base to have access to our IP via this, and gain benefits from that access and that connection. I think that will be something that no other company has to offer.

Is the bold just a meaningless PR statement, or does it hint to the SECRETS of the NX? We will have to see.

It’s very important for us to establish both of these things, but in order for people to create a Nintendo Account, we must first make them want to do so.

Give the president a raise! Who would have thought? You must make them want to do something for they do it? Genius!

Next up, the president may say they have to put out games people want to buy in order for them to want to buy the hardware. Let’s hope he gets there, reader!

“So they’ll start earning points not only by using their software, but by interacting with our stuff, not just by purchasing software, but by interacting both at theme parks and also with merchandize. So something that’s again simple and easy for the consumer to accomplish. And then and only then, once we’ve established these roads by which consumers can reach our content on smart devices, then that’ll be the right timing for us to bring more of our Nintendo IP to that business.”

Points, points, points, points, points, points, points, points, points…. I don’t see the point.

“The point that I was trying to get across was that Wii has sold so much and is being played by so many people, it’s not going to be easy to make them leave that and come to the next system. That was my only point, that it was a difficult task for us to bring those consumers from Wii to Wii U. But unfortunately it doesn’t look like my message got across clearly.”

People were praising Kimishima precisely because they thought he knew Wii U would be a failure. Now that he is saying otherwise, people are going to think there is no difference with Kimishima and the rest of the Nintendo Board.

What we’re seeing instead is that the Amiibo are being picked up more as a collection item at this point, rather than, say, as an interactive item with software. And so we haven’t really established them as an enhancement for all of our software at this point.”

At least he is saying how Amiibos are a failure in that regard. People are just buying them because they are RABID NINTENDO FANS WHO BUILD SHRINES. That is the Amiibo audience currently. Amiibos need to be sold to consumers like Malstrom. But how does Nintendo do it?

It’d be cool if the Amiibo unlocked the Virtual Console games of that character. That would be worth the price of buying them alone. That is interaction enough for me!

“With respect to Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Takeda, really what we want to do with the whole fellowship position in the organization is to leverage all of that knowledge and all of that experience they have, to really look at the future of Nintendo, to bring that creative force into crafting and developing what we are going to be in the future. And I’m not talking about just the next year or two, but the future, and you can hear the capital ‘F’ there I think.”

Nintendo translated: “We need to milk their talents for all they are worth before they retire!”

“Mr. Miyamoto, for instance, is spending a lot of time, not only with his fellow developers, but also working with Universal Theme Parks to design the Nintendo experience that will evolve there. In fact, you may even be seeing Nintendo characters more often in the clothing and shoes that people wear.”


“Mr. Iwata had, when he previously talked about the quality of life initiative, I believe he had talked about it being related to sleep and fatigue,” says Kimishima. “And the only information I really have now is to say that the quality of life initiative is still under development, and I have no further information to share. It’s just not at the point in development where I feel I can make any announcements at this time.”

Now here is some news. It sounds like the company got cold feet. I doubt they had much confidence in their projects. It likely didn’t have much enthusiasm from inside the company. No one joined Nintendo to work on sleep fatigue projects.

“NX [the codename for Nintendo’s next game system] is in development,” says Kimishima, reaffirming that Nintendo will have more to say about it next year, and calling it “a next step in our dedicated device strategy, the core and primary focus of our business.”

What!? Nintendo is going to keep making DEDICATED GAME CONSOLES? Oh, the OUTRAGE! Why doesn’t Nintendo listen to the game journalists and analysts who tell them to destroy their own business and build up Microsoft or Sony’s businesses by going third party? Oh, this is not a happy day for those people!

I’ve suddenly realized why they so hate Nintendo and why Nintendo is so loved. Nintendo represents the Old School gaming consciousness. It is HATED by the technocrats who want dedicated game consoles to go away ever since Trip Hawkins of EA thought there would be no more game consoles (then the NES appeared). It is LOVED by so many because gamers, even non-Nintendo fans, understand this Nintendo consciousness is needed for gaming. Without it, gaming would become nothing but marketing tentacles of non-game companies.

“That being said, I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.”

This is good.

“As for the codename NX, I don’t believe that there’s any real meaning behind it, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know where it came from,” says Kimishima, laughing when I ask. “Or perhaps Mr. Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance.”

Perhaps Iwata was a closet Enterprise fan?

Above: All aboard the NX!

The good news is that we did not hear about 3d or Virtual Reality. We did hear about account system which raises more questions.

I cannot speak for everyone, but a huge reason for the appeal of the Wii, to me, was the Virtual Console. I LOVE THE VIRTUAL CONSOLE. However, I hated how it was bound to hardware. I want to buy Super Mario Brothers for the account and never have to buy it again. I’ve already bought that game a dozen times, how many more times must I buy it? Then Nintendo hardware should connect to my account and be able to play my Virtual Console games there. This is how i-Tunes work which is how Iwata talked about the Virtual Console originally.

When my Wii stopped working, I lost all my Virtual Console games which was an investment of hundreds of dollars. I stick to original hardware now because of this. Nintendo has to regain trust of consumers with their account system.

I fear the account system is more about redistributing experience points across multiple platforms in order to market instead of being an ‘account library’.

I want a Nintendo account where I buy all my games so it becomes a ‘Digital Collection’ I can apply to any Nintendo hardware. This is what must happen or the account system will be seen as a failure.



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