In other words, could it be that Nintendo said, “Hey, because of the small install base for both our Wii U and 3DS are so small, we can’t make any money selling games for them. It will be some time before we can launch a new console. Lets make games for systems which consumers already have and act like those systems are our console.”

The Nintendo Smartphone games are not intended for hardcore console gamers. If console gamers believe this is the case, they are in for HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 5, 2015

Nintendo Investor Question and Answer 76th Fiscal Term

So many people emailed the English translation to me! I suppose that means you’re ready.

For those who don’t know, Nintendo does these ‘Question and Answer’ sessions with investors. Sometimes really stupid questions are asked. It can be very fun. But due to the magic of the Internet, Malstrom was secretly in the audience holding up a microphone and scribbling notes on a pad.

And now, reader, you and I will have a chat about Nintendo’s strategy.

Above: Malstrom is in front of you.

Let us begin.

If you quote any or all of this Q&A, please display the URL of this website or put a link to this website.

What is this!? It looks like Nintendo has gotten tired of journalists quoting or using content from the Q/As without giving people a link to the actual source. A fun question is: “Why would journalists not display the URL or link to it?” It is because they are lazy. It is to quote parts of it to create an impression that you were actually present for the event. “But Malstrom, do you not make the impression that you were actually at the event?” I do, but I do so in obvious parody. “But what about the time when…” Enough! If the Reader will be quiet, we can get this going.

Regarding monetization, we are considering to distribute paid content such as clothes for Mii, etc. For the smart device applications that we will be releasing after Miitomo, we are considering monetization methods optimal for each application, including charging a fixed amount at point of purchase.

They don’t know about monetization. They are playing it by game per game. There is no ‘vast strategy’ for monetization at Nintendo at the moment.

Although we have introduced Miitomo as a “communication application,” we believe that it is a unique and Nintendo-like application in terms of the fact that it will encourage people who usually do not proactively share messages and information with others to enjoy a new type of communication by utilizing Nintendo’s IP called Mii.

It’s not even a freaking game! Everyone’s expectations for Nintendo is to make smartphone games, blow away all competition, make mad profits, and diversify their focus away from dedicated hardware. What is going on is that Nintendo is directing the apps to direct the user to Nintendo’s proprietary markets (e.g. dedicated hardware). If Nintendo makes some profit off these apps, that’s cool to Nintendo.

Other than this first application called Miitomo, we are planning other applications that will work with Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems. For our applications that will be enjoyed only on smart devices, we are creating ideas so that even those smart device users who do not usually play with applications can enjoy them.

Nintendo smartphone apps = Wii’s Channels. Same strategy. Get people to go to the Nintendo hardware.

And now a word from Shigeru Miyamoto.

While it is important for us to earn profits from our smart device business alone, our primary objective is to encourage smart device users to be interested in and to play with our dedicated video game systems, and we are focused on this goal.

It’s the  Wii Channels! It is the ‘Everyone Votes Channel’ and other type of channels that appeared on the Wii. Their job was to encourage users to get interested in the normal Wii games. Nintendo’s smartphone strategy is the same as the Wii channels. Miyamoto specifically even says this! What more is there to say? Let us continue.

Nintendo is not a company that deals in daily necessities. Because we are engaged in the entertainment business where no one can forecast what will be the next big thing and where we have to create the demand ourselves, our job is to always evaluate the situation from time to time and increase the possibility of creating the next big thing. Just when Nintendo started to earn stable revenue with the hit of GAME & WATCH, our sales doubled with the Donkey Kong arcade game. And when we were able to earn rather stable profits from the arcade game business, because our Famicom (known as Nintendo Entertainment System overseas) business started to get on track, we ceased our arcade business and started focusing on the home entertainment business.

What Miyamoto is saying is that Nintendo did not expect video game revenue to make up any sizable part of its company revenue. You never know when the next big thing will occur in entertainment. A game console only became feasible because constant arcade hits were a reality.

What Miyamoto is NOT saying was that Nintendo’s growth in video games was not only due to ‘hit games’ but also due to a huge growing trend. Video games were growing by insane measures. Atari, during its time, was the fastest growing company in the entire history of the United States. Nintendo grew so rapidly in video games because it also rode the video game growth trend.

Strangely, smartphones have become somewhat flat in their growth and are approaching stagnancy. Even if Nintendo created the best game ever for smartphones, it cannot possibly have the growth of Wii Era or NES Era due to there being no growth trend to ride.

Since the Famicom age, it had often been the case that the software developers who were able to thoroughly comprehend the unique techniques to develop software on unique hardware environments were able to create quality software. Now that anyone with a certain level of knowledge can create applications and especially those for smart devices, we would like to deploy a development environment that eliminates waste as much as possible and is applicable to a variety of devices.

Integrated hardware and software is now a ‘waste’? What Miyamoto is really saying is that integrated hardware and software used to be an asset, now it is a liability. Windows 10, for example, is Microsoft putting software on any type of hardware. Nintendo seems to be doing the same.

Here is Takeda:

I understand that, thanks to the evolution of computer technology, aiming to realize a virtualized software development environment that does not depend on specific hardware is becoming the technological norm today.

If this were true, then why are people shelling out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for retro game systems and cartridges? These same games are available on collection disks and digital download. “Nostalgia!” Are you sure? Think long and hard.

I think Nintendo is missing a trend here.  If entertainment relied on virtualized software development environments, then why did the iPod become big and not the MP3 players? Hardware matters.

Simultaneously, regarding input and output technologies, I believe that it is also in line with the current technological trend that Nintendo should challenge itself with the creation of a unique user interface.

No output technologies? No Nintendo holograms? Damn.

I hope the hardware system doesn’t revolve around the ‘unique user interface’. Even in the NES Era, this was not the case. It was with the N64 and Gamecube that the standard controller dominated everything. During the NES, people played with all sorts of controllers. This would be going in the step of the ‘Famicom Era’ and away from the N64 ruin.


For example, this is one of the objectives of deploying our IP on smart devices but it includes our attempt to increase the awareness of Nintendo by delivering our messages to people whom we have not been able to communicate with when deploying our IP on dedicated game systems.

So….. Nintendo’s financial outlook no longer revolves around hardware or games but…. IPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIP.

Did you hear me, reader?


What I do like about this is that it brings Nintendo closer to the Yamauchi saying of: “NES is just a box people buy to get to Mario.” Nintendo is talking of their hardware as ‘boxes’ people buy to get to their IPs.








From an investor:

You explained that Nintendo is working on deploying Nintendo’s character IP widely and expanding the gaming population. In terms of new IP, Splatoon is doing very well, but I would like to know the current issues on creating new IP for the expansion of the gaming population.


Splatoon is doing SO WELL, the Wii U is outselling the PS4 and Xbox One. Splatoon is doing SO WELL, people will write of its launch decades from now like the original Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. Splatoon is doing SO WELL, Splatoon Mania has erupted around the globe! Splatoon TV shows are being made RIGHT NOW because demand is through the room! At Halloween, everyone dressed up as an Inkling. In fact….


What! I am interrupted in my own post! What is it, reader?

“Splatoon has done none of those things.”

What! But I just read the investor say how well Splatoon is doing.

Is Splatoon doing well or is it because people just want to see something new? Not even the Game Industry does original IPs anymore. I can’t see how Splatoon can be seen as a ‘success’ in any way. And to be honest, I can’t see any Wii U game as being ‘successful’ except for, maybe, Mario Kart U. A game console is only as successful as its games. The Gamecube was a failure because its games were a failure (aside from stand out hits like Smash Brothers Melee). Wii was a success because its games were a success (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, NSMB Wii, Mario Kart Wii). Wii U is a failure because its games are a failure. It is as simple as that.


However, just creating new IP one after another will not yield a good result.

Yeah, we were SO FLOODED with all these new IPs from Nintendo last generation that we gamers ran outside in circles going crazy! It is so good Nintendo put in place this practice of not ‘creating new IP one after another’.

Reader, oh Glorious Reader, tell me, how the hell does Kimishima know that creating new IP one after another will not yield a good result? In other words, how the hell would Nintendo know? Nintendo has no experience creating IP after IP, one after another. So how the hell would Nintendo know this is a ‘bad practice’?

There are two times when Nintendo ‘created IP after IP, one after another’.

NES Era: We saw the rise of Mushroom Kingdom, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and Punch-Out. But we also had failed IPs such as Kid Icarus, Star Tropics, and Mach Racer.

WII Era: I forget the failing ones, but I know they were there. The successful ones were the Miis, Brain Age, Nintendogs, Wii Sports, and Wii Fit (trainer girl!).

From where I’m standing, it looks like Nintendo gains more by putting out more new IPs. Imagine if there were more new IPs than Splatoon. A Nintendo console might actually become EXCITING again.

And that seems to be the end of the question and answer session. The people who translated the early Japanese text made it sound like there would be HUGE BOMBSHELLS going off in Kimishima’s first Q/A session. The ones that piqued my radar are listed in this post. If you turn to the left, there are cookies and punch by the door. Do be a dear and pick some up.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 3, 2015

Email: 7th Saga is great

I gave it a shot on an emulator from my Wii and had a lot of fun. Perhaps the people who bashed the game doesn’t know the advantage of using defense before attack? This is important. I beat Romus after a few tries and didn’t know about the whistle before reading your blog (I’m against using a guide). I didn’t find the NPC until after beating Romus because they were a little out of the way, but I learned the backstory of the boss from them that I thought was cool. I got stuck on Pison until I checked out the potion shop for items to experiment and found one that lowers defense which helped me past him. I stopped after reaching the third town before finding out my SD card malfunctioned and won’t save, but I accepted the loss of all progress because it was fun enough for me to want to do it all over again anyway. I chose the average human and want to save the more interesting classes for replays. I looked for the cartridge at a couple retro stores and couldn’t find it, but I will keep looking. Thanks for bringing this game to my attention!


Cartridge is always the best experience. I can’t exactly say ‘why’, but it is. The game is not expensive unlike the other SNES RPGs. Though, I expect that to change sooner or later.

I’d say 7th Saga is a game for those who really enjoyed the grindy Dragon Warrior 1 where you walk in circles to get exp or gold to get that ‘uber weapon’ as well as those who enjoyed Final Fantasy 1 for the NES for its difficulty and other-worldly theme. 7th Saga is like a NES RPG but in 16 bit.

But I love its innovations:

-Crystal ball so you can avoid random encounters if you are quick enough. It’s like the only JRPG that learned from the innovation that Zelda 2 did!

-Gold on loss is alleviated by buying gems. You don’t lose gems on death. It is like 7th Saga has a Death Tax. You die, you lose half your liquid cash. But if your cash is in hard gems, you get to keep 100% of it! hahahahahaha

-Crystals remove a TON of redundancy from the game. You were so close to getting the Wind Crystal, reader. The Wind Crystal lets you teleport instantly to any town you’ve reached. It saves so much time! The Water Crystal heals your health in battle which means you can allocate your heal spells or potions for out of battle heals. The Star Crystal boosts defense. You get the idea. (But if you die during an apprentice battle, the apprentice takes your crystals and you have to hunt him/her down on the map to get them back!)

-You can only hold 9 of an item. Therefore, you don’t have to buy 99 potions and shit like Final Fantasy 1.

-Each character has different strengths and weaknesses.

-You can team up with another apprentice increasing the replay value further. You are given this opportunity, reader, at Bonzo. You were almost there!

-Teaming up with an ally has its pluses. You have more survivability and can kill monsters easier. However, there is a huge price: experience cut by half. I prefer to go solo to experience up faster.

The real ‘challenge’ is when you fight apprentices. Pison is probably the first ‘big challenge’, but nothing compares to an apprentice battle! You can outlevel Pison or Romus, but you can never outlevel the apprentice! You will be relying on strategy and luck.

7th Saga isn’t for everyone, but I enjoy it for it hearkens to the time before JRPGs turned into anime soap operas. It is also really cool to discover a classic you didn’t know.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 3, 2015

Email: “A Time of War”?


Master Malstrom,
In a recent email you said that Generation 8 was defined by the question “how do consoles sell in a financial depression?” and that in Generation 9 “we will see how game consoles sell during a time of war”. What exactly did you mean by that, and why do you think so? Are you talking about the economic climate of consoles “warring” with each other, or are you talking about the economic-political climate where the U.S. might actually go to an extended wartime in the near future?

Gen 8 was not a “depression” but a “recession” compared with what is to come. We might think it is a depression now, but we are about to experience a much worse depression in the coming years. The recovery we are experiencing is just a gigantic bubble propped up by 0% (ZERO!) percent interest rates for seven years now. The Fed has been talking about raising rates for years but it hasn’t happened because they know that as soon as they raise rates it will prick that economic bubble and the U.S. will slip into a deeper depression. They will not raise rates any time soon in this election cycle because they want the economy to look as good as possible and they don’t want people to realize that this “recovery” — if people can even call it that — is fake. They are supposed to revisit the possibility of interest rate hikes in about six weeks. What is almost certainly going to happen is that they will once again talk about raising rates but not actually do it and have a fourth round of “quantitative easing”, which is basically the government printing more money and buying bad assets to “ease” the pain. But the longer they hold off on rate hikes, the worse the coming depression is going to be.

Now I”m not ruling out the possiblity of actual war, but it’s likely a lot of average people are going to lose almost everything they have in savings and there is going to be a lot of anger and lack of understanding of the root causes. It’s possible we could see riots in the streets, looting, martial law… who knows. Basically what I’m saying is that we will really see how the game console market reacts to a depression in Gen 9.

Another Glorious Reader.


I’m not being US centric here.

There is economic depression. It is in Japan. It is in China. It is in Saudi Arabia. It is all over the world. There is economic depression in the US if you don’t try to fudge the numbers.

Recessions are momentary downturns. Depressions are like recessions that do not stop. Has the ‘recession’ stopped? Of course it hasn’t.

Unlike others, I choose not to participate in economic bad times. For Malstrom, it is the era of the bull. Let the average people engage in economic bad times. You should engage in ‘good times’.

Will times get worse? They could. But that doesn’t hide the fact that they are bad already. But let us put on our investor hat on. The reason why people get rich is because they do things differently than most other people. Before the recession, people were going, “Things are awesome!” The first people to break with the economic gloom and doom are going to be the rich or future rich people. What many people do not realize is that big companies are sitting on a pile of money waiting to invest it. Things could turn around very fast.

As for war, well, there is always war in the future. Human history will always have war. It’s not odd to say it will occur within the next seven to fifteen years. Europe is a powder keg that may break out into civil wars. In east Asia, you have possibility of war breaking out between China and countries like Japan. The United States could be involved in all or none of them. Russia has been on the war path for quite a while.

How does one sell a game console during war? We have never seen this market environment before. I’m sure we’ll see it soon because each passing year without it means greater probability for it to occur.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 3, 2015

Email: Re: Tai Lopez (from your “Nintendo Like Profits” post)

BAD example!
Tai Lopez is a proven con-man and criminal. His whole persona and backstory is an act to lure victims into trusting him. The house in that video is a rental home and the clip is staged.
Proof here:


I just posted a video of ‘rich investor dude’ to spice up a blog post. I never looked into the person.


Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 2, 2015

The Nintendo Dimension

As soon as I say Nintendo isn’t giving us any info, they then do a press conference and talk about the Nintendo account.

Marty’s problem is that he doesn’t think ‘fouth dimensionally’. Everyone gets Nintendo wrong because they don’t think in ‘Nintendo Dimension’. Yamauchi said, “Nintendo believes in a market. OUR MARKET.” It isn’t about dedicated hardware or games or even ‘new games’. It is about Nintendo’s market, the Nintendo Dimension. A new gameplay, for example, is Nintendo owning that game genre for at least a little while. The differentiation of Nintendo from others is that Nintendo Dimension, Nintendo’s own market.

Now let us look at the Wall Street Journal blog telling us what the press conference says.

The Wall Street Journal dude is drinking the same stuff that the others are. They think Nintendo intends to act on smartphones like how other games companies have. But Nintendo is interested in the Nintendo Dimension. The bridge exists in Nintendo Dimension, but not today.

You can hear the disappointment when he says:

On second thought, not clear whether Miitomo should be called a game. It looks more like a communications app with Mii avatars that can be ported to games on Nintendo hardware.

…and then…

Nintendo shares now down 7.5% on the news.

What is going on here? Could it be that Nintendo’s ‘mobile games’ are more of ‘tentacle’ connected to an unseen ‘squid’? Could it be that the Nintendo’s ‘mobile games’ are not intended to exist as a strategy unto and within themselves no more than Nintendo Power or the Super Mario Super Show?

As far as the account system news, this is old. Iwata already revealed this a while back.

My question is about the Virtual Console. Excuse me, Mr. Miyamoto. Can I buy Super Mario Brothers just once now and BE DONE WITH IT!?? How many times must I buy this same game??? It is not leaving any money for the other games!!

An account system indicates you only have to buy the game once. However, this is Nintendo we are talking about.

I look forward to playing Nintendo on my PC. Of course, it isn’t the ‘games’ they are really putting out there but the ‘Nintendo Dimension’ itself.

Above: It’s back folks.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 2, 2015

Email: You’re dead on about NSMB lacking the immersion factor

I know you’ve harped on this so many times before on your site, but I just wanted to say how much I agree with you on this point. As a child when the classic Marios came out, and especially with SMB3, I can’t think of any other game out there that had me so desperate to want to get that game to explore it’s world. The level map system helped cement that feeling of “I’m in a vast new world where anything can happen.”

It’s almost as if Nintendo read the quote above and interpreted as a computer would. Anything can happen to Nintendo meant Super Mario Galaxy – a bunch of nonsensical crap thrown at you. It’s not a cohesive, sensical,magical world. Of course it goes back to Alice and Wonderland… the world has to be something grounded in reality. Something fantastical, yet sensible.

Why has Donkey Kong Country, which used 3d imagery to build its sprites, been accepted and almost even iconic, but NSMB graphics have not?

I think a lot of this has to due with the fact that even though DKC uses “3d imagery”, the animation is still sprite-based 2d. The best angles are chosen for each sprite that give the most iconic looks. Plus, it’s a well known fact that film uses a slower framerate to maximize it’s visual scenery on the viewer – it literally creates a more iconic viewing experience. By limiting the range of animation through sprites, a similar effect happens in 2d animation – literally what we see are “the best” out the animation range and it’s more iconic. 3d animation is more fluid, but it has the same effect as those late night infomercials… cold and scientific, not mystical or iconic.


I really liked the aesthetics of Mario Galaxy (meaning the music and general vibe the game had). I loved its grandiosity. But there was no world, no universe. It was just random crap thrown at you with no coherent structure. Imagine if Zelda overworld made no sense whatsoever when looking at it as a whole. Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario World had OVERWORLDS. The game MADE SENSE because of it. Metroid’s continuous game world makes sense because it has to make sense with it being continuous.

It was always said that in fiction writing, the author must obey the rules of its universe. If a fantasy book has magic defined as a certain way, the author must use it. The rule, if broken, needs to be explained why. If the author doesn’t follow the rules of his universe, then the reader will throw down the book in disgust.

Super Mario Brothers 3 is so rich because of the variety. World 7 is very different from World 4. World 3 is completely different from World 2. World 1 and World 6 are not alike.

You know, Mega Man games were popular due to their variety. Yet, the variety stayed within an overall frame.

Here is a fun question for the day: “What would an immersive 2d Mario be like?”

Whatever answers I come up with, I keep wanting to PLAY such a game! It sounds like so much fun!

This will inevitably confuse Nintendo who is convinced that 2d Mario is about level design and nothing but level design. Level design is very important. But I want to feel like I am on an adventure and not just doing ‘level courses’. What is this shit, Lode Runner?

Above: Lode Runner was a great game, but it was not immersive like Super Mario Brothers.

Nintendo acknowledges that the enemies and music of Super Mario Brothers is Very Important. If this be the case, doesn’t that point to the consumer experience being more than just ‘level design’?

Above: Ice world! Feels a little ominous and somewhat bleak. So awesome! Remember when Mario games didn’t constantly feel like a theme park?

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 2, 2015

Nintendo Like Profits

Iwata said the NX plan was to return to ‘Nintendo-Like profits’. What he is referring to is more like the above chart.

But if you noticed, the chart above is about operating income, not profit.

It’s time to… show me the money!


That clip has transcended that movie and should be a motto of your life, Glorious Reader. Then you can become like this guy:

Above: This guy could be an investor in Nintendo. You never know. Either way, guys like him make sure to read their Malstrom so you should too! (cracking up while I write this…) (Reading is always better with an indoor pool of fish nearby…. or you could just get a fish tank. ……. Or you could go to the gym for your basketball court / gym / and fitness rooms. You could go to movie theater to watch movies. Really, the only true difference between rich people stuff and your stuff is that their stuff has a much larger privacy sphere.)

I’m waiting for more information about Nintendo’s plans to say anything. The little tidbits leaking out are not saying much.

There is the notion going around that Nintendo intends to make ‘mad profits’ off mobile games. This is not a Nintendo way to look at it. Mobile games is only a… tentacle. We need to examine the squid. I think it is impossible to analyze Nintendo’s mobile games on their own because their strategy will not be an isolated one as is the case for most mobile games. When a game company, such as Square, makes a mobile game, they mean to sell the game as a product. I do not think this is Nintendo’s intention. I think Nintendo is using the mobile games as a marketing tool primarily. This marketing will be very sinister because it is ‘interactive’. It will be Interactive Marketing! That’s their great innovation for the upcoming generation! Hahahahahaha!

Back in Generation 7, it was easy to predict the Wii because we had the DS and tons of Nintendo statements (which no one took seriously except for pages like this).

We have no Generation 9 handheld to base the home version off of. But this, itself, is a signal of things to come.

Nintendo is most dangerous when they are quiet. They have been quiet for quite a while. I’ll go through their investor questions and answers when it is available in English. Other than that, it is better to be quiet than to ‘analyze’  off of no information. All the people talking and yakking right now about ‘Nintendo’s Plans’ are showing their idiocy because there is no real information out right now. You’re just pulling stuff from your ass.

Pulling Info From Ass = Conjecture from ‘Revolution’ name. What games you want. Basing off what Sony and Microsoft are doing.

Look at Correct Data = DS design, games, and momentum strategy. Blue Ocean Strategy. Christensen’s disruption. The Wii-mote controller (revealed TGS 2005).

We don’t have shit to base anything off at the moment. And Nintendo is intentionally keeping it that way.

Above: “No info for you, Malstrom!”

Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 30, 2015

Email: NSMB U Has An Expiration Date

I can replay the older 2D platformers today and have a great time. It’s not just nostalgia, that’sbarely a part of it. The games are fine meals and are very high quality, their gameplay go beyond their technical and time limitations. The spectacle of them is being dropped into worlds that you get to explore and conquer with great controls and many, many ways to destroy it.

I felt that excitement with Mario Maker videos because of the new power-ups but quickly lost interest due to all of the focus on people trying to make levels are cruel and ridiculously challenging. I don’t want an easy game, I want something that seems fair and intuitive while courting my interest and imagination. I’m sitting back on it.

NSMB U is something that I would have argued is brilliant, but I remember too many dry spells in it. There are too many levels in the game that don’t stimulate me much as a gamer. It was definitely a blast playing through it the first time, but I stopped playing it after coming one coin short of being able to get the last level of the Super Star Road.

It’s a tough place to be in. It’s fun to play, but not to replay. The game is filled with content, even the recycled Luigi U stuff is fine if you’re ok with speedrunning being mixed into recycling already used content. It only gets a pass since it came with my copy of the game. There are nice challenges added to the game that seem reminiscent of the challenges from Mario Kart DS, but the main game has nowhere near as much love and work done to it as the main game modes of Mario Kart DS.

The only other Mario games (platforms that you actually play as Mario) that weren’t fun for me to replay were Super Mario Bros. 1 (Deluxe and Advance included), Land 1, Super Mario Sunshine and Galaxy 2. I have no plans to play 3D Land and plan to get 3D World when Nintendo eventually gives it away to promote some other future game on Wii U (or when it can be bought for less than $30).


It would be interesting to note why we replay games. NSMB is a dud for music and cool artwork. I still don’t think Nintendo understands the appeal of Classic 2d Mario. Hell, Nintendo still doesn’t get the appeal of classic Zelda either or Metroid!

Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 30, 2015

Email: Miitomo

Master Malstrom

While your retro gaming jaunts do amuse me, I am more interested in your Nintendo business acumen.Did you hear about “Miimoto”? No, that’s not a misspelling of “Miyamoto”. It’s Nintendo’s first foray into mobile apps. It appears to not be a game, but a social application involving Miis. In my reading I happened to stumble upon the following blog post about it.Miitomo: What’s Nintendo trying to do with its first smartphone app?

One paragraph in particular caught my attention.

“I think Miitomo is something of a Trojan Horse for Nintendo’s new “Nintendo Account” service, which will span smartphones, PCs, consoles, and handhelds, with a single login, trading data between them. Getting people excited about making Miis hooks them into that ecosystem — whether they love Nintendo or not.”

This of course reminded me of Yamauchi’s Trojan horse, which you may recall from the book Game Over. According to the book, Yamauchi thought he could get Famicoms into everyone’s homes via the kids’ games, and then get the adults in the family to buy more “mature” software like business applications. That’s why the Famicom was fitted with an expansion port for a modem or keyboard.

Except, could Miitomo actually be the REVERSE? In other words, Yamauchi’s Trojan Horse was intended to use games to sell non-game software, and it failed. Could Miimoto be the opposite, trying to get non-game software to eventually help Nintendo sell their games?

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have an interesting take on Miimoto?


A Glorious Reader


In my world, there is no *time*. All the generations compete together. A game today still has to compete against Pac-Man and Super Mario Brothers. Just because games are better than 8-bit does give it an advantage over Super Mario Brothers, but not a decisive one as they find out if they make a 2d platformer. Hell, it wasn’t long ago that Nintendo never even considered 2d platformers for home consoles. The entire Wii model was based off of the NES and Atari Eras. The Wii marketing was influenced by Atari’s marketing, for example. These ‘Retro jaunts’ are actually paving the way for the future. This is why when the Wii appeared, I could say, “Aha! There it is! There she is! The console that can do the same job as my Atari or NES!”

Technology won’t define the ultimate blockbuster. Despite all of the advances in gaming of the 1980s, Tetris was a simple game with blocks that outsold all. Today, that game is Minecraft. We buy these fancy consoles that do ‘crazy graphics’ yet we play simplistic games with blocks. It is too funny!

The more I am here, the more I feel at times as the Arilou from Star Control 2 (or in darker days, the Orz). I do not understand why people get the context wrong or see drama where it does not exist. Did you know that when Iwata’s successor was named, gaming forums screamed because Iwata’s successor (who we don’t know the name off hand because no one really cares) is a BUSINESSMAN. “What!? Did they hire a BUSINESSMAN to be the Nintendo president? How dare they!” There are gamers out there who actually believe Iwata was not a businessman and that his business skills was not THE REASON why Yamauchi chose him as Nintendo President. Of course, Iwata was a businessman. As for this generation, what is there to say? Everything runs into what we have seen before, but what is new for Generation Eight is ‘how do consoles sell in a financial depression?’ This is what we are seeing now. It is why Microsoft changed its success metric to Xbox Live subscriptions instead of hardware sold. It is why you don’t see analysts having orgasms over PS4’s ‘victory’. With Generation Nine, we will see how game consoles sell during a time of war. I don’t think we’ve seen that type of console market experience!

Anyway, the Nintendo mobile games are really no different than the Nintendo cartoons of the 80s or Nintendo Power. Nintendo makes things to reach out to audience to bring them to their products. Most people spend time in front of their smartphone. Therefore, Nintendo is making ‘games’ for it so people will want to buy Nintendo stuff. The value of mobile games to Nintendo is primarily in is marketing of Nintendo.

We don’t know much about the game to say much more.

We need to know more about the Nintendo NX. But Nintendo is not telling us about it yet. We are in the quiet time between generations for Nintendo.

There can be no analysis because there is nothing to analyze yet. Nintendo’s path will be the one that Iwata put in place before his passing. I expect the Nintendo NX to make money by reducing Nintendo costs. Cross development will be common.

Wait for more information to come out.


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