Nintendo could embrace smart phones after posting loss

Nintendo's president has said the firm is looking into a new business structure that could include smart phones and tablets.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Nintendo could soon start releasing games on smart phones and tablets. Company president Satoru Iwata said the firm was looking into a "new business structure" that could involve smart devices, Bloomberg reports. This is because its Wii U console isn't doing too well.

Just before holding the press conference in which Iwata made the announcement, Nintendo posted an annual loss of 25 billion yen (£146 million) because of lagging demand for its Wii U. Sad times.

The drop in profits was the biggest fall for Nintendo in more than 12 years in the US. Previously, it had predicted a 55 billion yen profit. It readjusted its predictions for the Wii U too -- from 9 million sales down to 2.8 million. It also said it would sell 19 million games, down from a previous estimate of 38 million.

So the company might move to smart phones and tablets in an attempt to revive its fortunes.

"We are thinking about a new business structure," Iwata told the press in Osaka, Japan. "Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-playing business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smart phone."

The Wii U may be selling poorly, but Nintendo's handheld consoles are still doing well. Games for its portfolio of handhelds shot up 45 per cent last year. The 3DS was also the bestselling console in the UK in 2013.

The Wii U has baffled consumers. It's also facing tough competition from Sony and Microsoft's new machines. The PS4 has sold 4.2 million units since launch, and is outselling the Xbox One on these shores.

Would you like to see Nintendo games on your smart phone? What can Nintendo do to turn around its fortunes? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.