Nintendo has announced plans to introduce a new console especially for emerging markets by as early as 2015.
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Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s president and CEO, told Reuters that the company will focus on developing a platform for markets with lower average income and lesser levels of gaming experience.
This comes after the Japanese company released its dire yearly financial report earlier this week, that saw its third successive yearly loss. The Wii U, the console Nintendo hoped would revive the company, hasn’t been its saviour.
Nintendo reported losses of US$457 million, selling a meagre 6.17 million Wii U consoles since its launch 17 months ago. Compare these figures to those sales released by Sony and Microsoft, suggesting that they have sold seven million PS4 and five million Xbox One units respectively. No one, it seems, wants to buy the Wii U.
Incredibly, the shining knights are the 3DS and 2DS ranges, pushing nearly 44-million units in total.
The latest console announcement by Nintendo aims to stem the torrent of cash spilling from the company’s pockets. Understandably, the Wii U cannot compete with the detailed graphics or gaming title range that the Xbox One or PS4 offers. A new, cheaper console aimed at the budget gamer would help Nintendo become a market leader in more than just handheld gaming, by filling a much needed lower income gaming niche.
One such market is China.
“We think the Chinese market has a lot of potential, but I don’t think the lifting of the ban has solved all of the difficulties in entering it. We need to study it more,” Iwata told Reuters.
Following Microsoft’s announcement to ship the Xbox One to China, Nintendo hopes to take advantage of the new opportunity the country offers.
But Nintendo will need to drive the new console after release, as it can’t constantly rely on Mario and Pokemon to prop up their ailing financial health forever.