to introduce console for emerging markets as early as 2015/16
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[May 08, 2014] By
Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai
—Nintendo Co Ltd plans to
introduce a new kind of games console and software for emerging
markets as early as next year, to capitalize on higher entertainment
budgets amidst a growing middle class, its chief executive told
Reuters on Thursday.
Satoru Iwata said Nintendo would develop hardware and games oriented
towards consumers with lower incomes and less gaming experience than
those in developed countries.
Nintendo is searching for new business opportunities as it buckles
down and seeks to stem losses on its latest home game console, the
Wii U, whose flop has contrasted with blockbuster sales for rival
Sony Corp's Playstation 4.
Satoru said there were no plans to launch existing hardware such as
the Wii U or 3DS in emerging markets, including China.
"It would be difficult to enter those markets if we didn't create
something new... For the mass market you need to provide something
that most of the middle class can afford," he said in an interview
following an analyst briefing on Thursday.
Iwata declined to elaborate on the design and specification of such
a new device and did not specify the countries where it would be
sold, saying only that "emerging markets" referred to those whose
gaming potential had not yet been cracked.
In China, Iwata said Nintendo would try a different tack to
Microsoft Corp. The U.S. rival last month said it would begin
selling its Xbox One console through a Chinese partner from
September in Shanghai's free trade zone, after the government lifted
a ban on the sale of foreign consoles there.
"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," he said, adding that
Nintendo would adjust its pricing to fit consumers in emerging
"For us, Microsoft's approach wouldn't work."
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Iwata also said Nintendo will release high-tech figurines of some of
its most popular characters in time for Christmas this year. The
company hopes the models, which will be able to send and receive
data from games, will also stimulate software sales.
But the chief executive said he could not give any more details on a
new "non-wearable" platform announced in January that will be
oriented towards improving customers' quality of life and
encouraging them to stick to healthy pursuits.
Nintendo released its full-year earnings On Wednesday, booking its
third year in the red after disappointing sales of its Wii U home
games console. It has pinned a return to profit this year on new
game titles spurring higher sales of the hardware.
Shares of Nintendo closed 0.7 percent lower on Thursday, compared
with a 0.9 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei index.
(Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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