News Column

Nintendo to Use Consoles as Health-Care Platform

January 30, 2014

Japan Economic Newswire

TOKYO, Jan. 30 -- (Kyodo) _ Nintendo Co. will make use of its home video game consoles for the health care industry, its president said Thursday, in a new business strategy to spur sales of its consoles for purposes other than entertainment.

Satoru Iwata also said the game maker will retain its current console game business model that relies on the purchase of both hardware and software despite sluggish sales of Nintendo's Wii U home game video consoles.

"I am not thinking of shifting our (business model) to other hardware" such as smartphones, he said at a briefing session on his company's policy in Tokyo.

Further details of the Japanese gaming giant's new business scheme to move into the health market will be unveiled during fiscal 2014 starting April. The scheme is set to enter into full swing in fiscal 2015.

Nintendo fell 450 yen to 12,430 from the previous day during Tokyo stock market trading Thursday morning as Nintendo's policy to retain its unprofitable console-based gaming model disappointed market players and triggered massive selling of the stock.

Iwata's announcement of a set of measures aimed at boosting the company's profitability comes after Nintendo announced on Jan. 17 that it expects to post a net loss for the year through March, instead of an earlier-projected profit, on weaker-than-expected game console and software sales in the year-end shopping season.

Iwata said it is "unthinkable" for the Kyoto-based game console and software maker to slash the prices of its Wii U consoles.

A Wii U basic set is priced at 26,250 yen while a premium set has a price tag of 31,500 yen.

In a step to stimulate more interest in Nintendo's game consoles, Iwata said Nintendo will also release software apps designed for smartphone users within the year.

Nintendo, whose overseas sales of Wii U and Nintendo 3DS portable consoles have been sluggish, has revised its earnings estimates downward for fiscal 2013 ending in March and will log an operating loss for the third straight year.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.

Original headline: Nintendo to use home video game consoles for health care industry

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Source: (c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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