Iwata: Nintendo must harness smart devices, no restrictions for dev team

"Even not ruling out the possibility of making games."

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed new development plans for smart devices designed to increase consumer awareness of its consoles and games.

In a landmark presentation to investors last night, the Nintendo boss said that the company had to "achieve greater ties" with its customers via smart devices to expand its core platform business. A "small, select team of developers" would be put to work on the task.

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"I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters."

Crucially, Iwata said that Nintendo would need something "truly valuable" to draw attention to its presence on smart devices.

"In the current environment surrounding smart devices, we feel that we will not be able to gain the support of many consumers unless we are able to provide something truly valuable that is unique to Nintendo," he explained.

"Accordingly, I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters."

Expanding into full-scale development for smart devices was still not on the cards, Iwata reiterated, for the same reasons he has long stated: that while Nintendo may offer short term success, "it would be difficult to continue the same scale of business in the medium to long term".

"However," he continued, "if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement. It is our intention to release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, so I would encourage you to see how our approach yields results," he added.

The suggestion that Nintendo developers will not be held back from game development despite this, however, suggests that the company is at least considering some form of playable game trial, or interactive experience.

Iwata concluded that Nintendo would also put more development time into expanding services available on its consoles that could also be used on smart devices - like the eShop, for example, to allow customers to buy games content without being in front of a Nintendo system.

"We will no longer spend an equal amount of resources toward providing the same service both on and off device, but will instead concentrate on the one that has greater purpose as well as room for improvement," he reasoned.

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