While Satoru Iwata isn’t going anywhere, he does admit that Nintendo is looking at the expanding smart device market.
“We failed to reach our target for hardware sales during the year-end, when revenues are the highest,” admits Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, as he reveals that Wii U sales targets will fall far short of Nintendo’s 9 million projection. But while Iwata says he feels responsible for his company’s poor business performance, and apologizes to shareholders, he won’t resign. Nintendo’s business needs to be rejuvenated as quickly as possible, and Iwata will stay in the top spot to make that happen.
“There will be no major management shake-up in the short term,” says Iwata. Nintendo had forecast a 100 billion yen profit, but is now looking at a 35 billion yen ($335.76 million) operating loss. The $14 billion profit that Nintendo built up over the years it made bank with the Wii is slowly being eroded, as Iwata dips into that cash stockpile to cover the Wii U’s debts.
Only a few days ago, on January 10th, Nintendo shares hit a two-and-a-half year high of 15,880 yen per share. Since then, the price has dropped almost 10%, and analysts warn that a sell-off is inevitable in the wake of this unpleasant Wii U news.
UPDATED: Bloomberg reports that Nintendo’s financial situation is leading Iwata to rethink the company’s previous aversion to smartphone games.
“We are thinking about a new business structure,” Iwata said at a press conference today in Osaka, Japan. “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”