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Iwata talks engaging smartphone users with Nintendo

Attracting customers without offering mobile games

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has responded to investor concerns about the company's planned smartphone and tablet app.

A public Q&A posted to Nintendo's corporate website goes into detail on Nintendo's slashed sales forecast, including reaching out to consumers through apps and external licensing.


"The key aspect is that Nintendo would like to establish a firm channel on smart devices through which we can connect with consumers," Iwata said. "This channel will enable not only us but also third-party publishers to communicate all the fun content on Nintendo platforms to consumers. However, we cannot expect consumers to activate our application every day if we only establish a channel that is solely dedicated to advertising.

"We would have to make efforts to provide a channel for consumers that makes them entertained, pleased and happy in order to have them use our application frequently. The application market for smart devices is already extremely competitive, so it is generally very difficult to have consumers activate a single application on a continual basis."

Iwata said Nintendo is committed to "ensuring continued engagement" through the platform, though he acknowledged it will be challenging. Nintendo previously shot down reports that it would offer promotional mini-games on mobile devices.

Nintendo currently promotes games and harbors community interaction through its Miiverse social network. Though Miiverse's illustrations and other posts can be viewed anywhere, users can currently only post their own content through the Wii U or 3DS apps.

Once Nintendo establishes an engaging environment on mobile devices, Iwata said, the firm "will be able to dramatically change the relationship between Nintendo and consumers" in cost-effective manner.