Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima discussed in detail plans for Nintendo’s future in an exclusive interview with Time magazine. Here are some of the most important details.
Will Kimishima Stay On?
First off, rumors that Kimishima would only be sticking around for one year are way off base. There has been speculation that he wouldn’t stay a long time, mostly because of his age (Tatsumi Kimishima is in his mid-sixties) and because Nintendo presidents have an average term of over 30 years. However, the president stated, “I really want to say that all the initiatives I’ve discussed with you, these are on me, these are my responsibility and I have every intention of seeing these to fruition.” So, he’ll be around for a while still.
How Will the Nintendo Point Sytem Work?
Kimishima confirmed that users will be able to earn points on My Nintendo by playing Miitomo, or “just by accessing our content, wherever you may find it.” My Nintendo and Miitomo are both coming in March of 2016.
Given the fact that Nintendo is planning on expanding IP in many directions, this means that your opportunities for proving your loyalty are also expanding. “So [users will] start earning points not only by using their software, but by interacting with our stuff, not just by purchasing software, but by interacting both at theme parks and also with merchandize.” It definitely sounds like the My Nintendo experience is going to be much broader than Club Nintendo ever was.
Speaking of merchandise and theme parks, Kimishima confirmed that Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of nearly every Nintendo franchise, is actively working with Universal right now to design the Nintendo theme park experience.
What Can You Expect from the amiibo?
Apparently, Nintendo didn’t really mean for amiibos to be collector items. Their primary feature was always meant to be their software abilities, and the way they can enhance video games. Kimishima acted surprised that users have been focusing on the collection aspect above the gaming aspect, proving that he wasn’t paying attention during the Pokémon card explosion of the 1990s.
“Our earliest goal for the Amiibo was to have these connected to software and have them enhance the play experience for the consumer, and for other consumers to say ‘I see my friend using this Amiibo with that software and it looks great,’ and again increase that attractiveness of that combination. What we’re seeing instead is that the Amiibo are being picked up more as a collection item at this point, rather than, say, as an interactive item with software. And so we haven’t really established them as an enhancement for all of our software at this point.”
Is Nintendo Still Doing that “Quality of Life” Initiative?
You might remember that over a year ago, Nintendo mentioned that it was working on a “quality of life” sensor that would monitor your sleep patterns. Sounds weird, right? Well, they haven’t forgotten about it.
“Mr. Iwata had, when he previously talked about the quality of life initiative, I believe he had talked about it being related to sleep and fatigue,” Kimishima cryptically mentioned, referencing Nintendo’s late president Satoru Iwata, “And the only information I really have now is to say that the quality of life initiative is still under development, and I have no further information to share. It’s just not at the point in development where I feel I can make any announcements at this time.”
Will Nintendo Abandon Wii U Owners?
Kimishima speculated that the Wii’s great sales were partially to blame for the Wii U’s low sales. “Wii has sold so much and is being played by so many people, it’s not going to be easy to make them leave that and come to the next system.”
On that note, Kimishima emphasized that Nintendo cares about all of its users, across all consoles. They don’t plan on giving up on the Wii U as soon as the NX appears. “We can’t just abandon [Wii U owners] and say ‘Hey, it’s time to move on to the next thing.’ Of course we are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform. But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have purchased Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.”
What Can We Expect from the New Console, the NX?
Perhaps more good news for Wii U owners, Kimishima reaffirmed that the NX is not just a rehash of the Wii or the Wii U. “It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.”
When asked if the codename “NX” had any special meaning, he laughed. “I don’t believe that there’s any real meaning behind it, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know where it came from. Or perhaps Mr. Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance.”