A Nintendo News Round-Up Shows Nintendo Has A Serious Battle Plan

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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A Nintendo News Round-Up Shows Nintendo Has A Serious Battle Plan

Nintendo has been a big part of the news in recent days, with its sales numbers and net losses making some wonder how long before a big old “for sale” sign is hanging on the Mushroom Kingdom proper. But several new reports have emerged, just today, that show off some of Nintendo's plans for the future, and you have to give Big N credit for sheer audacity, because the company is throwing just about everything short of the kitchen sink at the problem.

One of the first new points is a new plan from Nintendo to better pursue emerging markets like China. Instead of simply crating up some more Nintendo 3DS and Wii U orders and shipping same into the midst of Africa, China and the like, the company's got a plan for a new line of specialized hardware for the emerging market. While the exact plan is still being kept somewhat under wraps, and it's unclear if the hardware in question will be able to work with the current line of games or not—such as it is—the idea of bringing out specific and less-expensive hardware for emerging markets is a great way to go after the field using a penetration market strategy, a classically-recognized tactic.

Nintendo also brought out word about a line of character figurines that work using near field communications (NFC) technology. Due out in the first half of 2015—and once again missing a major opportunity with the holiday shopping season—the figurines and the devices in question work much like “Disney Infinity”, “Skylanders”, or even like “Pokemon Rumble U” did, allowing gamers to collect figurines and play games accordingly using the figures as a base. Dubbed the NFP for either NFC Featured Platform or Nintendo Figurine Platform, the figures are set to be compatible with several different software titles that will be released later on.

Finally, the Wii U is now set to support the transport e-money card compatible with Suica. Suica, for those not familiar, is an RFID-driven smart card commonly used for train fare on Japanese rail line systems. Previously, the company would only offer support for pre-paid cards, as well as credit cards, but now the company's expanding its repertoire. While this admittedly doesn't have much value outside of Japan, it's still a useful way to make more out of that particular market.

It's clear just by looking at the flood of news that's hit only recently that Nintendo isn't going to go quietly into the night of obsolescence and will instead fight back with just about everything at its disposal. Granted, some of these moves have limited value. Others aren't going to get their fullest impact because of scheduling issues—seriously, how do you not release a game and figurine combination in time for the Christmas shopping season? Does this not scream simultaneous stocking stuffer and full present to anyone else?--but there's certainly value to be had here all the same. It's clear some gamers will buy the game and figurine combo. It's clear that Japanese gamers will love paying for games with their train fare card. And the emerging markets that get their own Nintendo hardware priced to sell in those areas may well get their first taste of gaming on those systems.

This strategy doesn't seem to be optimized, but it's still putting out a clear plan to gain some extra cash and give itself a better chance at a win. Nintendo's got a long way to go to recover from its earlier missteps and get back into the fray to the fullest, but with a plan like this, it may at least manage to reverse its recent history of losses.

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