A portion of a Forbes interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...
F: I was a little surprised that the announcements were all games, and there wasn’t any mention of hardware. Was there a strategic decision to focus on software?
RFA: Our focus is over the current six- to nine-months. In our handheld space, we’ve just launched the new Nintendo 3DS XL. So from that standpoint, there is no new hardware coming over the next six- to nine-month period. There might be some new variants. The thing about the handheld space, consumers love new designs, new colors. And we’ll continue to offer those types of experiences. But there’s not going to be a fundamentally new piece of handheld tech coming out.
In the home console space, we’re focused on Wii U. NX is in the future. That’s something that we’ll talk about at the appropriate time. But right now, it’s all about driving our Wii U business.
F: But doesn’t the fact that the NX has been revealed, that people know it’s coming at some point in the future, make it difficult for you to get the message out there about the current platform?
Honestly, no. Consumers know that effectively, as we complete one piece of hardware, we always start thinking about the next. So we’re constantly challenging ourselves. What’s new? What’s different? What’s coming down the pipe?
RFA: The way we approach it is when there’s a game or an approach that we can’t do on the current system, that’s when we begin in earnest to focus on the next system. So what that means is that our developers, a number of them must have certain ideas that will be enabled by the NX. We’re going to have to develop those ideas and get that software ready. And that’s going to drive the timing for when we provide more details on NX.
F: Do you have a sense of who’s buying amiibo? I wonder how many people are buying the Amiibo simply as collector’s items, versus actually using them in games.
RFA: We’re seeing both. There are collectors and completionists out there. And those are probably the consumers being the most vocal about not being able to get a particular figure. But we’ve done research. And I’m not going to show the numbers. But the number of Amiibo figures that people are playing with was astounding to us. It was bigger than we had anticipated. So from that standpoint, the collector aspect, the play aspect is really a strong driver of this business. We knew it would be. But certainly, 10.5 million units globally effectively over the course of about five months, is a very strong business.
F: What can you tell me about Nintendo’s new mobile strategy?
RFA: We’re not talking in detail about mobile here at this conference. The only things I can tell you, first, we have a robust partnership with DeNA. They bring a lot of knowledge and a lot of infrastructure into our efforts. We obviously have the IP. And we believe we’ve got game creators that can do wonderful things on any platform.
We’ve also said that we’re going to be doing a limited number of games and applications in this space. And we say that because as you look across the landscape, most of the players in this space have won it. So it’s not like the video game business where there’s going to be a lot of development across a lot of different franchises. It’s going to be a very focused develop. And we’ve said that the first application will come out this calendar year.
So that’s all I can tell you. But certainly, it is something that we’re committed to. And our goal is to be Nintendo in this space, which is all about being innovative and being fun.