Nintendo 'moving beyond' hardware with new online strategy

Nintendo Co. (TYO: 7974), apparently tired of watching sales of its traditional disk-based games fall year after year--along with those of other video game providers, it should be fairly noted--is adopting a new strategy aimed at taking its content where the viewers are: online.

There's money behind the move. Nintendo suffered its first loss in 50 years, based, primarily,on weak demand for its new Nintendo 3DS portable console series, the Japanese games-maker said.

Now, with that red ink on the wall, Nintendo is adding features of online social games--including a virtual world, Milverse-- into an upcoming update of the Wii, the Wii U.

The principle hardware feature of the update is the controller and video monitor that can be used in combination with a television or as a standalone handheld console, The Financial Times reported.

"In the future, we intend to make the Milverse available on the Nintendo 3DS, smartphones and PC browsers," said company president Satoru Iwata in a video presentation ahead of the E3 video game show in Los Angeles. "We are moving beyond the hardware generation."

According to the Times, U.S. sales of traditional disk-based games have fallen for four consecutive years. This year, sales have dipped 31 percent so far. In the financial year that ended in March, Kyoto-based Nintendo suffered a net loss of Y43 billion (USD 530 million).

For more:
 - see The Financial Times story (reg.)

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