A Japanese news site claims that Nintendo management are locked in a dispute with president Satoru Iwata over his smartphone strategy.
It alleges that some senior managers are accusing Iwata of being “fixated with game consoles”, “stubbornly rejecting the ‘net” and insisting that the company remain true to his ideal of unified hardware and software development.
There is also frustration at his ongoing direct involvement in game development and the fact that he is the first “outsider” to head the company, originating not from within the company’s ranks or from the Yamauchi family but instead from developer HAL Laboratory.
The first son of Iwata’s predecessor Hiroshi Yamauchi remains the favoured boss among what are described as the “Nintendo natives”.
The report even claims that management is rumoured to be plotting to oust Iwata, so frustrated are they by the control he exerts.
In January this year Iwata reiterated that he had no plans for Nintendo IP on smartphones despite its significant reduction of sales predictions for Wii U and 3DS. The platform holder even had to deny claims that a smartphone strategy had been agreed.
Analysts have predicted that such a move would net Nintendo in the region of $2.7bn – leading to investors to publicly call for a smartphone switch, including the infamous line: “Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher.”