Nintendo’s Quality of Life plans under threat, report claims

It had been sold as one of Nintendo’s major business pillars for the future, but could Nintendo’s Quality of Life adventure be over before it has begun?

Fortune reports that following the death of CEO and president Satoru Iwata last month, several analysts have speculated that the company may not be soon on pursuing the executive’s personal health-related aspirations.

I think it’s been pushed to the back burner,” IDC research director for gaming Lewis Ward said. It’s supposed to be released in the US by the end of March [2016], but I haven’t heard anything.

[However,] I do think Nintendo has always had an interest in ‘Blue Ocean’ markets and health care and the intersection with their hardware and their software is something they’ve viewed as an opportunity.”

Outspoken analyst Michael Pachter was even blunter in his appraisal: I think it’s probably dead – just like the Wii Vitality Sensor was before and they didn’t tell anybody.

They have been completely invisible as a company since [Iwata] got sick. The whole point of helping with lifestyle was getting people to buy more Nintendo devices – and I think they’re hurting so badly in devices that they’re trying to [stop] the haemorrhaging there.

I would say they’re probably focused on just getting their mobile initiative working. That’s far more important than [QOL].”

Neither Nintendo nor its QOL partner ResMed responded to requests for comment to Fortune’s claims.

We will attempt to establish a new platform business with which we can leverage our strengths, but which is independent from our video game platform business,” Iwata said of QOL upon its announcement in January 2014. What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s Quality Of Life in enjoyable ways.

The theme of ‘health’. It has been a long time since people started to say that the console era has now shifted to a new mobile era, with wearable technology in the spotlight at CES this month. Yet again, it is our intention to go into a new blue ocean. With that said, we wish to achieve an integrated hardware-software platform business that, instead of providing mobile or wearable features, will be characterized by a new area of what we like to call non-wearable technology.”

The first QOL product, a sleep sensor, was revealed in October.

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