IR Information

Corporate Management Policy Briefing/
Third Quarter Financial Results Briefing
for Fiscal Year Ending March 2014
Jan. 30, 2014

That is to say, we only had device-based relationships with consumers in the past. As we were connected with a single consumer differently on different devices, we had some natural problems.

The slide shows all Nintendo platforms that were launched in the past ten years. While we have tried to achieve, among other things, software-driven connectivity between handheld devices and consoles, handheld devices and consoles were in principle separated completely in terms of our ability to connect with our consumers.
In addition, we tried to encourage consumers to upgrade from an existing handheld device to a new handheld device, or from an existing console to a new console, by providing backward compatibility that enabled them to take their software assets from their existing system. However, we became disconnected with our consumers with the launch of each new device as we could only form device-based relationships.

On Wii U, we launched Nintendo Network IDs, which are abbreviated as NNIDs. This is the first step of our efforts to transform customer relationship management from device-based to account-based, namely, consumer-based, through which we aim to establish long-term relationships with individual consumers, unaffected by the lifespans of our systems. Our future platform will connect with our consumers based on accounts, not devices.
As a second step, Nintendo 3DS became compatible with NNIDs in December 2013. Nintendo 3DS was originally designed for a device-based management system, so making it account-compatible at a later time meant that not all of its features were perfect. However, we feel that we have taken a step in the right direction as we now have a uniformly managed system in which we are connected with our consumers on both handheld devices and consoles.
Of course, when we do launch new hardware in the future, rather than re-creating an installed base from scratch as we did in the past, we wish to build on our existing connections with our consumers through NNIDs and continue to maintain them. Another very important point that we need to consider is how we will incorporate smart devices into Nintendo platforms, which were composed solely of Nintendo hardware in the past.
The traditional definition of a video game platform imposed a restriction in which we were unable to connect with consumers unless they purchased a Nintendo system. Given that the competition for consumers’ time and attention has become fierce, I feel that how we will take advantage of smart devices is an extremely important question to answer. However, in order to be absolutely clear, let me emphasize that this does not mean simply supplying Nintendo games on smart devices. Taking advantage of smart devices means connecting with all consumers, including those who do not own Nintendo’s video game systems, through smart devices and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, thus encouraging more people to participate in Nintendo platforms. I will elaborate on this point later.
As I just illustrated, we will manage our relationships with our consumers through NNIDs in a uniform manner, and connecting with our consumers through NNIDs will precisely be our new definition of a Nintendo platform.
In other words, our platform will not be bound to physical hardware and, instead, will be virtualized.

I have often heard the opinion from many that Nintendo should release its first-party content on smart devices. The rationale behind such a suggestion, in my view, is that it would be illogical not to expand our business on smart devices given that they have outsold dedicated video game systems by a large margin.
Many people say that releasing Nintendo’s software assets for smart devices would expand our business. However, we believe that we cannot show our strength as an integrated hardware-software business in this field, and therefore it would difficult to continue the same scale of business in the medium- to long term.
Therefore, we would like to, instead of directly expanding our business on smart devices, focus on achieving greater ties with our consumers on smart devices and expanding our platform business.
However, creating stronger ties with consumers would require them to engage with our offers frequently. As we know that this is not an easy task to achieve,

We will use a small, select team of developers to achieve it. Also, we recognize that attracting consumers’ attention among the myriads of mobile applications is not easy, and as I said before, we feel that simply releasing our games just as they are on smart devices would not provide the best entertainment for smart devices, so we are not going to take any approach of this nature. Having said that, however, in the current environment surrounding smart devices, we feel that we will not be able to gain the support of many consumers unless we are able to provide something truly valuable that is unique to Nintendo. Accordingly, I have not given any restrictions to the development team, even not ruling out the possibility of making games or using our game characters. However, if you report that we will release Mario on smart devices, it would be a completely misleading statement. It is our intention to release some application on smart devices this year that is capable of attracting consumer attention and communicating the value of our entertainment offerings, so I would encourage you to see how our approach yields results.
Also, there is one more thing that I would like to mention about utilizing smart devices. With respect to services previously released on dedicated video game systems that are, however, capable of improving usability and consumer experience when they are implemented on smart devices, we will try to actively shift their focus to smart devices. This is to say that we will no longer spend an equal amount of resources toward providing the same service both on and off device, but will instead concentrate on the one that has greater purpose as well as room for improvement.
The environment in which our users can download paid software is one example of where we should aim to make more off-device improvements than on-device ones.

As we continue to redefine our platforms from a device-based system to an account-based system using NNIDs, we will also try to change the way in which dedicated video game systems as well as software are sold that people have come to take for granted.
The way in which dedicated video game systems and their software are sold has not changed significantly since the business model of dedicated video game platforms was first established 30 years ago. Dedicated video game systems are sold for two hundred or three hundred dollars, on which standalone software titles are distributed for 30 or 50 dollars. This simple model received widespread support from consumers that enabled us to create today’s market. The decision to change it is the manifestation of our recognition that we cannot expect this model to work forever amid dynamic changes in people’s lifestyles.
If we succeed in the redefinition of video game platforms that I speak of today, our account-based connections with consumers will become very clear. For example, until now it has been taken for granted that software is offered to users at the same price regardless of how many titles they purchase in a year, be it one, five or even ten titles. Based on our account system, if we can offer flexible price points to consumers who meet certain conditions, we can create a situation where these consumers can enjoy our software at cheaper price points when they purchase more. Here, we do not need to limit the condition to the number of software titles they purchase. Inviting friends to start playing a particular software title is also an example of a possible condition. If we can achieve such a sales mechanism, we can expect to increase the number of players per title, and the players will play our games with more friends. This can help maintain the high usage ratio of a platform. When one platform maintains a high active use ratio, the software titles which run on it have a higher potential to be noticed by many, which leads to more people playing with more titles. When we see our overall consumers, they generally play two or three titles per year. We aim to establish a new sales mechanism that will be beneficial to both consumers and software creators by encouraging our consumers to play more titles and increasing a platform’s active use ratio without largely increasing our consumers’ expenditures.
Nintendo aims to work on this brand-new sales mechanism in the medium term, but we would like to start experimenting with Wii U at an early stage.

Also, we are planning to utilize Nintendo’s abundance of character IP more actively. I think the reason that Nintendo is now considered to have this “abundance of character IP” is perhaps because of our passive approach toward the character IP licensing business, which tends to have a high risk of damaging the value of the character. In other words, we think that spending time to develop our approach of having our characters appear mainly in our carefully selected games has created our current fortunate circumstances. However, we are going to change our policy going forward.

To be more precise, we will actively expand our character licensing business, including proactively finding appropriate partners. In fact, we have been actively selling character merchandise for about a year in the U.S.
Also, we will be flexible about forming licensing relationships in areas we did not license in the past, such as digital fields, provided we are not in direct competition and we can form win-win relationships.

By moving forward with such activities globally, we aim to increase consumer exposure to Nintendo characters by making them appear in places other than on video game platforms.

In addition, we will change our approach to new markets in which we have not sufficiently expanded due to various issues such as infrastructure, consumers’ income and the legal system.
So far, we have localized our products which we distribute in developed markets, where video game markets have been firmly established, and tried to sell them in new markets. This method worked to some extent in the past, but it has recently become far more difficult to recoup our investment because of increasing hardware production costs and the cost of localizing highly sophisticated and complicated software.
Needless to say, there are core users in new markets who buy our hardware and software at the same price as in the existing markets and we really appreciate these consumers. For a large majority of consumers in the new markets, however, the current prices of hardware and software in the existing markets are generally difficult to accept.
To leverage Nintendo’s strength as an integrated hardware-software business, we will not rule out the idea of offering our own hardware for new markets, but for dramatic expansion of the consumer base there, we require a product family of hardware and software with an entirely different price structure from that of the developed markets.
As you might know from today’s topics of redefining the concept of a video game platform and taking advantage of smart devices, we aim to connect with consumers who do not own Nintendo’s video game systems yet, which will play an important role in cultivating new markets. Once we can establish such a connection with consumers in these nations, we will be able to use smart devices to share our information as well as important content distribution infrastructure. We plan to take significant steps toward such a new market approach in the year 2015. I would like to share more information with you in our future IR events.

I would like to tell you about something different from our traditional business.
We will definitely maintain dedicated video game platforms as our core business, but


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