Good news on the Nintendo front. With the success of Mario Kart 8, and the announcement of an online Pokemon TGC for the iPad, Nintendo stock has risen 4 percent, to 11,740 yen. This is the most in more than four months, paring its decline this year to 16 percent.
Mario Kart 8’s success is matched only by the New Super Mario Bros. U, and the Pokemon TGC will be an iOS app version of a game that is already offered for desktop computers. Kanako Murata, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for the company, had this to say about the new release:
“We have been here many times before in regards to Nintendo’s tentative plans to introduce some of its characters for smart devices,” Amir Anvarzadeh, a manager of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc. in Singapore, said by e-mail. “This latest Pokemon cards plan which is already out on PCs is hardly a change in its direction.”
This is good news for investors hoping that Nintendo will boost the worth of their shares through utilizing mobile devices (smart phones, and tablets and the such. We all know that Nintendo already dominates the handheld market). They ought not get too excited though, as Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has already explicitly ruled out licensing Nintendo’s franchise characters for online games or smartphone applications. This decision to tie Nintendo’s iconic characters to its hardware helped boost demand for the original Wii, which sold more than 100 million units and became the world’s best-selling console.
They’ve clearly got a system that works for their consoles, but it’s hard to deny the prevalence of modern mobile devices. Despite that, it’s clear their system isn’t working the way they want in the grand scheme of things. Nintendo’s share price has slumped in four of the six years through 2013, and has plummeted more than 80 percent since the end of 2007.
Mario Kart 8 and a lineup of figurines that interact with games are part of Nintendo’s strategy to revive flagging sales of the Wii U console and retain players shifting to smartphones and faster consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Some cause for concern, in my mind at least, is that while Nintendo has made a relatively clear stance on its desire to not directly compete with the hardware heavy weights (in the PS4 and XBO), not addressing their direct competition for family accessible gaming in smart phones and tablets is cause for concern.
In the end, the new Pokemon title will be available for the U.S. and Europe, though timing for its release hasn’t been confirmed, though it is reportedly going to be available as an iPad App through the App Store.