Nintendo’s new diet: A health kick to bulk up revenues while trimming your waistline

Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, outlined a new 10-year strategy for the company, which includes focusing on improving people’s quality of life, or “QOL” for short.

wiiufitIn the letter sent to shareholders and investors today, Iwata remains vague about the videogame company’s plans, but says it has set “health” as a new theme for its first step.

“Through our new endeavors with the QOL-improving platform, we strive to further promote our existing strategy of expanding our user base, create an environment in which more people are conscious about their health and in turn expand Nintendo’s overall user base.”

If shareholders are lucky, the new diet will not only help grow Nintendo’s customer base, but also bulk up its revenues, which haven’t been too healthy recently. In this latest console war, Nintendo has struggled against both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. As a game-maker, it has also suffered as consumers have shifted to playing free-to-play mobile games, a business that Nintendo refuses to enter.

One thing that is clear from the letter is that Nintendo will continue to be a hardware maker, in addition to making games. Many critics have questioned whether Nintendo should continue to make consoles, or focus on making its games for a number of existing platforms, including mobile.

“We believe that we can capitalize the most on our strengths through a hardware-software integrated platform business, and therefore this type of dedicated video game platforms will remain our core focus,” Iwata said.

Without a lot of detail to go on, one could assume this health kick will piggy-back on the latest fitness trends in technology. Lots of wearables are emerging as a way for people to stay in shape using software and hardware to track fitness goals.

It’s a concept Nintendo was early to market with, as well. It released the Wii Fit for the original Wii. The balance board accessory combined with the game made it fun for people to exercise and lose weight. In the updated Wii U version, Nintendo included a pedometer that clipped to your waist, a balance board and a game.

Regardless, it’s going to be awhile before shareholders see this strategy become a reality — it may be decade.

“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s QOL in enjoyable ways,” Iwata says.