Nintendo boss Saturo Iwata has admitted the company is considering "a new business structure," which may involve branching out into the mobile arena it has shunned for so long.
After the company revised its 2014 Wii U sales forecast from 9 million to an unspectacular 2.9 million, the CEO suggested that it may be time for a change.
With Wii U games sales new predicted to hit just 19 million units, rather than the previously estimated 38 million, Iwata seemed to indicate that change could be on the horizon.
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"We are thinking about a new business structure," Iwata told a news conference in Japan, while hinting the company is exploring the possibility of touchscreen handheld devices.
Nintendo has long dismissed the possibility of launching versions of popular franchises like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong on smartphones and tablets, largely through fears of watering down its top earners.
Now, with the company expected to post an annual lost of 35bn yen ($335m / £205m), Nintendo may finally ready to relent and answer the clamour for Mario and Link on iPhone, judging by Iwata's forlorn comments
"Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone," he said.
Could sharing Mario with a wider audience put Nintendo back in the spotlight? Or would opening up it's famous franchises beyond Nintendo hardware be an admission that Nintendo's on the way to becoming the next Sega? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Mario on iPhone? Not on my watch, said Iwata back in June last year. Has his tune changed?