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Analysts suspect Nintendo has shelved Quality of Life

Mobile and NX seen as company's main priorities after Iwata's death

In May, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors that the company's Quality of Life initiative would not be discussed at this year's E3. If industry analysts are accurate, it may not be discussed at any future E3, either. Speaking with Fortune, IDC research director for gaming Lewis Ward and Wedbush Securities managing director of equity research Michael Pachter have expressed their doubts about the Quality of Life sensor's place in Nintendo's strategy.

"I think it's been pushed to the back burner," 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."

Pachter was less optimistic, saying, "I think it's probably dead-just like the Wii Vitality Sensor was before and they didn't tell anybody."

The Vitality Sensor was a pulse monitor peripheral announced for the Wii at E3 2009, but never brought to market.

Nintendo originally announced the Quality of Life initiative early last year, and in October detailed the first part of the plan, a device that would assess users' sleep patterns without requiring any wearable technology or physical contact to the person being monitored. The company has undergone significant turmoil since then, yielding to long-standing calls to enter the mobile market followed by Iwata's death in July.

"They have been completely invisible as a company since [Iwata] got sick," Pachter said. "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 hemorrhaging there. ... I would say they're probably focused on just getting their mobile initiative working. That's far more important than [QOL]."

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Latest comments (8)

Cesar Hoffmann Translator 2 years ago
Honest question: when was the last time that Pachter said something that actually happened?
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
Very true.

I will note however that Nintendo moving into medical is not unusual, many Japanese electronics companies have those divisions. It wouldn't be the first time either, who remembers the NES controller for quadriplegics? The problem is if they are even remotely ready to do this kind of thing, and they have absolutely no presents in the consumer electronics arena. People will buy a device from Sony that helps you get better sleep, and how many consumers really want one for Nintendo? Even if it were revolutionary, it would be a big help applying given the current perception of the brand Partnering with another to existing Japanese company might be a problem, especially given how sharp and Toshiba have pulled out of the North American market, and Olympus doesn't sell anything but cameras. He is right that their mobile initiative is a safe bet

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 20th August 2015 7:51pm

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Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute2 years ago
I know, for a fact, that Nintendo is currently working on and outsourcing work on the sleep sensor and other quality of life products.
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Show all comments (8)
Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
That they're working on it doesn't mean they will actually bring it to market. That would be a very common tale
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Keldon Alleyne Developer, leader, writer, Avasopht Ltd2 years ago
@Jeff, I don't think you understand the sleep market very well if you believe a Nintendo tag would discourage them.

Main questions are whether the technology is mature enough to be able to improve lives and how well the value can be marketed.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
I understand it very well. I also understand how buyers and marketers think at large retailers

It will have to be something several heads and shoulders above existing products and brands on shelf and in the pipe to gain traction. Sony could do this, just like they could make a game console, because their going there makes sense to people. When people hear Znintendo, they think Toys R Us, not Sharper Image
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
Give it another 20 years and it won't be us buying Nintendo products for our kids, but our kids buying Nintendo products for us, since they are picking up our prescription drugs at the pharmacy anyway.
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Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute2 years ago
I have some very interesting news on this front. The sleep sensor is being revamped/accentuated for...VR!
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