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Between Switch and smartphones, Nintendo is eager to expand its audience

In a new interview Nintendo chief Kimishima admits to being surprised by investors' reactions to the Switch, but seems more focused on how it & smartphone games can help revive Nintendo's fortunes.
"Our revenue has fallen for eight straight years. What we aim for is to increase the number of people who play games."

- Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima.

Nintendo made a bit of a splash in the game industry last week when it announced that its next console will be a home/portable hybrid called Switch.

Many game developers have expressed interest in developing for the console, while industry analysts have a range of opinions and Nintendo investors reacted in a way that caused the company's shares to tumble last week. So how does company presiden Tatsumi Kimishima feel about the whole thing?

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Kimishima admits to being surprised by investors' reactions to the Switch but otherwise seems more focused on how Switch performs next year then what people are saying about Nintendo now. The company has long made it clear that it wants to expand its customer base by pulling in new audiences via smartphone games, theme park deals and the like; now, Kimishima echoes that plan to Bloomberg and explains that while the Switch announcement trailer was aimed at what he calls "core" game players, Nintendo fully intends to keep reaching for new customers across all ages and platforms.

"Our core philosophy is that we want to increase the number of gamers at all ages, and there's no change to that. So we have no intention to lean just towards core gamers," he said. 

"There's an image of our future that our previous president painted two years ago: we had what we called NX—which is now the Switch —and surrounding it are our businesses for smartphones, theme parks, movie-related businesses. We're at the start—you will see various connections between our smartphones, theme parks, movie-related business, and merchandising that uses our intellectual property."

Later in the interview he notes that Nintendo's revenues have been in a slump for years, and that the company is counting on both Switch and its upcoming slate of smartphone games to pull in new customers and help get its revenues back up to where they used to be. You can read more of his comments on that, as well as where VR fits into Nintendo's plans for the future (hint: nowhere very specific) in the full Bloomberg article.

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