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Nintendo Faces Increasing Pressure From Investors To Go Mobile

Nintendo Faces Increasing Pressure From Investors To Go Mobile

August 11, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Nintendo's lackluster 3DS launch and uncertainty over its upcoming Wii U have caused discontent among some investors, who say Nintendo should get with the times and make mobile games.

Specifically, analysts are calling for Nintendo to use the "war chest" of more than $10 billion it built up thanks to the success of the Wii and DS to buy its way into the market.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Stats Investment Management Co.'s Masamitsu Ohki said that smartphones are the "new battlefield for the gaming industry."

"Nintendo should try to either buy its way into the platform or develop something totally new," he said.

It isn't just a vocal minority, either: when word got out that an official Pokemon game was coming to iPhone, Nintendo shares briefly skyrocketed, with shares rising as high as 4.9 percent stock market activity more than quadrupling following a post-E3 lull. When Nintendo denied it was entering the smartphone market soon after, shares went back down.

"Nintendo should aggressively make acquisitions or increase returns to its shareholders," Commons Asset Management president Tetsuro Ii told Bloomberg. "It's management's task to consider how to make use of the cash."

For its part, Nintendo refuses to comment beyond a statement made on July 5, when it said that its strategy of only developing software for its own hardware "hasn't changed and won't change."

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