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Nintendo's next step: Its own take on  Skylanders

Nintendo's next step: Its own take on Skylanders

May 8, 2014 | By Mike Rose

Following poor fiscal results from Nintendo earlier this week, the company is looking to show the world that the next 12 months will be something special -- and that involves Nintendo's own take on Skylanders, and the ability to watch Mario Kart on your mobile.

Nintendo saw heavy losses for the last fiscal year, mainly due to poor Wii U sales. The company is now looking to turn this around, and today revealed some of the steps towards doing so.

The big one is the upcoming launch of the 'Nintendo Figurine Platform' -- essentially Nintendo's own Skylanders. Players will be able to buy figurines that come with built-in NFC functionality, and import them into compatible video games.

Nintendo says that games and figurines are due to launch "starting from this year-end sales season" -- and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was keen to stress that it's coming to 3DS too.

"I understand that some of you may be worried that the market for NFP, a platform that will work with a number of software titles, will not grow large enough when it is compatible only with Wii U," said Iwata.

He added, "If we can make a good use of Nintendo 3DS, which has already sold over 43 million units, however, this assumption will greatly change."

Iwata was also keen to note that this is "going to serve as the first example of actively utilizing our own character IP."

Given that the Skylanders franchise has now generated $2 billion in sales and sold 175 million toys to consumers, mimicking the functionality would not appear to be a bad idea at all.

mario kart.jpgNext on the list is taking advantage of mobile devices in some way, and while Nintendo would only say that it plans to release its first ever mobile app sometime this year, the company also revealed another way it plans to utilize mobile.

The recently announced Mario Kart TV, which will allow players to watch Mario Kart 8 replays from a special Wii U channel, is also coming to web browsers and mobile.

You'll be able to watch Mario Kart 8 replays, view rankings and check out the various tournaments all from your browser or smart device, says the company. Iwata did not say when this functionality will be available.

Rounding up the meeting, Iwata noted that Nintendo "would like to spend one full year to leverage Nintendo's own strength in order to regain momentum," and said that the company plans to leverage its significant 3DS user base to boost its current fiscal year.

"Posting an operating loss for the fourth fiscal year running is something unacceptable," he said. "We see this fiscal year as a time to prioritize restoration of the balance of revenue and expenses."

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