Roughly a year after it first announced its intention to bring Mario to mobile, Nintendo’s president, Tatsumi Kimishima, confirmed in an article in Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun today (Jan. 15) that the company’s first mobile game will be launched in March. Kimishima also outlined the company’s plans for 2016, which will see “details” released about Nintendo’s next-generation games console, the NX.
In a series of tweets, Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese games consultancy firm Kantan Games, outlined his translation of Kimishima’s intentions.
Nintendo released its last home games console, the Wii U, in 2012. Since then, it’s sold less than 11 million units—compared with the Playstation 4, which has sold about 30 million units even though it was released a year later. With the release of the NX, Nintendo will look to regain the dominant position it had with its previous console, the Wii—which sold over 101 million units.
In May, Nintendo announced that it would bring themed attractions to Universal Studios theme parks. Toto says Kimishima plans to expand Nintendo branding to other outlets, including anime and movies. (Hopefully, any new Mario-related movies will be better than the 1993 Bob Hoskins vehicle, which has not aged well.)
Nintendo’s first mobile game will be called Miitomo, based around the Mii avatars that players have been able to create since the launch of the Wii. Kimishima confirmed the game will be launched in March. As Quartz’s Alice Truong pointed out last year, Nintendo has previously avoided mobile gaming in favor of its own handheld systems, like the Nintendo 3DS, and has lost ground in that market to the iPhone and Android devices. Nintendo tapped the Japanese mobile-gaming company DeNA to build five officially licensed games over the next two years.
Last year, Nintendo posted its first annual profit since 2011. In his article, Kimishima suggests the company will quadruple its profits in “several years,” likely off the presumed successes of the NX and mobile games.
Details remain thin on how Nintendo plans to upend the console market with the NX. Sony plans to push into virtual reality with its Playstation brand this year, and Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset has just started accepting preorders. Will Nintendo follow suit, or try something different from its competitors, as it did with the Wii?
Quartz reached out to Nintendo for confirmation of Kimishima’s article, and to DeNA. We will update this post as necessary.