Jul 30th, 2014


One of the biggest announcements from a Nintendo Direct earlier this year is that Nintendo is focusing on a “Quality of Life” platform in addition to its video game business. There are very few hints about what this platform will be, despite the company filing trademarks for the new platform in both Japan and Europe. The United States joins that list, as yesterday Nintendo filed three patents related to its new QoL platform.

Each of these trademarks is intentionally vague in what information is given, but they all three revolve around different aspects of the platform. Here’s the basic description for all three:

Patent 1

Programs for consumer video game apparatus; Electronic circuits, optical discs, ROM cards, ROM cartridges, CD-ROMs, and memory cards storing programs for consumer video game apparatus; Storage media storing programs for consumer video game apparatus; Memory cards for consumer video game apparatus; Programs for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Electronic circuits, optical discs, ROM cards, ROM cartridges, CD-ROMs, and memory cards storing programs for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Storage media storing programs for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Memory cards for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Downloadable or installable programs and additional data for consumer video game apparatus; Downloadable or installable programs and additional data for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays.

Patent 2

Consumer video game apparatus; Controllers and joysticks for consumer video game apparatus; Parts and accessories for consumer video game apparatus; Handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Controllers and joysticks for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Parts and accessories for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays.

Patent 3

Providing games via communication by handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays; Providing games via communication by consumer video game apparatus; Providing games for consumer video game apparatus; Providing games for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays.

These three patents cover a broad area of Nintendo’s general interests, but as highlighted by Iwata this new platform is intended to be a non-wearable focus on health and wellness.

Today I would like to limit my presentation to the general direction of our new business, but I plan to announce more details within 2014. I then plan to talk about its specific features and a clearer vision of what we really mean by the term “non-wearable.”
This new business will be launched during the fiscal year ending March 2016, which begins in April 2015. As this is a completely new field of business, our plan is to make it contribute to our overall business and position it for growth from following fiscal year.

We’ve seen patents from Nintendo for parts that are interchangeable in a handheld device, could it be that Nintendo is planning on releasing something like a Nintendo 3DS with interchangeable parts that can be used in fitness activities? Any speculation we have now is just that, but it’s interesting to see Nintendo moving forward with this plan even while the Wii U begins to recover from the slump of 2013.

local_offer    Nintendo  QOL  quality of life  wii u  
  • AWwriter

    I really am so not interested in any of this. I want Nintendo to make games. Their priorities seem so out of whack. I am as much of a Nintendo fanboy as anyone, I’ve owned every console and handheld since the NES, but there is a reason they again lost nearly 100M this quarter and Wii U has turned into yet another first party software only console.

    • FoxMulder900

      I’m not really sure “we” as in fans of Nintendo video games are supposed to be interested in this. They keep talking about how this is a whole new area of business which they are applying their knowledge of video games to. My thoughts are that this is meant to target all those people who bought a Wii but were never really “gamers”.

      I hope it goes well for them, because as long as they can continue to fund the great games us as “hardcore” Nintendo fans love, then I am happy!

      • Colton Kelsey

        It’s also about explaining what the console is and advertisizement.

    • TheyCallHimBigAl

      Games are the reason Nintendo is losing $97 mil? Games have nothing to do with it. The last two unprofitable Nintendo consoles – the Gamecube and (so far) the Wii U – have great 1st party games. If you’re talking about 3rd party games, then sure, the lack thereof seems to correspond to the relative failures of those systems.

      Whats the solution? Give the 3rd parties more favorable contracts? Lower the amount Nintendo makes on 3rd party games sold? Certainly, if Nintendo had agreements in place similar to, say, Microsoft, then the dearth of 3rd parties might not be as extreme.

      Except there’s a problem. http://www.destructoid.com/analyst-microsoft-losing-2-billion-on-xbox-annually-265273.phtml

      $97mil doesn’t seem so bad now. Nintendo’s solution is not to whore itself out to EA, Activision, Squeenix, and the others. Console sales translate into 3rd party support, not the other way around. If that was true then why has the Wii U outshipped the Xbox1 by almost two million units?

      Gimmicks sell systems. The PS2 had DVD playback. The 360 had HD. The Wii had motion contols. The WiiU’s gimmick has so far been a miss. That’s why Iwata and co. are working on a new one with QOL. It has nothing to do with games.

      • FutureFox

        I wonder if Nintendo had this already planned somewhere down the line. I mean they didn’t even start on their most compelling games until practically the year the Wii U was announced and yet this QoL is set to make an appear a two years after soft Wii U sales? Maybe Nintendo really is just rapid that way but I have my doubts.

        I think they had their indicators in place saying that the console gaming market in general will continue to shrink. I think Sony and Microsoft will be hit with the reality that the only reason a lot of people bought those consoles was for the added entertainment value of Blu-Ray and HD. But those hands have been played and the only ones who care about slightly increased graphics are the gamers. The rest have either moved on or are content with the offerings of last gen.

        Nintendo won’t abandon the console but I think they are looking for other venues to foster interest rather than directly assaulting consumers through the facet of gaming. I think in essence they are creating lures of the type of product/service that primes people into thinking about games in light ways. Then using that brand recognition to bring them over to the console side of things (if the consumer chooses).

      • AWwriter

        Exactly my point. Nintendo needs to focus on games not this QOL garbage. The third party issue has two sides – they have to dumb games down because the hardware isn’t powerful enough, again, and fewer people buy the console because the third party games aren’t there. I love Nintendo, I think their games are amazing. But I do like some other games, like, say Alien Isolation which is coming out – to every other system but Nintendo. I don’t give a crap about some new system with this QOL nonsense – sorry, I want to sit on my butt and play games when I want to play, not heart rate garbage and fitness crap. If they are going to create a new system they need to jack it up with some juice so folks don’t have to own other systems in order to play other popular games, as well. They keep making the same mistake over and over again – and all this QOL silliness is just getting further from the real issue.

      • Rinslowe

        Actually the Gamecube went on to be a profitable platform for Nintendo…

    • Korv13

      I also have some doubts about this project. It’s hard to see the whole
      strategy behind QoL and it seems much more complex than what we have
      learned on it until now.

      We know that QoL is:
      1) a new field of business
      2) something that will be linked with the gaming business

      In my own opinion, I think that the goal of QoL is to create a sort of positive environment where the user can live a healthy life (physically and psychologically) while doing it in an entertaining way. This could be a way to set them apart from the other competitors.

      It is too early to know if there will be an impact on the gaming business but I don’t think Nintendo is fool enough to sacrifice an area in which they thrive for another one which is on an unknown territory.

    • Rinslowe

      I guess many long time fans would react this way in any case, during times of change. In the long run if it’s good for Nintendo then it’ll effect their traditional gaming model positively, I’m sure. As well as more funding generated for QoL “from” QoL.

      It doesn’t look like the status quo is going to be affected either way. Unless if flops terribly.

  • Alex0714

    I have no clue what it could be…

  • Milky Bacons

    Well, Sony is everywhere (consoles to TVs and what-not).
    Microsoft is everywhere (consoles to computers).
    Nintendo is gaming.
    I think Nintendo is thinking that the reason of their 97m loss has to do with lack of stuff they have.

    I don’t know, don’t hate me I’m thinking about this as I’m typing it out!

    • na, sony have losses too, so is not to have loots of things.

    • Thomas Vienna

      I always looked at that as a reason for success. Nintendo puts all of their resources in gaming, where other companies can let it suffer a little and look to strengthen other areas of business for capital gain. Nintendo is just gaming, and that’s a very attractive quality in them.

      • Rinslowe

        I agree. But there is also nothing wrong with a little bit of product diversification, if it’s profitable. Baby steps…

        • Lionel Quoc Anh Thai

          If the extra profit means extra funding for Nintendo games, then why not

    • Milky Bacons

      Ok, people don’t hate me. Yay!

    • TheyCallHimBigAl

      I think Nintendo is looking at their losses as well as Microsoft’s and Sony’s and realizing the gaming industry isn’t what it was, and traditionally styled console will be hard pressed to do anywhere close to 100m units sold. I hope QoL helps with the stuff Nintendo has so they can make lots of money and keep making great games.

      • Milky Bacons

        And if QoL doesn’t work out (I’ll be sad), I’ll still be a fan of Nintendo and buy their stuff.

        • fsafdf

          you better pray QoL doesn’t work, or else nintendo is only going to be making super profitable QoL walking and excercise software and stop making their unprofitable deep games that we love

          • Milky Bacons

            I love my unprofitable games.

            Now that I think about it, I don’t want QoL to work anymore.

            Then again, the money Nintendo invests in QoL would be lost, and Nintendo would be in even more debt.

          • fsafdf

            if QoL succeeds then they’d know to just make only super profitable QoL fitness software. If it fails they’d know to stick to making the classic games gamers love and to not drive away from that.

            but i guess what you are trying to say is you want quality of life to not succeed but at the same time you don’t want them to lose money over it.

          • Milky Bacons

            Exactly. I mean, Nintendo can suffer losses. But they are already in a… what 72 or 92 million dollar loss? They don’t need anymore losses, so maybe… if they make a very small profit whilst being deterred from the minority of people actually liking QoL. I don’t think they can pull QoL off to begin with, but oh well. Live and learn, Nintendo, live n’ learn.

    • PlayStation4Life12345

      I hope Nintendo being on top all over again like Last-Gen ;D. Best wishes to Ninty!

      • Milky Bacons

        regardless of your play station ways? lol
        I hope Nintendo does come back up top too.

        • PlayStation4Life12345

          I love them both, but more to Ninty since SNES was my first console and Nintendo make the best exclusives … so yeah XD.

  • Richard Branches

    All I want to see is the shop released in Colombia.

    • CydeFxt

      You know, i understand your point…..but this is not about e-shop….this is something totally different.

      • Richard Branches

        I just want it!!!!

        • Ocio Aguilera

          me 2, from Cali – Colombia. Sorry the off topic here to everyone

          • Richard Branches

            me from barranquilla.

    • WiiUisgaming

      I want it not only in colombia I want e-Shop in whole America.

      • Colton Kelsey

        No it’s japan only. JUST JOKING

  • ” Providing games via communication by consumer video game apparatus; ” this looks like the gamepad and the wii u console…

  • Josiah Parsons

    Next-Gen Wii Fit for EVERYONE!

    • Josiah Parsons

      and only Wii Fit!

      • Shootdatrupee!…

        Oh Din the horror

  • DC777

    Well this just boggles my mind as it has from the beginning. There can’t be anything that is “non-wearable” unless you are given some kind of instructions first like some giant game of treasure hunt or something. “Quality of Life”. What exactly does that mean? Go see your doctor? Go run 1.5 miles? Go help a blonde woman carry bags at your local grocery store. Plant a tree. I can’t see anything else gaming related. If it is just some philosophy for living fine, but if it is supposed to skip mobile and wearables it could really only be something that gives you real world objectives.

    • MysteryT

      It will be floating crystals that follow you everywhere you go, and you can activate it by voice commands. And you yourself will be the controller, and the crystals will generate a hologrammic screen that shows the game you are playing.

      So this means you can play a game while you are out jogging. Like, they could make a jogging game and stuff.


  • FutureFox

    Sounds like the 3DS to me.

  • HavokPants

    maybe it will be like a big electronic board you put on the wall and they have their own internet browser platform

  • Purple

    I just cant imagine this being a good thing.

  • Michael DeVore

    Those are three Trademarks. Not three patents. They might be filed with the same office, but they are not synonyms.

  • darkcreap

    Um, yes, everything described in the patents are things about handhelds that Nintendo’s 3DS already does. I guess they are being vague to avoid other people copying. Even though patents should basically prevent that.

    • Colton Kelsey

      Everyonnnnne copies nintendo.

  • Nintenjoe82

    It’s almost like the sort of diagrams and vague explanations that a pyramid scheme would use. I think they’re just making stuff up to get gullible investors to invest in R.O.B 2.0

  • Justin Hernandez

    Glad to see that they’re trying something different. But, I want games. That is all!

  • Colton Kelsey

    If its zelda related I’m down.

  • Rinslowe

    The age of transformers is over. The age of interchangeable non autonomous modulated non wearable QoL platforms is here!…. Soon…. Hopefully… Maybe… Sorry… Please Understand.

  • bistricky

    I am confused by this QoL ….

    Is this to replace the Wii U or be another product Nintendo has to offer?

    This statement makes me the most confused: “This new business will be launched during the fiscal year ending March 2016, which begins in April 2015”.

    Anyone hazard to guess? I know that statement says “new business” but often translation isn’t exact.
    Cheers 😀

    • Rinslowe

      No need for confusion. It will not replace the Wii U as Nintendo still sees opportunity for current models to make their own investment back and generate income. Think of it this way. The company will not send a fledgling business into the fire to save and replace another area of business that is beginning to mature without knowing whether or not that new direction is workable or not. So it is logical to assume Nintendo isn’t silly enough to throw away millions on a brand new area in the hope it will save another. Wii U will be profitable for Nintendo before this generation ends. That much is almost guaranteed looking at their current situation.
      If QoL becomes the next big thing by the time Wii U retires. Then it may well be a viable contender for Nintendo’s primary focus for the future. And that may affect the next gen. But not likely this one. Maybe they are interrelated or compatible in some way. Hard to say without knowing what is it. BUT, I’m pretty sure Nintendo has some kind of hybrid gaming device in mind for next gen as well, maybe? Something pretty game changing needs to happen as the current model of newer hardware only is stagnating somewhat. More specifically for Nintendo though, their generation on generation of console market share heading south should be a clear motivator.

      • bistricky

        I appreciate your reply Rinslowe. It makes a lot of sense. I definitely want to see the Wii U be Nintendo’s primary gaming console for a very long time.

        • 00EpicGamer00

          For the next 5-7 years, at least (that’s the usual lifespan of a console).

          • bistricky

            I was more hoping the Wii U will have a Atari 2600-like lifespan (lol)

          • 00EpicGamer00

            Oh my…the Atari 2600 lasted around 15 years? O.o
            I don’t think any console will last that long ever again, lol. I wish they would. I gets kind of annoying that about every 5 years the next console is out.

          • bistricky

            Exactly …. I was joking but I am also tired of constantly buying the next generation console …. I am pretty sure this 8th generation will be my last purchases as a gamer. So they might as well not retire them until 2020 (lol).

          • paulthevgking

            i give it 4, so in 2016 they will announce the next console

          • 00EpicGamer00

            I think you might be right. The Wii U will probably last somewhere around 2016 or 2017. 2018 if they’re VERY lucky.

          • Rinslowe

            I think we’ll see a reveal for new hardware in 2017. 2016 at the earliest.. But I have a feeling we won’t see new hardware on the “market” until Nov 2017, at the earliest…

    • paulthevgking

      it may, but remember. The ds was not meant to replace the gameboy advance. so they might pull another trigger at that with this. but it might do what the ds did and DO replace it.

  • ben

    Patent one is clearly for Amiibo.

    The rest are console patents have nothing to do with quality of life.

  • Mr Ninty

    i think it will be a killer raptor (yoshi style) who chases you if you dont sport every 2days

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    I am worried the picture for their “Leapfrog Strategy” only makes sense in Japan.

  • paulthevgking

    i feel like this is the next console, and even possibly the project fusion, here’s why. Patent 1: it talks about how the device listed is a vidoe game device with the cpu and ram. patent 2: talks about controllers and accessories (maybe interchangeable pieces). patent 3: talks about video games. How it is the fusion device is that, did you notice that there is two devices listed, and handheld and a consumer device. In #3, it talks about games being communicated through the two. If consumer is a home console, then your’e playing games through the two devices. The liquid clear display confuses me, though.

  • Iflywright

    Whatever it is, these patents allude to a video game apparatus and a handheld game apparatus. Which is what Nintendo is currently producing, wii u and 3ds. Initially I thought that QoL was to be interactive workout/gym equipment–now I’m starting to wonder if these are going to be upgraded versions of the wii u and the 3ds. I think the most revealing line in the patent was: “Providing games for consumer video game apparatus; Providing games for handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays.” Also consider that the new system update for the wii u allows wii u to wii u data transfers. This might just be a relaunch. Mulligan with more software like wii fit and brain age. Of course I’ve been known to be wrong, from time to time.

    • Iflywright

      oh yeah and let’s not forget that Iwata is combining the wii u and 3ds departments in order to have compatable console and handheld in the future.

  • Destructonator101

    Holy shit! Nintendo wants to take over the world! HELL YEAH! How do I know?

    So we have our conventional consoles, then we’ll have smaller mobiles, then wearable bullshit, then brain implants! The blue ocean is the technology of attatching chips to the nervous system, so then Nintendo can someday send an update to control the body of the user and make the chip the user, controller of the body! Millions will be possessed by Nintendo, and together we shall march under the Führer, Iwata, and storm the headquarters of Sony (pronounced ‘pho-nei’ under Iwata’s rule), then destroy Microsoft ( pronounced ‘my-crow-stufft’ under Iwata’s rule).

    Okay, now back onto a more sane prediction, I believe that… actually I have no sane prediction of what Nintendo is going to bring out…

  • fsafdf

    god damnit this sucks.

    every nintendo fan on earth should be crushed by this “quality of life” shit.

    this literally means nintendo wants to make money from fitness crap now and not by making deep intricate games like they used to.

    fuck you wii sports, fuck you wii fit, fuck you for selling so much and straight up ruining nintendo’s mindset and convincing them shallow games can sell 100 million copies.