Nintendo Co. President Satoru Iwata is convinced the future of gaming still centers on handheld and TV-based machines. He’ll get his answer by Christmas, in the number of new Wii U consoles that get bought.
Iwata can’t afford to be wrong. Nintendo, the world’s biggest maker of video-game machines, last year cut prices on its 3DS handheld device after shipments missed forecasts, handing the company its first annual loss. Like a character in one of Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros.” games, Iwata is battling a storm of life-sapping obstacles: shrinking hardware sales, more people playing on smartphones and the Internet, and uncompetitive costs.