Sun. Feb 5th, 2023
An official Nintendo restaurant?  We'd be down if only to see more bento boxes as cool as this one made by a fan.

An official Nintendo restaurant? We’d be down if only to see more bento boxes as cool as this one made by a fan.

Nintendo’s most recent fiscal year reveal made headlines for announcing a release window for the new “Nintendo NX” console and another Zelda game delay, but it also included news of serious corporate restructuring. The Short Version: Nintendo will soon involve an oversight committee in making top-level decisions.

The company has started rolling out more details about how that restructuring will work, and Nintendo’s Japanese arm has tipped its hand about possible new business plans. An announcement on Tuesday included the company’s amended bylaws, which are expected to be approved by shareholders in June, and it included three new entries in the “business involvement” list: restaurants, medical and health equipment, and “computer software.”

Longtime Nintendo followers will recognize the second of those three entries, as Nintendo publicly announced and then recanted, both a heart rate monitor (the Wii Vitality Sensor) and a sleep tracking device. Meanwhile, a Nintendo-themed restaurant seems like a simple enough extension for a company that already operates brick-and-mortar businesses like the Nintendo Store – though we’d love to see an official Nintendo diner, of course – and a pun-filled menu. (Kirby cream puffs, Worst “Link”s, Moo Moo Meadows burgers, and so on…)

NX as a productivity device?

The choice to add “computer software” to that list, on the other hand, seems particularly curious – especially since Nintendo’s existing list of committed companies contains terms very similar to computer software, specifically the broad term of “content such as games, images and music.”

That listing also revised a listing stating that the company would license the “use or reproduction of copyrighted works” and “trademarks.” Now Nintendo will license its “intellectual property rights”.

These changes may very well be necessary to cross legal T’s and dot-administrative I’s for the types of electronic products the company has already made and licenses it has granted, or they could indicate a very weird Nintendo coming. That shift to the term “intellectual property” encompasses copyrighted works and trademarks in an umbrella that also may contain concepts owned by Nintendo, such as patents.

Is Nintendo setting up its still-hidden NX as a more open computing platform for other hardware makers to sign up for? Is Nintendo planning to make and sell a phone-like system with productivity apps? Is there a desire to put Nintendo’s current wares on more devices than the company’s heralded smartphone push that requires such specific terminology? (Or, God, will we ever see Super Mario Maker make its way to PCs?)

It’s hard to imagine the closely guarded Nintendo opening itself up to a wide variety of platforms, so some of that is incredibly wishful thinking. But if you had asked us two years ago, we would have said the same about official Nintendo apps on iOS and Android.

Rumors continue to circulate about what form the Nintendo NX will ultimately take, including statements from Nintendo executives indicating that the NX will serve as neither the Wii U nor the 3DS successor. Whatever form that new console takes, fans probably won’t get to see anything until well after this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, at which time Nintendo has confirmed that the NX won’t appear in any way, shape or form.

Also worth noting: Nintendo’s current businesses involved include relatively dormant items such as “office equipment and tools” and “sports equipment,” presumably from the Japanese company’s more than a hundred years of existence (along with its origins as a playing card company ). Announcing more concepts doesn’t necessarily guarantee we’ll ever see products like sleep sensors or companies like Funky Kong’s Surf ‘N Turf Shack, but it certainly sets the table for their eventual existence.

By akfire1

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