“… the WSJ is reporting on a recent and unusual high level, high impact strategy presentation where in top ‘Tendo execs revealed what’s described as a change in its current business model: using its foothold in the video game market to sell casual gamers and non-gamers products focused more on utilitarian functions. (…) What they want to sell Nintendo wouldn’t specifically say, but they’re focusing first on the flagship portable, the DS, rolling out what the WSJ describes as “features [that] will be useful in places like train stations, amusement parks or museums and [that] could be accessed wirelessly,” as well as a new “television-programming feature for the Japanese market… to check television listings, run searches by keyword and genre, and highlight each family member’s favorite programs.””
What it means: the Nintendo DS currently has an installed base of 53 million units worldwide. It’s Wi-Fi-enabled and there’s a version of the Opera browser available for sale (you need to buy a “game” cartridge to use it though). It makes sense that Nintendo is looking at “utilitarian” functions for the DS and location-based services are top of the list for mobile devices. Not a short term opportunity but monitor for future improvements. Pre-loading of the browser would create a killer app.