Good hand/eye coordination serves those who play Nintendo of America games well. Serving as the Western Hemisphere distribution headquarters for Japan's Nintendo, the company makes the #1 home game console, Wii (pronounced "we"), which is motion controlled and able to access Netflix. It also makes the #1 handheld game console, Nintendo DS, which features two screens and intuitive touch controls. On those consoles, users can access and play such classic games as Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Pokémon, and Zelda. Nintendo of America is also well known for legacy systems, NES and Game Boy. Nintendo of America serves the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.
Although Nintendo's brand is more attached to Mario and its other marquee titles, the company's recent success is just as much about reaching into new gaming populations. Nintendo churns out other titles that support its "global population expansion" mantra. Its "Touch Generations" software lineup offers general interest games such as Wii Fit Plus, Brain Age, Art Academy, and Club House Games, as well as the Personal Trainer series that includes titles teaching cooking and math.
Nintendo of America also offers a customer reward program called Club Nintendo where members can earn virtual Nintendo Coins for completing surveys on certain Nintendo products they purchase and register. Coins can be redeemed for select Nintendo products.
Along with its parent, Nintendo of America had enjoyed relatively heady days throughout the global recession while its competitors struggled. That ended with the launch of the 3D version of the DS, the 3DS handheld system, in 2011. The company departed form by releasing it with a higher price, closer to what typically has been found from competitor Sony's handheld systems. As the number of units shipped continued to significantly miss expectations, Nintendo slashed the price by a third. That along with a boosted game library got it back on track, but not in enough time to prevent the year from going into the red for the first time in Nintendo's 50-year history as a public company. Revenues from the Americas were down more than 45% in fiscal 2012 (ended March) to about ¥250 billion ($3 billion), which was 40% of parent Nintendo's revenue. The US accounted for more than ¥215 billion (about $2.6 billion).
Nintendo's strategic decisions are driven by two basic philosophies: make games for everyone, not just traditional gamers, and design games specifically for Nintendo hardware. Because of the latter philosophy, Nintendo has shown no indication that it will make its games available on third-party devices such as smartphones and tablets. Unlike competitors Microsoft and Sony, who make systems focused less on game design and more on game performance, Nintendo designs its hardware to attempt unique styles of gameplay. The Wii U console, launched in 2012, continues that tradition with its tablet-like controller. – less