Nintendo plans to launch new console platforms in emerging markets beginning next year, according to this Bloomberg report.
"We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have," President Satoru Iwata told Bloomberg this week. "The product and price balance must be made from scratch."
Microsoft recently announced plans to launch Xbox One in China this September after the country lifted a 14-year ban on the sale of foreign game consoles. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia division has opened a new China Strategy Department as well, though the company has been pretty quiet on its plans for China.
While Iwata emphasized again the company's reluctance to enter the smartphone market, he did announce a new near field communication (NFC) product line called Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP). Companies such as Activision and Disney have proven that games using NFC can be big sellers. Some examples of games using that type of technology include the Skylanders game series and Disney Infinity.
"We need to start a new business that will someday become one of our core activities," he said. "What is especially unique about NFP is that it is not classed as an accessory product of a certain software title but as a platform itself."
Nintendo also said that it will announce a number of NFP compatible games at E3 in June, and tentatively plans to release character figurines with built-in NFC functionality beginning this Christmas. NFP will be compatible with Wii U software at the end of 2014, and with 3DS software from next year.
Nintendo has dabbled in the low budget console market in Canada and in Europe with the releases of Wii Mini, a version of its Wii console without backwards capability or online play.
We will have more on this story as it develops.