Leading Japanese game console make Nintendo unveiled a new online strategy today, saying it would launch a social and content, Miiverse for its latest version of the Wii - the Wii U.
The strategy though similar to that of rivals including Sony Corp has led to concerns amongst analysts that Nintendo had been late to embrace online gaming, and gaining ground may be difficult.
According to some analysts, Nintendo was falling behind its rivals in the online gaming area. They add, the idea of entering the field was good, but the question was whether the company could generate profits.
The much awaited Wii U console which made its debut last year has so far received a cold reception from investors worried over the hardware's prospects of finding buyers in a $78.5 billion industry that is now a target of smartphone and tablet PC makers such as Apple.
"Some people may wonder if Wii U is a simple evolution of Wii or something completely different. I think maybe the best answer is both," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in a webcast ahead of the E3 videogame industry trade show in Los Angeles where he would unveil the Wii U's final version.
According to analysts with the addition of Miiverse, Nintendo, which started out in 1889 making playing cards in the back streets of Kyoto before gaining prominence as the creator of the Super Mario franchise, may be turning to delivery of online content to underpin hardware sales through its new Nintendo Network, much like that of Sony and Apple.
However, Iwata has been rather slow and would need to cover a lot of ground to draw level with rivals that have millions of subscribers plugged into PlayStation 3's network, iTunes and Microsoft Corp's Xbox.
The webcast, included a video chat function as also features to allow users to message and share pictures and other content.
"Not only can it connect people in a better way within the same living room, but it also connects people (from) living room to living room in a much more compelling way," he said.