Nintendo’s share price has risen to ¥31,880 ($284), which is the highest point it’s been at for the last seven years. No doubt part of the reason for this is the early success of the Nintendo Switch, which as performed above and beyond the company’s expectations.
The last time Nintendo’s stock price was anywhere near what it is today was in 2007, when the launch of the Wii, an incredibly popular motion controlled console, saw stock prices for rise to ¥70,000.
Last year Nintendo’s stock price experienced a short boost around the launch of Pokemon Go, a mobile augmented reality (AR) game set in the Pokemon universe. At the time of the game’s launch company stock soared to the highest point since April 2010. Although Pokemon Go was developed and published by a company called Niantic, Nintendo has 32% stake in Pokemon franchise, plus an undisclosed stake in Niantic, which provided Nintendo significant earnings on Pokemon Go. This pushed its stock value up and almost doubled the price shortly after release of Pokemon Go. Investment analyst believe that the jump in Nintendo’s stock price last year was attributable not only to Pokemon Go release but it was a more general trend caused by Nintendo’s decision then to move more into mobile gaming market. The success of Pokémon Go then showed Nintendo still had some of the “most valuable character intellectual property in the world” with franchises such as Pokemon, Super Mario, and The Legend of Zelda.
Nintendo’s current stock price rise is a reflection of the strong start the company has had to the year. The Nintendo Switch became the fastest-selling Nintendo console in history soon after launch, to the point where its success began to harm sales as stocks ran dry with most retailers. However, this issue has been rectified with more units being sent out and retailers beginning to advertise the console as back in stock. Nintendo have even upped the number of consoles being manufactured over the next year to keep up with the increased demand.
A blow for fans was the discontinuation of the NES Mini, a home console that packed in 30 Nintendo games from the classic console. But with rumours of an SNES Mini coming later, gamers should be able to get their hands on a similar device before too long, providing Nintendo gets a handle on the number of units they need to manufacture.
In July 2017 the company will be launching a brand new iteration of the 2DS XL, which completely changes the layout in favour of a design that bears more resemblance to the original Nintendo DS, than any other version of the 2DS. This console is expected to fill the market between those who want a basic handheld console without 3D technology, and those who want the very best form handheld gaming.
Keeping the momentum that has driven this stock price increase rise won’t be easy for Nintendo. But with more Switch units available for customers to purchase, and a lineup of games of all sizes, such as Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey, already in place, there’s still a lot of potential before the console hits its peak.